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Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

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Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses & Users:

Academic

Church - Pastors
-- Journey of Pastor

Devotions

Discipleship

Evangelism

Missions

Outreaches

Radio-Web Casts

Short Term Trips

story4all

Youth - Children

Testimonies and
Ways Churches Can Utilize STS

 

Pastors’ Feedback on STS

Pastors who embrace STS sent reports on how this way of study and sharing Scripture is affecting them their families and their churches.

My Grandson, the Story Teller – Our two grandbabies were staying all night at our house and I was getting ready to do devotions. Since we started STS, when they stay over, I usually tell them a portion of a story and then ask some real basic questions. When I began the story, but my three year old grandson stopped me and said he would like to tell the story that night. My son-in-law has attended a workshop and done quite a bit of additional training as well. He now uses STS at home with his family.

I was curious, and asked my grandson which story he wanted to tell. He was quick to let me know that he wanted to tell the story of Abraham and Isaac. He started and I was pretty surprised when he got about 80-85% of the story right…at least up until the very end. It seems that just as Abraham was getting ready to sacrifice Isaac, God stopped him and when Abraham turned and looked, and there “was a ram with his head stuck in a cricket” which Abraham sacrificed instead. Having no idea what a “thicket” was, he simply substituted the closest word he knew.

It was all I could do to keep a straight face, but I was truly amazed that after only 4 or 5 nights of hearing that story a little boy that age could remember so much of it. I was also pretty intrigued as I tried to imagine the picture that was in his little head of this ram caught up by a giant cricket that the Lord had sent.

I was fighting laughter until he began to talk about God providing a sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son. Then, I was astounded that such a young child could glean such deep truth from one of the great stories of God’s Word.
KT

Young Big Brother – One of our young deacons has been mentoring a boy for several years. It has been really great to watch what God has been doing through the consistent love and time that has been given in this truly godly relationship. The young man’s family doesn’t know the Lord, but our church member has been using STS as an opportunity to share God’s Word with them through stories.

When we were preparing our leader to assist in an STS workshop at our church, our young deacon began asking the family if he could practice stories with them and they readily agreed. They had some really great discussions and there is some real interest in God’s Word.

Recently one of the family members entered into a relationship with someone who was exhibiting strong demonic influence, if not downright possession. Being a typical American believer, our young storyteller hadn’t run into this kind of thing before and he asked me what he should do. I simply asked him if he had ever told the story of Jesus healing the demoniac.
He learned the story and told it. There weren’t any dramatic results then, but now everyone involved knows that there is One who is greater than the one that tries to lead the world astray. The demonically influenced individual now stays far away any time he sees our young storyteller is there, but we are praying that God’s Word will eventually lead to deliverance.

Sorority Bible Study – Right after we had finished our first workshop here in Kentucky I got a phone call from a lady who was very interested in learning the STS method of telling stories and asking questions. She began to come to some of our ongoing STS sessions, as well as some of the church services where we told stories.

She asked me if I had someone who might be willing to come and tell a story at a Bible study she did every week. We found out that she is leading a Bible study with a sorority on a nearby campus. One of our young ladies who is an excellent story teller and who is even better at asking questions went a told a story at the Bible study.

No dramatic “the entire campus was changed” kind of stories came out of this event, but we have gotten reports of how much the girls love the “new” method of Bible study. This is really exciting for our church as our goal is to use STS as a tool to plant a church on several campuses in our area.

KT


These Two Stories are for Me!

[Report from Kenyan STS instructor.] When a Maasai youth is coming of age, he becomes a "Moran" This means he joins other Maasai youths into an initiation program to graduate into manhood. At the time of being a "Moran" you have license to do anything you find fit to prove your manhood. In those days they make a lot of mess and terrorize people in the village.

After coming out of this process, Pastor Wilson experienced the Gospel and gave his life to Jesus.

Immediately after that, persecution began because he now started opposing some of the ungodly practices in the culture.

The community accused him falsely and he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

He went to jail. As soon as he arrived in prison he decided to reach people for Jesus. He showed such a godly example that he was made a prison minister by the authorities.

Within a few weeks the prison authorities were so happy with him that they started to transfer him to other jails as a resident preacher. At the end of the 1st year he had served in 12 different prisons in the country. The prison authorities released him citing that he was a sincere Christian brother not a threat to society. So instead of 18 years, he was home within a year.

God called him to his village to begin a church amongst the same people in Kenya who had falsely accused him and gotten him to go to jail.

In this his first STS workshop, the pastor said, "This training has come to give me tools to reach my people effectively but also to encourage me."

The Jars of Oil story spoke to him strongly in this manner. The woman was asked by Elisha to do something that initially sounded insane. It was a difficult thing for her to obey. But she did. This encouraged the pastor as it reminded him of his own journey with God in this Maasai village.

In the Zacchaeus story, pastor Wilson saw how the people labeled Zacchaeus a sinner and even hindered him from seeing Jesus. But he finally saw Him.

In the end the pastor said, “These two stories are for me and they have come with great revelation to encourage me. Please thank those who developed this and sent you here!”


 

I Told You So!

A pastor in a very conservative evangelical denomination incorporated Simply The Story into his pulpit, their children's program and in the Bible school teaching he does.

He wrote about a friend who called him ... "He was all excited because he said that studying his Bible STS style had really improved his Bible study skills. This friend is a retired CMA Pastor who pastored for nearly 50 years! I said to my friend, 'I TOLD YOU SO!!!' ”
MT, USA



“Simple Church” is Home Church

Last night did the Mary & Martha story at a new simple church in Belfast with 8 young kids (all in small plastic chairs in a row) in a room full of adults!  Quite daunting.  

I thought it was average, but I noticed that things got a little lively and animated, and then afterwards heard story after story of how people had been touched.  

At one point people were retreating in and out of the kitchen looking after toddlers and telling the hostess how they thought ‘This was WONDERFUL," etc., etc. The hostess later told me that EVERYONE had told them how important and good for them this experience had been.
Bryan, Ireland


Board of Elders

The Woodlands, Texas workshop outside Houston was held in a very large church led by highly trained seminarians. One evening during that week, the board of elders met. A physician on the board decided to use the story for their devotions that he had worked on during the STS workshop. He told the Lost Axe Head story of 2 Kings 6, and then led an in-depth discussion that lasted a whole hour - and everyone loved it!


Coming to Class on Time!

I had the joy of doing the Saul/David in the Cave story on Sunday in the class I teach. It was powerful…plus I even watched the clock enough to have 1/3 of my time dedicated to spiritual application!  I know it is hard to believe…it was a shock even to me!  

Another positive sign is that more and more people are coming to class on time because they want to have more time for ‘Jon’s stories.’  Hmmmm…perhaps we are on to something here.   Plus, they wanted to know what story I was going to do next week so they could come better prepared for spiritual observations.  Unfortunately, I still have not decided…perhaps Jars of Oil.
Jon. Pastor in IL, USA


I Had Missed

I have been to several of these trainings and taught several to pastors/teachers on the mission field and in churches in the USA for Sunday school teachers. I feel it is one of the most effective ways to find treasures from God’s Word.

As I learned and practiced and taught STS, I found that in my 40 years of Bible study I had missed many of the wonderful treasures God had put there for me. 

STS is very effective for ages 7 to 97, and from illiterate to PHD education levels and amazingly all that mixture of age and education can be effectively taught in the same class.  It's a highly motivational teaching technique for missions around the world and especially for the generation who are more impacted by interactive stories than lectures in our USA churches.

I recently taught Bible stories using STS to my young grandchildren and I was moved by their ability to find spiritual treasures for their lives.
Dallas, TX USA Pastor


Giving Their Testimony With Tears

Before the seminar finish most of our attendees are giving their testimony with tears that when they go home they are so excited to see their family and friends for the reason they wanted to share the stories that they learned from the seminar.

This facts shows us that when they learned this system STS will motivate the people to have they natural life to share the word of God.
Filipino Pastor


Pastor Shows Diversity

[Following report is from Tim. If you wish to contact him with questions on use of STS in church settings, send an email to us here.  Please put in the subject line, "Contact pastor Tim."  For speedy response, you might want to write a note about n your area of interest.]

I am using STS in pulpit preaching, averaging about once every 6 weeks or so. Being a more traditional church, some still struggle with it, but tolerate it for those who "need something simple." (Not them of course!). Others love it and tell me so every time I use it.

I have used STS in both adult and teen Sunday school classes with a good reception and have received lots of interest each time.

On three occasions I have done these stories in the AWANA council times, in a men’s Bible study a couple of times, and in a woman’s Bible study all this fall.

I even did a 5-minute STS on the plane with Peter's confession of Christ (Matthew 16:13-17) on a recent trip to Wisconsin.

I am aiming to use STS in the Bible college in which I occasionally teach.

It is under consideration to teach my Monday morning men’s Bible study group how to do it, and then have them learn a new story every couple of weeks. Just waiting for hunting season to get over and all my guys get back on a consistent basis!

I'm looking forward to the new web site and also to hearing more about the Oral Bible Colleges. If you have need for instructors, just let me know and I'll see it if my schedule will allow it.
Pastor Tim  MT, USA


Used By Multiple Pastors in This Church

Thank you for all the work and expense TGSP and STS have gone to in order to send trainers and materials our way to train us and people in this region.

These are some of the stories I have heard so far in less than a week since the most recent training occurred. Even before I could ask them, the pastoral staff that were at Monday’s staff meeting told of how they had already begun to use STS.

The Student Ministries department is starting to use it both in their weekly small group ministry and in their graded student education.

The freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes (more than 30 average in each class) all had trained STS practitioners who each did a story for the hour of their meeting. The reports of attentiveness, participation and interest, as well as, meaningful application to student life today were across the board—highly positive.

One of our custodians, a lady whose husband assists in leading a student ministry small group (he had not been to the training), also has a son in another student ministry small group. Student ministry small groups met Wednesday night. Those practitioners who had just learned STS Monday and Tuesday did small group STS style. She heard about it from both her husband and her son.

Her husband told her, "We have the 'juvenile delinquents' of the youth group and those that have attention problems (ADHD) in the group. One boy was playing with the Lincoln logs. Those building toys were in the family room at the back of room where our group was meeting.

"A Student Ministries Director who was trained at the workshop was telling the Bible story. The boy in the back seemed completely disinterested and uninvolved, but when the STS trained leader asked someone to retell the story, the boy playing with Lincoln logs raised his hand and said, 'I can do that.' He stood up and retold the story with 80+% accuracy. Then he engaged with the rest of the group in looking for spiritual observations and applications for the next hour!"

The custodian's son was in another small group whose leader went through the STS practitioner training and he used STS too. Her son came home excited about the "new way" they did Bible study in their group. He declared, "I hope we do it that way again."

This son does not usually say much about the small group when he comes home from the meetings. But this time he was excited and he freely offered that remark to his mom. She was impressed and grateful for the sake of "her men" that we held the workshop at our church.

I had a chance to integrate a 10-15 minute story on Cain and Abel into a class on anger. I co-teach with two other men on Sunday night. One of the men I co-teach with was at the practitioner training in the workshop here. He thought, along with me, that these men will remember the spiritual observations and applications we all found in the story more clearly and better than they will remember any of the points on dealing with anger that we’ve been presenting in the more common lecture/discussion style.

Another of our pastors spoke at a singles’ retreat over the weekend and did a story. He had just taken the practitioner training. "After taking the training," he explained, "I studied Mathew 26:36-46 STS style, learning the story, looking for spiritual observations, forming questions, preparing to listen and respond as we had learned in the workshop."

He told me he led the group and they hung around in the story of Gethsemane for over an hour, the time allotted for that retreat session.

He said, "As they moved through the story some observations took me in different directions than I had prepared, but I listened, responded and adjusted. At the end, the indication was that the things they are going to take home with them and remember for the longest time from the story are the treasures they discovered together by staying in the story for an hour.

“Those treasures," he added, "were a better long-term take home for them than all the other stuff I had worked on to share with them through lecture and discussion style at the retreat.”

So thanks again for all your efforts. The Lord used STS training to help our team move forward in helping the people God has sent our way at BHBC.

Those who attended Wednesday through Friday are also all planning to use STS soon in Missions Ministry or in Student Ministry.

In His Grace, Tim
Pastoral Staff of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church



Keeping Ones Ministry, Yet Utilizing STS Principles

[This pastor/teacher/leader in international student ministry utilizes principles of STS in his teaching. He also includes a segment of pure STS storytelling and basic how-to STS. His report shows how people fold STS into their ministries, yet continue to follow their unique call.]

In Trinidad I spoke three evenings to about 45 seminary students from the only evangelical seminary in the whole country. We started with how to approach the parables. There are some preconsiderations one must know about the cultural setting of parables and a few rules one must follow to make sure the reader/student is getting what Jesus intended to communicate.  We went over six parables in the sessions, and I chose ones that either I knew would be controversial or would really clear up frequent misunderstandings.

Along the way, I threw in some STS type questions to make the parable stories richer/deeper/more colorful.  I did so as a way to bridge into the 4th session on interactive Bible storytelling a la STS.  I did my 3-hour intro to storytelling. When they started digging into the story it was very active and engaging.  By the time we reconvened and the groups started sharing, it was very good and exciting.  I gave STS credit for the last session and told them about the STS website.

The 4th session was our last one together, and the feedback for the whole week was over the top.  The first guy to get to me said, "Pastor Bill, I wish you could come back for a year!"  I was not expecting to hear something like that, so I said, "Well, you are very kind to say so."  He responded, "No, I am not being kind.  You have no idea how this week has helped me.  I will never forget what I learned this week.  It changes everything for me!"

I was gratified and thankful that God used me that week. The students and church/seminary leaders all want me to return next year (and bring Jenni with me). I'm not sure if STS has been to Trinidad & Tobago, but they've got a taste of it now. Already one pastor emailed me asking for help in working up a story for his church's youth group.  I already responded.  We'll see what happens.

Thanks again.
Bill

[Bill offers a fascinating diary of his discovery and use of STS in the pulpit, with international students, with children and more …. Journey of USA Pastor-Teacher Into STS



Ways Churches Can Utilize Simply The Story (STS)

Compiled here are just a few of the innovative ways churches are using STS or its principles in their programs and outreaches.

1. Styles of Usage:
  • To fit members’ expectations and traditional protocol, you may want to read story passage in standard “church voice” first before telling it STS style?
  • Each time story is told in service, have different groups from within the church take turns miming while it is told (different age groups, families or Sunday School classes).
  • Sing a story.
  • Do pure STS interactively with congregation responding to questions out loud or ask rhetorical questions but make them.
  • Use American Sign Language (ASL) to visually tell a story while storyteller is telling the story with expression.
  • Read the story, but with great expression.
  • Always challenge listeners to share the stories with others inside their circles of influence and experiences.
2. Church Services (places STS can be used):
  • One Sunday per month in regular service.
  • Sunday evening.
  • Teach on passage Sunday morning, then use same story as STS interactive on Sunday evening or in weekday gathering.
  • Wednesday evening.
  • Alternative service (Sunday morning or afternoon or on Saturday evening).
  • Once monthly include children in service. Place children up front and tell story, focusing mostly on them, but do occasionally include the whole congregation.
3. Sunday School (Sunday Small Groups): 
  • Challenge members to learn stories and tell them with actions and expressions with a long term goal of moving members into role of taking turns telling stories in the class.
  • Sunday school, use as weekly or once a month curriculum.
  • Sunday “Interactive Bible study: “All Ages Welcome class, including children.”
  • Sunday school, adult class.
4. Special Classes:
  • Men Weekly men participate in a story. Men are then empowered and encouraged to take that story to other men. Those who are married (even if they are poor readers) can serve as spiritual leaders in their homes by telling the stories and leading their families to treasures.
  • Youth, ages 5 and up, enjoy, thrive and grow on the interaction and the story.
  • New Believers Classes:  Introduce deep spiritual truths to those even with no church background.
  • Evangelism Classes: Empower people to naturally and comfortably share their faith.
  • Introduction to Oral Strategies for church leaders, which is needed to alert and equip leaders to reach all in their communities.
5. Special Projects:
  • Outreaches in evangelism, street witnessing, homeless, nursing homes and retirement centers.
  • Neighborhood “Story at My House.” Weekly, or bi-month monthly, invite ladies to a host home to participate in a story.  Hostess serves coffee or tea, and attendees take turns bringing snacks.
  • Youth Outreaches: Insert stories when appropriate.
  • VBS:  With any VBS program, tell a story a day for kids to take home.
6. Home Fellowships:
  • House groups.
  • Weekly Home Workshops. Duration 6 weeks of 2 hours weekly equals a 3-day workshop. Only one certified STS instructor is needed to be an “official” STS workshop.
7. Counseling:
  • STS stories are being used in counseling for grief, false doctrine, finances, pro-life, seekers, family counseling, pre-marriage to name a few!
Much more from churches and pastors see Churches, What A Concept, and Pick Your Spot on the home page.