Learning the sacred stories of Scripture by heart and sharing them with others is both an ancient-future art and a powerful spiritual practice. This course’s methods, developed by the Network of Biblical Storytellers International (NBSI), are for everyone who wishes to learn, to tell and to connect with God and other people through the ancient-future art and spiritual discipline of telling the sacred stories of Scripture – yes, you can do it too!
By the end of the two-week course you will be able to share at least one text with others by heart (not “memory”), and you will understand how this completely non-technological art fits into a digital communications world. Whether you work with children in Sunday School or dream of bringing Scripture to life in worship or elsewhere, your ministry and your spirit will be enriched by this art.
There is a daily assignment, usually involving a short document to read, work on your story, and online sharing. If you are able to post a video online, that is helpful but it is not required. There will be one or two optional live meeting sessions (dates and times will be set with input from learners) to allow you to practice telling your story and receive coaching in a group. New this fall: an opportunity for online coaching, too!
The course is taught by NBSI vice president and United Methodist deacon Beth Galbreath, who has performed and taught the art both in the U.S. and in Cameroon, Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines. It has been approved by Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries, but it’s designed for everyone!
This course has been approved by Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship) as an advanced course with 10 contact hours in Lay Servant Ministries, and 1.0 CEUs are available.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Beth Galbreath is a United Methodist deacon whose specialty is “digital culture ministry,” which includes everything the Church needs to do to move from the print-literate culture of the last five centuries to the digital-communication culture of the 21st. She is one of the few (but proud!) graduates of the former Lumicon Institute’s certification program in digital culture ministry. “Digital culture ministry” is not just about technology; it includes re-emphasis on spiritual formation practices. To that end she holds a master’s from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in spiritual formation and evangelism. She loves to bring a multimedia, multi-intelligence approach to classes.
Digital culture ministry is also about ancient-future worship arts and education styles, especially an emphasis on story; to that end she is a passionate biblical storyteller and teacher. She is an ambassador of the Network of Biblical Storytellers International and coordinates the NBSI-related Chicago-area Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories. She’s taught biblical storytelling abroad in Cameroon, Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines.
Beth serves the Northern Illinois Conference as co-chair of its Order of Deacons, and is a certified Natural Church Development coach. She also serves on the pastoral leadership team of Compassion UMC in Brookfield, IL, a new church plant. Her ministry includes consulting, teaching, and small group leadership. She is also an activist for solar energy, prison ministry, interfaith understanding, and eco-sustainability. Rev. Galbreath is the author of The Story and the Feast, a digital resource (three CDs of text and slides) of liturgy for Holy Communion, connected to the weekly stories and texts of the lectionary, and including notes for biblical storytellers.
Past Students Said…
“I loved this course, I feel so much more comfortable with reading scripture in the storytelling style. I can’t wait to share it in my children’s sermon ministry. Beth as usual provided a wonderful course and covered every area possible to give us all the tools we needed to be successful.”
“The consistent focus on one piece of scripture was fascinating. Beth brings so much to the table and inspires me to go further. I was not sure what to expect but even if I never used storytelling, I myself have a whole new understanding of The Bible. I wish more people were aware of this art.”
“We’ve all been on a journey of ‘no return’. Never again will we read a scripture like we did in the past … ho-hum … boring. We now know how to bring the Word to life by using all the tools given to us for this adventure.” – Pearl Borum
“Needless to say, I had a blast! This is an excellent course for the Lay Speakers as well as clergy to hone speaking skills both for scripture as well as sermons.”
“I looked forward each day to the next set of instruction….I would love to see where the scripture is never “read” again, but always “told!” … I found as I studied for my Sunday School lesson to teach this week that I was telling the scriptures in my mind and heart. I think that will go with me as long as breath is in my body.”
“OH MY GOSH!!! … Today was the first time I REALLY put my story together. It was SO POWERFUL, HORRIBLE, WONDERFUL, EXHAUSTING, ENLIGHTENING, AWESOME!! I haven’t been through anything like it. It is only 7 verses! I can’t even imagine how anyone would do a Passion series! By the end I was crying like a baby and exhausted.… I thank God that he has brought this medium to me and I thank all of my classmates for everything they added to this class.”
“Great class. Congregations have already noticed the difference in how I read the sermon text.”