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When Story is King

Remember that scene from the first fight in “Lord of the Rings”? Sure you do.  If not that one, I’m sure you remember the physiological and psychological effects of the well-crafted, well-told epic.

One of the crucial elements of communication includes the ability to transmit a message in a way that the audience can receive it. Fact is, you remember the stories that draw you in.  Before well written books, the story was.

In ministry, I communicate through story.  Among the cultures I work, they have no written language–no basis through which to filter a highly literate worldview.

When I read this article, it reminded me of all the reasons children prefer stories to lectures, movies over books, and so on.

You know the power of the story–why not consider changing/adapting/editing your ways? Your audience will thank you for it.

A Voyage of Discovery

Posted in Mark Overstreet, Oral Learning, Orality | 1 Comment

One Response to “ When Story is King ”

  1. Margaret Doll April 4th, 2011 1:46 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I agree, story communicates. So much of the OT and NT are narratives that speak naturally. My organization (WBT/SIL) is a bit print biased, but I am managing a project to train oal communicators to do their own oral translations. Sounds impossible? The translator/consultant on the team who conceived the method knows we need to do something differently in order for the remaining language groups to have God’s word. We are looking for a pilot project to do the book of Ruth (we also have the materials ready for a few other books in the NT). We initiate the process; the training method is reproducible. The technology that is now available to distribute and share the oral translation more widely is reaching the most remote places in the world. The method incorporates the need for the translation to speak naturally, not the way a printed translation communicates. Do you want to know more? Will the complete translation be sweeter than the story? What can you tell us; can you offer any insights or suggestions, or information we need to know? Do you have any connections to a possible pilot project, a group wanting a translation, but wanting a naturally speaking oral one? I met you at ION last fall. I work at Wycliffe’s JAARS Center. Call me of you have time to talk to us (better yet, come visit us here and talk to us). Thanks, Margaret

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