Australia: Bible stories are being told in Australia that sound familiar yet are finding new attention as they are being delivered and explored through highly interactive group discussions. Rev. Ray Neu, the driving force behind these stories, has some thoughts as to why these stories are so compelling.
“These stories happened to real people, in a real place, at a real time in history…and they…did not know the end of the story,” says Neu.
Ray shares this thought to help people center on the experience of trying to re-live the story, to get into touch with the potential thoughts and feelings of those who experienced each story the first time.
“As they lived out the story, without knowing what was going to happen, their thoughts and feelings were real, ragged, gut level and very much ‘in the moment’ as they were wrestling with faith in the midst of their current situations,” explains Neu.
As pastors and leaders gathered at both a Pastors and spouses retreat in Marysville, on the Australia Southern District and for a seminar at Nazarene Theological College, they had the opportunity to experience this for themselves. The results were eye-opening, challenging and encouraging. Many stated that they would take this method back to their churches for use in various ways. Several thought that this simple yet effective model could help spark revival across Australia.
“This is what I’ve been looking for, without even knowing exactly what it was I was looking for,” said by both Adrian Cousins, from Maryborough and Tim Burton, from Perth.
Rev. Jong Il Kim believes that this method will be very helpful in working among the Aboriginal peoples.
Several in Melbourne have already used their newly learned skill, reporting ease of use and great participation among those they shared Tell THE Story with. Steven Kasambalis, from Mt. Waverly, shared with two distinct groups, younger children and older adults and found 100% participation with lots of excitement from both groups.
Field Strategy Coordinator, John Moore had this to say:
“Tell the Story training led by Ray Neu, is one of the most practical and effective methods of teaching and preaching I have seen. It is biblical, reproducible and easily caught. Pastors and church leaders are quickly making the application, one pastor saying that he used story telling 3 times the week immediately following the training. Another pastor said some in his congregation asked, ‘when can we do that again.'”