I hope to have another post on preaching NT narrative by tomorrow. In the meantime, Peter Mead at Biblical Preaching has an insightful post on using narrative to form images in the hearers. Here is an excerpt:
That’s the thing about narrative. It forms an image in the hearer that doesn’t require multi-million dollar Hollywood camera work. Good storytelling forms images in minds and hearts just as effectively. In the early days of radio it was the story and soap opera shows that proved popular, not just information driven shows. Ask a child if they are willing to hear a good story without any pictures to supplement it and they will usually cope just fine! (In fact, some children would give anything to have a parent who would read to them at all!)
The Bible is saturated with stories. The Bible also has a meta-narrative that gives us a sense of security, stability and insight into the reality in which we continue to live. As preachers our task is not to simply provide good argumentation, effective applicational lists or biblical facts. Our task is primarily one of forming images in the hearts and minds of listeners that will stir faith through the experience of already seeing God work during our preaching. Our task is to form images so that listeners can respond appropriately to God’s self-giving through His Word – not in any way a mere mental decision, but a heart-driven response to a heart-stirring God.