[Today's post is by Donald Smith. Donald is part of Care at North Point Ministries.—Ed.]
Creating a comfortable environment for telling stories in group can be challenging. Not everyone is a natural storyteller. Not everyone is eager to tell his or her story. They tell their stories out of order. They ramble. They forget important details or withhold the vital parts of the story out of embarrassment. The question is, what can you do as a leader to set your group members up to tell their stories more effectively?
Here are four ways you can guide your group members to structure their stories in a way that helps them to communicate the most important details and connect with the other members of the group.
- The "3-3-3" Story Ask your group members to share three key people, three key places, and three key events that have shaped who they are today.
- The "Top 10 List" Story Ask your group members to share the top ten things they think the rest of the group needs to know about them.
- The "2 x 4" Story Ask your group members to spend two minutes talking about four aspects of their lives: family of origin, current family, spiritual journey, and desired future.
- The "Five Ways God Uses" Story Ask your group to provide one example of how God has used these five things to grow their faith:
- Practical Teaching
- Providential Relationships
- Private Discipline
- Personal Ministry
- Pivotal Circumstances
These approaches are great storytelling techniques if you're leading an Access Group or Starting Point group. They're also great icebreaker exercises for Community Groups. Even if your group has been together for a while, these methods of drawing out stories could reveal things you didn't know about one another.
What are some other approaches to storytelling you’ve used in your groups?