A 2010 Princeton University Study discovered using MRI scans that stories link the brains of the storyteller and the listeners. During a story, the brain activity of all of the people involved becomes synchronised, identical activity-wise. When the storyteller has activity in the insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners do too. Basically story listeners experience the story in the exact same neurological pattern that the storyteller does. A story then is literally a shared brain experience.
Stories help us form memories, they bring a group together and make experiences more fulfilling. Neuroscience studies have proven that stories are integral to forming memories. If we want our children to be shaped spiritually then we need to help them share our christian experience. They need to hear Bible Stories, stories of the universal church, stories of your denomination, stories of your local church but most importantly, your story.
A compelling story is like music in a noisy world: it makes us want to stop and listen. Melanie Green and Tim Brock argue that entering a good story “radically alters the way information is processed.” Green and Brock’s studies shows that the more absorbed readers are in a story, the more the story changes them. They argue that "To the extent that individuals are absorbed into a story or transported into a narrative word, they may show effects of the story on their real-world beliefs."
Stories spark emotions. We have an intuitive, emotional side as well as a deliberate, rational side to our character. Too often as a church we only try and connect with children on a rational level but this isn’t enough to actually change how people behave. Storytelling gives leaders a way of inspiring children to experience God like never before with their emotional and intuitive sides.
Children use stories to make sense of things. Children being caught up in God's Story is the result of thousands of interactions and experiences and it becomes the 'lens' through which they interpret the world around them. This biblical world view is built up story by story and then through their application and experience of living this story in their world
Children learn from stories. Stories give children the space to discover the implicit meaning of what’s being said, enabling them to learn, discover and own what they need to do for themselves. Sharing emotive stories inspires children and helps them learn more quickly what it means to live in God's Story.
As our children hear these stories, experience them and form memories, they are more likely to be immersed in and shaped by God's story and find their place in it!
Stories give our children the weapons they need to defeat the dragons and let me tell you there are many dragons that are real and are wanting to bring our children down!
So find the time to tell awesome stories to our children and change lives……
(Daron gets off his soap box and mumbling wanders on into the crowded street)