Over a period of several years I noticed that biblical illiteracy has been on the rise among the younger generation within my church. I started to notice it while I was teaching the high school youth group when basic questions about the Bible and the stories it contains could not be answered. I wondered if I was the only pastor noticing this increasing phenomenon. Further study was needed. Several local pastors were contacted and asked if they too were experiencing biblical illiteracy in their churches as well. The answer was surprisingly, yes. The question became what could I do to address the dilemma of biblical illiteracy within my church?
God has placed the solution to this dilemma in his word. He has commanded in the book of Deuteronomy to tell the stories of the Bible to our children again and again, when we lie down and when we rise up. We are to tell the stories of the Bible at home and on a journey. We are to be storytellers to our children. Storytelling has been a part of biblical history from the beginning. Moses was the first to put God's Word into writing. Even so, not everyone possessed a copy of God's Word. Therefore, the law had to be handed down and taught verbally. People were taught the Bible by telling the stories again and again to their children. The purpose of this study was to form a plan of action for telling God's story to the teenagers at Calvary Bible Chapel.
Qualitative research was done utilizing questionnaires, recorded observations, interviews, surveys and field notes. This research led to the development of a storytelling program that could be used to teach young people more biblical truths and to experience better retention of what has been learned. Pre- and post-tests were administered to a group of students before and after the curriculum was taught. Story time was done at a daycare, and interviews were conducted.
It was noted that during the teaching of the curriculum, the students were more attentive to and interactive with, the storyteller, and after the curriculum was taught, students were better able to re-tell the stories of the Bible from memory. Research had shown that information is best stored and remembered if it is paired with something else, such as the pictures on the cards. In this case, the results of this study supported this finding in the research.
Most everyone enjoys a good story including young people. God, by his design, has already planned for the relaying of his word by commanding that the stories be told and retold. When the stories of the Bible were told, with the help of picture cards, students were more able to retell the stories with accuracy and enthusiasm. The dilemma of biblical illiteracy was addressed utilizing God's Word, and the results of this solution proved to be positive.