Stories are a big part of preaching. The biblical narrative that we are preaching from contains some of the most compelling true stories in history. A major way we can connect with our audience while preaching is by becoming compelling storytellers. Unfortunately, often preachers are not the best storytellers. One of the quickest ways we can connect better with our preaching is to tell better stories and tell them in more effective ways. Let’s look at a few easy and practical ways to become better storytellers, of combining preaching and storytelling.
Practice in Your Everyday Conversation
One way to improve on your storytelling is to practice in your everyday conversations. This may sound dumb and trivial but some of us are just not gifted storytellers. We leave out important and interesting details or we over explain.
So, practice. Add more stories into your conversations see what really resonates with people and what leaves people staring blankly at you. Take this new personal research up with you to the pulpit and tell more compelling stories.
Think Through Common Narrative Structures
When you think about a story in a book or in a movie or TV show there is a structure. It’s not necessarily always the structure you learned in 7th grade Literature class but there is a structure. When we are telling stories and we are undisciplined they can wander or go through tangents that do not make cognitive sense.
Think about your favorite stories (books, movies, tv shows, etc.) What is so compelling about how the story is structured?
Curate What You Expand On
Sometimes our stories go off the rails because we talk about things that do not really matter. Storytelling is an intentional part of our conversation. If we are not disciplined in how we tell stories we can drone on and one about something that would have had a much larger impact in a shorter amount of time.
Don’t Under Explain Important Elements
Sometimes the opposite happens and there is a really intriguing nugget or useful information in the story that we might neglect to tell, or we do not talk enough about it. This can cause the story to not be as compelling as it could be.
Deliver a “Payoff”
An important part of storytelling in preaching is a payoff. This does not necessarily have to be time spent at the end of the story explaining the story and the significance of it. A lot of times the payoff can be delivered throughout the story or it can be delivered by connecting back to the story at a later time.
Always think through what payoff a particular story will have and think through the best way to deliver this payoff.
These five ideas can help connecting the power of preaching and storytelling.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.