Good stories have inherent value; you can read a good story in a monotone drone and the child can still enjoy it and learn from it. Yet you can enhance the effectiveness of the story with a good presentation.
These points are especially applicable to Bible story presentations.
- Use your VOICE. Your voice is your tool for emphasis. Follow the storyline with appropriate adjustments in the speed, volume, and pitch of your voice. Use pauses effectively as well.
- Employ an element of SUSPENSE. Stories have a sequence and flow, but these are interrupted by the suspense, the surprises. Bible stories are so familiar to most of us that we overlook the element of surprise. Put that suspense back into the stories you tell your kids.
- Use your EYES. Pull your face out of the page and look at the eyes of each child. You can pull each one of your kids into the story with expressive eyes. As is fitting, show them eyes of joy, fear, and surprise—and they will get it!
- Use your BODY. Stand up, walk around, wave your arms, turn your back, slump your shoulders. Physically react to the story line without going overboard. Ask yourself, “If this story were a play, what would the actor be doing?”
- Use PROPS. When you bring in items mentioned in the story, putting them on display, you help your kids visualize how they were used in the context of the narrative. Sometimes this will mean simply having a box or bag with an unknown item inside, and waiting for just the right time to reveal it. Kids love anticipation. They can’t help but ask, “What could be in that box?” What props might you bring to help your kids remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13-14? Here’s what He said. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.”
I have just one more word—an important reminder for Bible teachers. Recognize that when you are telling Bible stories, you are going beyond entertainment, education, and admonition. You are passing on spiritual truths for life to young, impressionable children. Prepare. Read, study the passage, and pray that God will use you to effectively impart eternal truth to these little ones. It’s an awesome responsibility, and a great privilege too!
Long Hollow Baptist Church