Some preachers are natural born storytellers. The rest of us have to learn to be interesting.

But if we preach, we need to become competent with storytelling both for expounding Bible narratives and adding vivid illustrations. We can increase our skills by practicing what the naturals know instinctively: it's the color that makes a sermon lively and engaging.

Turn up the tension

In the movie, The Truman Show, Jim Carrey portrays a guy living in an apparently idyllic world, unaware he is the subject of a TV show. Will Truman find out? And can he escape the artificial world of the giant studio? Any good story needs conflict.

Consider the conflicts in Moses' story: What will happen to the baby? Will Moses be punished for the murder? Will he accept God's call? Will the people of Israel listen to him? No wonder his story makes a terrific movie.

Storyteller Clifford Wame writes: "Conflict is the essence, the essential ingredient of any story. If you don't have conflict, you don't have a story. If ...

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