Nov 03, 2016


Episode 124: Why We Must Use Stories

Teaching To Reach People Where They Are

Dr. David Sills has done it all when it comes to the ministry. Dr. Sills served as a missionary in Ecuador, was a church planter and pastor in the united states, currently teaches at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written several books and is the founder and president of Reaching and Teaching International Ministries.  Today Dr. Sills joins to talk about why stories are vastly important in ministry.

Dr. David Sills // President and Founder of Reaching and Teaching Ministries // @davidsills

Notable Points:

  • Especially in other cultures they much prefer a story or case study over a linear line of logic.
    • Experiential relationship is how many people, including people in the U.S., want to learn.
      • This is not because people do not have the capacity to read works, but because they do not want to read.
  • People tend to fall into oral or literacy based learners.
    • In Jesus’ time 93% of the population were oral learners.
    • Oral learners can remember and repeat what they have learned through stories that we tell.
    • Even from Jesus’ time to the reformation 90% were still oral learners.
    • Christian culture has been shaped and made through the literacy based learners.
    • Texting, Twitter, and Facebook is where we read and this is more oral based than literacy based.
  • A majority of the people we are reaching out to regardless of location are oral or image based learners.
  • Teaching and preaching in the expository style is not contradictory to the story style of learning.
    • A story is a window into the point the teacher is trying to make.
    • We have to teach to people where they are right now, which is in an oral style of learning.
  • How do we apply this?
    • Using narratives and repetition is key to reaching people.
      • Do not under value literacy.  The bible is here for a reason.
      • If you cannot give an example of and give a narrative on it then do not teach it.
    • If you tell bible stories tell them in a biblically accurate way.
      • If you are telling a more abstract concept then use repetition to help reinforce it.

Links We Talked About

Reaching and Teaching home page

Recommended Books

The Missionary Call

Reaching & Teaching Great

Reaching & Teaching the Highland Quichuas

Hearts Heads Hands

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Twitter: @CollegiateColl

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about the author

David Sills

Dr. David Sills is the founder and president of Reaching & Teaching International Ministries as well as a missions professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. David and his wife, Mary have been married for over thirty years and have two married children and four grandchildren. David and Mary’s children are all graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

about the author

Amy Dutton

Designer. Dreamer. Programmer. Designer.