One of our SEND missionaries who attended Larry Dinkins' Story-telling training at DC'12 asked Larry: “I wanted to see if you could explain to me what you do in the way of preparation for a story presentation? You said that you actually spend as much or more time in preparing for a story as you do for an exegetical sermon. Do you write out the observations and applications for each story?” The following is Larry's answer.
One basic starting point is to learn the story in a natural way.
You want it in “your own words…i.e. natural” but 100% CONTENT accurate (+pronouns changed to proper names). You can record yourself and then transcribe out the text. It would be good to have a national do the same…nationals invariably put the story into better language than we do. I would then think through the “scenes” of the story…usually 4-5 (for a 10-15 verse story). Next get on youtube and study how storyboards are done. After you get the scenes then you can draw out (I'm not a good drawer, but use stick figures) into the boxes (Storyboard ) what is going on in each scene…underneath write in the text of the bible story that goes with the scene.
For sure you want to do most all the things you do in prep for a sermon. I want to know the context well. However, intros to stories must be short … for Blind Bartimeus I emphasize: 1) X is passing by Jericho for last time 2) disciples are arguing over who is greatest 3) I define Bart = Son of Honor 4) Define “Son of David” 5) NAS has “I want to regain my sight” - (not simply “I want to see”)….all of these will be important when you unpack the story.
Here is an assignment….think about what is vital to put into an introduction for Mark 1:40-45
I do not…I repeat…I do not go to commentaries unless there is something that is vital to look at. We've been given too many inductive tools to be opening commentaries all the time. Plus the people we train will not be inclined that way.
As far as how I “dig” into the story…I try to follow the “Wise Counselor” illustration (review that - see page 38ff of the Simply the Story handbook). Then I follow quite closely with the condensed material on the bookmarks (see Bookmark1 and Bookmark English Spiritual Observation .) What are people saying/doing/choice/results/God etc. I put the basics on 2 bookmarks because I want to make sure my training is simple and transferable….you see, I need to follow what I want others to use in their preparation of the story.
As far as a story set. I isolated 8 key World View areas that Thai Buddhist resonate with and then I thought of stories that hit those areas. This is one way to develop a story set. A story set needs to have balance in OT/NT ….needs to have a chonological element to it but also addresses felt needs and clearly communicates the gospel. I have memorized these 3 stories in that regard (reflecting 1 Cor 15:3-4): Death - Luke 23:33-43; Burial - Luke 23:50-56; and Resurrection - Mark 16:1-10.