Throughout my life, I have known God to be a Supreme Being, loving Father and loyal Friend. He is everything to me. However, in August of this year I became discouraged and felt something was missing. I struggled to identify what it was. Finally, the answer dawned on me: my emptiness was because I was not passing down to others the things I was learning about God. But how could this be? I was teaching Sunday school, singing, fasting, praying and doing everything to please God. Still, I wanted to give up—was it even making a difference? However, when I least expected it, God answered my prayer.
My pastor invited me to participate in a Bible storytelling training that missionaries from Frontline Missions were leading in my hometown of Santa Marta, Colombia. The first day of the conference I was rather curious. Their teaching method seemed strange at first. As a young leader in my church, I am quite familiar with different methods to teach God’s Word, however, I never knew it could be shared in a story form. We were taught as if we were completely oral learners, a term which refers to those who learn through speaking and listening; I soon realized the effectiveness of this method. The people in biblical times shared the Word of God orally because Scripture had not been written down and few people could read and write. The missionaries taught us to tell Bible stories so that anyone could grasp the essence of the story regardless of their social status or background.
As I watch the progress of the class, I saw how pastors, ministers and other church members struggled to switch from a preaching mode to one of storytelling. They would get nervous, forgetting their lines and even stuttering during the in-class activities. Without a doubt, it was a new concept for us; nevertheless, it sparked creativity in the participants. Some people shared their assigned stories with dramas, drawings, and even rap-songs. I had a lot of fun.
Many times, Christians can lock Jesus within the four walls of the church and forget the essence of the Gospel, which is to reach those who are in deep need of God and share the good news with them. As men and women of God, we often limit our teachings to sermons. Preaching is a useful tool; it instills strength to the people of God and teaches them how to live in holiness and seek His presence. However, if we constrain our Christian walk to only hearing sermons at church, when will we show the Jesus that loves and has compassion for the lost? When will we show the Jesus that heals? When will we get to see and do the “greater things,” as Jesus promised we would?
I thank God for allowing me to learn from Frontline Missions. Since the training I have been sharing Bible stories with my Sunday school students and everywhere I go I try to practice what I learned. Now I can use these stories to give hope to the hopeless and to invest in a generation that will walk in freedom and transform their surroundings.