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Discipleship, Evangelism, Storying Basics

“Getting It Right When Getting It Wrong”

You just finished telling a Bible story to a group of eager listeners. You breezed through it, too. Nice job, you think to yourself. But then in asking some follow-up questions about the narrative, you get that sinking feeling that you left out part of the story. Yikes!

Take a deep breath. It’s okay, the Lord made sure you caught it. The group’s still intact. No heresies popping up yet. But it’s time to swallow that pride and make the correction.

At the 2010 ION workshop, John Walsh said, “Good storytellers must be willing to fail.” Good advice, but fixes still sting. Commit to self-correction. Also probe the group to know exactly what was left out. Oral learners need to know.

And they need you to model for them the importance of making corrections – and doing it right away.

We don’t have any presses to stop, but borrowing from our journalism friends, we can humbly smile and say, “Let’s stop for a second. When I told the Bible story, did I mention…?” And with God’s holy Cut and Paste of the heart, the revision is made. Reinforce the correction by retelling it, having the listeners retell it, and then reviewing the right version when you next meet.

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About Mark Snowden

TruthSticks originated from the book I co-authored with the late Avery Willis. Truth That Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truths in a Teflon World was the book and this blog and Bible studies have resulted. It's great to be partnering with churches who are committed to making disciple-makers. Request a catalog of Bible studies using orality at SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.

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