Uses & Users:
Church - Pastors
Short Term Trips
Youth - Children
Uses & Users:
Church - Pastors
Short Term Trips
Youth - Children
Daniel is lively and silly like a four-year old should be. But as well, his family sees Daniel as having a spiritual nature that needs to be nurtured. Every evening Daniel's father reads a small portion of the Bible to him, and then father and son discuss it together.
Awhile back, Dad decided to ask Daniel to tell the story back to him, and what you see in this film is the result. The filming was done at an Advanced STS Training. This was the first time anyone outside of the four-year-old's family had heard Daniel tell the whole story. After Daniel finished telling this story, you will hear Grandma ask Daniel a few questions about the story. Of course it is wonderful that this child is learning a complete Bible story, but one might wonder if this young child has any understanding of the meaning of the words he is saying? You decide for yourself.
Could other fathers and mothers and grandparents follow this example and seed into the lives of the precious little ones whom God entrusts to them? Of course, and some are doing that. May many more see the value of investing in the very young while their clay is soft.
You may notice that this 4-year old boy tells the complete story of Jonah chapter 1 and 3 verses from chapter 2. - 20 verses!
Daniel's dad explained to us that that at first he had been reading to Daniel out of a Children's Bible. The dad said, “When I was young, the stories that had been read to me out of a Children's Bible impressed me and stuck in my mind. But I noticed that, at times, as an adult, I was confused, as my strongest memory was the content of those shortened, simplified stories that had been read to me. Sometimes, I still have to sort out and relearn information as the words from the children's version had been imprinted on my mind when I was young."
So this dad decided he really preferred to read to Daniel out of the full Bible. He stated, "I want Daniel to learn and remember the complete story so he will not be confused when he grows up, as happened to me. I go slowly and discuss the content and high level words that Daniel does not yet know. This way I am both educating our son in vocabulary and talking with him about spiritual truth from the Bible."
This was one dad's decision … but perhaps the reasons for this dad's decision parallel our reasons in STS for teaching villagers and the uneducated complete, unedited Bible stories?
8-Year Old Tells Bible Story and Gives Deep Insights
A young Thai youth worker finished the second day of the training and had evidently had enough exposure to STS to put his finger on what makes it different from other approaches.
He summarized what he had experienced before the whole group by saying, "I am quite used to preparing lesson objectives and starting my lessons with a clear objective and always make sure to reinforce that objective throughout the lesson and even tack it on at the conclusion to make sure my listeners don't miss it. However, fairly soon after teaching a lesson, my listeners don't seem to remember it.
With STS there is always a clear objective that runs parallel to my typical objectives, but the big difference is that I find listeners are able to discover my objective on their own as they answer my questions. Discovering it for themselves seals it to their hearts and minds and as a result they have long range retention of what I wanted to teach."
Note: he spent a lot of effort in trying to make sure he explained his objective and he did a good job of it. Yet his listeners were in a passive mode and did not engage in the process and so took little ownership over the lesson. The big difference was the "buy in" and interest he received and the longitudinal impact of his lessons.
Youth Worker in Thailand
Testimonies of Change
A youth pastor from Michigan told us on the phone. “I went home from the workshop and that Sunday, I did a story, one I had done in the workshop. We had some new high schoolers come and it was very unusual. Usually when new youth come to church, they do not participate. It takes awhile, but these new ones joined in, in fact everyone was involved. It was lively!”
“We are doing a youth retreat in a few weeks and I plan to use STS story style of teaching there. This STS is really useful for youth.
“I hope to receive more training in the future so that I can effectively train others.”
R. MI, USA
“I have really enjoyed learning Simply the Story. It has really impacted my life in a huge way.
“Through the stories, God has taught me several important lessons that I know He has been trying to show me for a long time. I discovered these truths by working slowly through the story instead of reading it rapidly like I had done previously. And, since I did this on my own without any outside teaching or assistance, it was such a mental breakthrough for me. I discovered that God really can teach me things through His Word, and I’ve become re-excited about having devotions.
“I also enjoy STS because it is conducive to all ages. As a teenager, I am sometimes turned off by lectures or seminars. But I have found that STS is a great way to share the gospel through conversational, everyday language that engages everyone.
“I am so glad that God brought STS into my life, and I hope to continue using it with those I meet.”
Workshop attendee, Age 17 GA, USA
I Think of STS Story Principles
“STS has really enhanced my personal study of the Bible. Instead of reading Bible stories as they have been told ‘the old way,’ I find myself looking for new treasures in the stories.
“When I first experienced STS, it was amazing to me how much I did not know about the “common” stories of the Bible. Even re-reading Zacchaeus showed me things that I had never thought of before, such as how he was such an amazing testimony to all who were present. Despite hearing and discussing the same story more than once, I have so far always found something new or good in the discussion.
“Now, whenever anyone shares a part of the Bible, I mentally ask myself STS type questions about the text. Additionally, whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I think of STS story principles that help me in everyday life, and I ask myself STS questions such as, “What other choices do I have? What will be the impact of my choice?”
“STS has helped me to have a more clear perception of the Bible and it has also encouraged me to study my Bible in a new way. It encourages me to have a way to share the gospel with others in a way that will not be discouraging, but instead will be thought-provoking and most likely life-changing.”
[15 Year old girl] GA, USA
Youth to Youth: Can’t Happen!
“There was this English missionary who had been working in Thailand in a youth facility for delinquents. He and a Thai pastor working together had managed to lead some of the street youth to Christ. He was discipling about seven of them and brought them to our 4-day STS workshop.
“These rowdy ex-street boys, a mixture of Thai and tribals, at first joked around and disrupted the training. But all the time they were absorbing the stories.
“We ended on a Friday, and on Saturday they were scheduled to give their regular presentation at the facility for delinquents. Usually these street smart youth only played music (while the missionary gave the message). This time the missionary decided to try a experiment and let these newly trained teenagers tell and teach the Bent over Woman story to the group.
"When the English missionary told the Thai pastor that he was not going to do the program, that their new street youth would be doing leading, the pastor said, ‘I know. They do the music. But who is speaking?’
“’They are. I told you!’ So much to the pastor’s shock, the boys led.
"It was a large group, maybe over 50. Their presentation was very impressive and surprised the missionary and really surprised pastor!
“One listener during application time... was very open and transparent and said ‘I am like this bent over woman. I have been under a burden from my lifestyle and demonic involvement and I now see that Jesus can set me free.’ The impact throughout was good, like that.
"The really funny part was the reaction of the Thai Christian worker who had been discipling these youth (but hadn't attended STS). He could hardly believe the transformation in these young people, from simply musicians, who were very bashful about sharing their faith in front of their peers in a delinquent facility, to young people who through story were willing to share in front of that group.
“This Christian worker was also surprised at the response of the crowd to their STS type presentation. He saw a clear contrast to the typical message the missionary usually brought.”
Added stories on Youth-Children Uses: Children-Youth My Time in Juvenile Lockup and more on Pick Your Spot