Worship Idea – Storytelling

I am currently spending a week on residential training in preparation for ordination to the priesthood.  Yesterday we had the privilege of spending the day learning with Simon Airey.  Simon is chaplain part time to Grey College in Durham but for the other half he is a Storyteller.

I came across storytelling as part of my MA course, “Preaching in a Narrative Culture”.  Simon spent the day with us looking at things from a much more practical level.  Making stories our own, whether wisdom stories or folk tales.  We then went to look at how we could work towards telling the bible.  Firstly as a way of performing the text as written.  To inhabit the text and then to orate it to the audience as story.  The key to story telling is to go beyond the text and learn to tell the tale from memory.  It is time to learn the lines of the script and make them our own.

The other form of telling was to write Midrash.  A Midrash is a reimagining of a biblical story and requires a deep understanding of a passage.  Then you imagine the story from a different perspective.  Perhaps you write the story from another characters point of view.  I personally have done this a few times.  The first time I told the story of Jesus at the Wedding in Cana from the perspective of the servant who has run out of wine.  The last time was a few months ago when I rewrote the temptation in the wilderness from the perspective of the Devil. 

Simon was quite inspirational.  I commend him to you and I humbly suggest that you may give storytelling a go some time soon.

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