Don’t you marvel at a good storyteller? No, not fish stories…although those stories can be entertaining. Storytellers can describe both the details of the event AND bring you to some kind of emotion. It’s a gift to be a storyteller. However, it’s much easier to tell a story when you know the story, when the story has happened to you and you can share the emotional attachment of the event.
In Psalm 78, Asaph says, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation”, God is reminding us to share all we know about Him, but also implies we need to know the story well enough to tell it.
Here’s some thoughts about telling the story-
1- Know the story– If we are going to share the story, we need to know the story. The curriculum of Lutheran schools include Religion classes, History, Literature, and Science. Test the curriculum for supporting of Asaph’s encouragement. Is the Religion curriculum rich with Bible stories, church history and explanations of each piece? Is History taught with depth and unbiased presentation of the facts of historical narrative? Are students given the ability to see the historical Bible with history shared in other textbooks? Are literature selections supporting the Christian story? Does the Science curriculum give opportunity to appreciate the complexity of God’s handiwork and enjoy God’s power and design? Oh, and most of all, let’s be sure our kids know Jesus and all His marvelous works!
2- Share the story. Teachers, pastors, and mentors of all kinds in our schools (coaches, teacher aides, administrative assistants, custodians, cafeteria managers) hold the responsibility to share the story. And while they are encouraged to share, each needs to be diligent in knowing the story themselves (1 Timothy 6:20). Worship, Bible study, and personal devotions need to be keys in everyone’s ability to share the story.
3- Practice telling and hearing the story. Coaches help players practice the skills to perform well in competition. Directors help musicians make the needed adjustments to share fine music. Our schools should demonstrate and provide opportunities for practice in telling and hearing the story. How do chapel services do this? Is the liturgy used to share the Biblical truths of Christ and his love for us? Are musicals and other drama productions opportunities to uniquely share the Gospel? While there is much music to enjoy and appreciate, do we use music as opportunities to teach and share? English units that include preparing and presenting speeches are important in gaining confidence in speaking any message, let alone the message of the Gospel.
So much is being heaped upon schools these days. More and more regulations and required trainings are expectations for the proper functioning of schools. But for us as Lutheran schools, we should be keenly aware that we are making storytellers. Storytelling- It’s Lutheran Spirit.