It is far easier to introduce storytelling than traditional evangelism openers. For example, you might simply say, "I've been learning to tell stories. The trainer has asked us to practice each story with ten people. Would you be willing to listen to a five-minute story and tell me if you understood it?"
A friend of mine has used this approach: "I love stories. Do you? Could you tell me one and then I'll tell you one?" This works especially well for someone working cross-culturally and wanting to hear stories from that culture. This way you can be learning language and culture at the same time as sharing the gospel.
Sue was a new Christian who wondered how God could use her to share stories. She had one skill—hairdressing—and just enough money to rent one room and cut hair. Every time she cut someone's hair, she offered a "free story" as a gift. Many people accepted this bonus offer. Over time she saw numbers of people accepting the greatest gift of all.
Another approach is to establish a reputation as a storyteller. When someone asks, "What do you do?" you could say something like, "I'm a teacher—but what I really love to do is tell stories." Establishing this reputation means you'll seldom have to start a gospel conversation from scratch. People will start asking you for stories. Sometimes this is as easy as carrying a prop with you. I started telling stories in a park and discovered that carrying a small pink plastic stool with me signaled to people that it was story time.
After moving to a new house, Bronwyn went to buy new shower curtains. A saleswoman smiled at her, leading to a brief conversation about Bronwyn's surprising ability to speak Mandarin. "Are you a teacher?" the saleswoman finally asked.
"No, I'm a storyteller," Bronwyn replied. The conversation finished and Bronwyn moved on. A few minutes later the saleswoman came looking for her. She wanted to know where Bronwyn told stories and to whom. Bronwyn explained that the stories were for anyone, at any place; yes, even at McDonald's. "To my excitement, she gave me her name and number so that I could contact her and arrange a time to come and tell stories," Bronwyn reports.
You can also wear something that sparks curiosity. A T-shirt that contains questions, symbols from early stories or a Bible verse might stimulate questions, to which you can reply, "There's a story that goes with this shirt."
I wear a necklace with the Chinese character for "righteousness." This is an unusual character to wear and I chose it because others, such as "love," are commonly worn by nonbelievers and wouldn't garner much attention. I hoped people would ask me why I wore that character, especially when they realized it was not linked with my Chinese name.