One of the best memories of childhood is our parents reading to us from a storybook. Even in our ever-increasing world of technology, nothing can equal all that happens to us when someone is personally reading a story to us. Allow me to repeat, NOTHING can equal the experience and all that is going on inside of us, mind, body and soul.
A fond memory of mine is my grandmother, Cora Lenz, visiting us and when it was naptime for me she chose to read the Bible. I was laying on my parent’s bed and I can remember feeling the texture of the bedspread. Then grandma started showing me pictures in the Bible (think 1950s version with a few pages of full color paintings of Jesus’ ministry). She didn’t read me scripture, she told the story from her heart as she knew the Bible well. Not surprisingly she was a Sunday school teacher.
In 1993 when I became the editor for KIDS Church, I discovered that the most useful tool in the curriculum we were producing was the Today’s Life Story segments. We supplied churches with overhead transparencies and 35mm slides to display the pictures. We included a script but emphasized the importance of “owning” the story and telling it from the heart rather than reading the script. The Today’s Life Stories supported the Bible lesson and the drawings we created were cartoon characters. We weave the story making Bible application for the kids to live out the lesson. By the way, it sure would have been easier with PowerPoint in 1993.
Later in the KIDS Church development we “modernized” and made some Today’s Life Stories in video format. It fell flat and failed and I saw it first-hand. Observing the kids watching the video segment told me the story. They disengaged. They were restless. The reason is simple. Video cannot and will not ever replace good storytelling from the heart of a gifted teacher.
Joel 1: 3 Tell your children about these things. And let your children tell their children. And let your grandchildren tell their children. (ICB)
Storybooks and storytelling from the heart will best serve the needs of our children and their children and for all generations to come. Go fire up the gift inside you and tell a story.
©2016 Jerry Lenz / Mighty Sound Kids / Lenz Entertainment Group