Have you noticed that the use of “story” in titles is hot stuff? Some even use it in their subtitles to draw interest. Be on your guard that not all “story” materials are useful in addressing orality. They’re just gimmicky and often misleading.
Not saying these guys are wrong, but typical of capturing the story idea. From Ben Arment’s annual STORY Conference (creative worship) to Max Lucado’s God’s Story Your Story to Zondervan’s NIV The Story and beyond, there is tremendous over-exposure to what we used to “own” just five years ago.
J. O. Terry, a Bible Storying pioneer once told me that in the early days, he and Jim Slack caught flack because the word storytelling sounded too much like lying. They looked around for a better descriptor and found one in the management world. A book was out called Managing by Storying Around (Crown Business 1992). The way that David Alexander described storying in leadership was similar to what J. O. and Jim envisioned in missions. Rather than having to lecture, people learned truth vicariously in the story. And so the name was introduced and it stuck. And still, the word “storying” doesn’t work for everyone. Some still flinch at anything sounding like a story as if it were made-up; fictional. For instance, I’ve heard “Bible Telling” and “Truth Telling.” That’s awesome!
So, beware of those jumping on the story bandwagon. Many are just “wanabes” — people who want to be associated with storytelling, but not address orality issues. Test what you’re hearing to see if it really is for those with an oral preference who can’t, won’t, or don’t read. And if you want to name your own Bible Storying efforts something unique, go for it!