In youth ministry, telling good stories is a skill that really matters.

Think about it. Whether we’re communicating from a platform, or in a video, or at a table for two over a nice caramel frappuccino, stories are one of the best tools we have for communicating truth in a way that sticks in a kid’s heart.

So, as youth pastors, I think we need to take our storytelling skills pretty seriously. Because in youth ministry, we’ve got a lot of stories to tell.

We’ve got to tell stories that clearly communicate truths and are compelling enough to hold our students’ attention.

We’ve got to retell the ancient stories of Scripture in ways that engage and connect with kids in this time and place and culture.

We’ve got to tell our own stories – to trace the thread of God’s love and grace in our lives, so that kids can see redemption at work in the life of a person that they can see, and hear, and know.

And we’ve got to help teenagers find that same thread in their own lives, so they can someday learn to tell their own stories.

So yeah, as youth pastors, I think we need to be great storytellers. And, happily, the ability to tell good stories isn’t genetic. It’s a skill that can be learned and cultivated and refined.

So let’s do that, shall we?

Have you heard of the podcast Serial? It’s the #1 podcast in the country right now, in large part because the creators of this podcast are excellent storytellers. 

Recently, Julie Snyder, the senior producer and co-creator of Serial shared four thoughts on telling better stories.

And here they are…

1. THE DEVIL IS IN THE SHEER ABUNDANCE OF DETAILS

2. REVELATIONS CAN COME IN SHALLOW SPLASHES BEFORE DEEP DIVES

3. CHALLENGE THE AUDIENCE’S ASSUMPTIONS

4. BUILD THE JOURNEY SOLID ENOUGH AND THE DESTINATION WON’T MATTER

Okay, that was just a teaser. You’ll want to read the full article over at Fast Company to hear Julie unpack each of those ideas.

And if you haven’t already, check out SerialIt’s phenomenal and addictive and an excellent example of good storytelling.

 

So what do you think? How do you tell compelling stories? And how can we apply some of Julie’s ideas to telling better stories in youth ministry?