So far today I've been able to have two conversations about last night's story in Lifegroup, which was the parable of the sower. It reminds me of a few reasons that I love storying.
Honestly, storying is the most I've ever really discussed the Bible in a small group environment. In past times (and I've done small groups intensely for over 10 years), I've focused on (and taught others) to spend some time "hooking" the group with an intro question. Usually 10 minutes or more. And prayer time was about 10 minutes. And then opinion sharing and trying to compose the right kinds of questions to avoid long, painful silence consumed 30 minutes. That usually meant that though Scripture was the foundation of the lesson, like most foundations it wasn't seen once you actually got inside. So I like how storying has us talking about the Bible more than anything else.
I also like how I'm not the one talking the most. No, seriously...I do like that. Most of the time with small groups the leader feels like they have to carry the conversation and ask the right questions (as above). But the combination of storying and they way that listening connects to our discipleship path means I should hush more than articulate well my every thought. Come to think of it, I'm probably not the only one in my group that is glad I have to talk less and listen more.
But I also like storying because of what happened today. In those conversations two different people told a brief story and I was able to say, "That reminds me of story from the Bible that we just discussed..." It was much more natural than saying, "You know, the Bible says this or that about __________." I am more likely to share the story. It's more accessible. I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to remember chapter and verse to no avail. But I can remember the story (as testified by my incredible ability to recite Goodnight Moon from memory).
Talking about God's story also reminds me that I'm a part of His Story. That's important on a personal level because I want to remember that God loves me. Really loves me. Not because of what I do or lead...just because.
First, I hope you're in a small group environment. Second, I think it's awesome if you're small group environment is storying. May the story of God be a holy, contagious infection in all of us.