Mar 18, 2013
The Yale Youth Ministry Institute, 11/10/16. Dr. Amanda Drury talks about her definition of Testimony, after delivering a lecture on the importance of Testimony: cultivating community and individual flourishing through telling our stories and listening to the stories of others.
Retrieved from … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDiifT9Gx0k where you can watch more segments from this interview.
In a previous post I observed that Paul’s letters were not read by individuals but performed by a reader (or lector). The lector didn’t read a letter of Paul cold on the spot but instead would have been given instructions (by Paul and his co-workers). In fact, it would not have been unusual for the lectors to have prepared and performed the letter in advance — or a number of times, perhaps rehearsing the letter’s performance a few times. None of this, of course, is discussed by Paul in his letters but he does mention couriers and reading (e.g., Rom 16; Col 4).
Though this helps explain Lucy Peppiatt’s theory about 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the post today is about performance in the world of Paul and is based on the excellent sketch of memorized speech-making by William D. Shiell, in a book called Delivering from Memory: The Effect of Performance on the Early Christian Audience (Eugene: Pickwick, 2011). Shiell is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Tallahassee. His work is rooted in the excellent work on rhetoric by George A. Kennedy.
Some are calling this “performance criticism,” and perhaps America’s best-known expert is David Rhoads. The facts/details about performance are based on ancient rhetorical handbooks. I don’t know anyone who thinks Paul was trained as a rhetor or a lector, but the reality is that most in the Roman and Jewish worlds would have experienced trained rhetors on a common basis — the public square. Thus, those who “read” Paul’s letters aloud would have “performed” them on the basis of experiencing other lectors/rhetors. None of this stretches evidence and is therefore valuable for learning to “hear” Paul’s letters as they were meant to be heard for he wrote them to be read in the congregation’s public gatherings (Col 4:16).
To quote Shiell, “In Hellenistic Jewish and Greco-Roman audiences, the performer and the audience were shaped together by the recitation [or reading], retention, and response to the performance” (7). Furthermore, “Prior to performance, the reader practices, remembers, retains, and paraphrases the reading” (8). [Is it possible that what we now know as text-critical variants began at the original performance?]
Here are some clear texts about public reading of letters: Acts 15:31; 1 Thess 5:27; Col 4:16; Luke 4:17-20; 1 Tim 4:13-16.
On performance, notice these texts: Acts 12:17; 13:16; 19:33; 21:40; 23:1, 6; 24:10; 26:1.
On audiences, here: Acts 2:37; 19:28; 26:24; 2 Tim 3:16…
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “As you know from my postings, researchers have found that utilizing a story as the central aspect of a sermon or when creating church change will make your endeavors twice as effective (Wilchert, 2012). Knowing this, I often wonder why so many pastors rely mostly on topical sermons when research shows that narrative- and story-based sermons are better remembered and their lessons retained more clearly. Could it be that our seminaries don’t teach and our pastors don’t know how to present a good story? If you’re having trouble making a story come to life, then listen to some of these podcasts with great examples of how to make a story come to life.”
Read more at … http://www.brit.co/storytelling-podcasts/
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “I have pointed out that research shows that ‘organizational change’ is twice as likely to occur if you attach a storyline to it. And I have shown out how this is the case in many large church turnarounds. Here is more research that proves you should use the power of stories and narrative to help people visualize change and growth.”
Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/a-refresh-on-storytelling-101/
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Here is the latest research about how to use story and structure for good communication. Lessons include:
1) use a story or metaphor to communicate,
2) use your own experiences,
3) don’t make yourself the hero,
4) highlight a struggle,
5) keep it simple.”
And here is an insightful quote: “In our information-saturated age, business leaders, ‘won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,’ says Nick Morgan author of Power Cues. ‘Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,’ he says. But stories create ‘sticky’ memories by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means leaders who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.”
by Carolyn O’Hara, Harvard Business Review
Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/07/how-to-tell-a-great-story/
by Harvard Business Review, HBR on YouTube
Best Advice: Tell Me A Story
by David Edelman, LinkedIn Influencers, February 25, 2014
“Eighteen years ago, as a younger consultant, I took a presence training course with The Actor’s Institute (Now called TAI Resources), run by Allan Schoer and Twyla Thomson. In my first session, Twyla had me sit on the floor, cross-legged, and start telling the other two people in the room a bedtime story that I might share with my kids. Then when she clapped, I was to switch to a business speech.
Her key point was that it is the STORY that matters. People remember stories, not lists. If you want to connect, have influence, be memorable, it takes stories. … Storytelling is one of the most under-rated skills in business. But it is vital getting a point across. It can have data behind it. It can set up a framework for decisions. It can do many of the things that business people think they need to rely on PowerPoint bullet points for. But it does so in a way that makes the implications real and relatable. And that makes you a better, more credible advisor.”
Read more at http://t.co/wezAjxuC3D
by Bob Whitesel, professor of Missional Leadership, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, 12/6/13, Indianapolis, IN
by Bob Whitesel, July 2005
One of my favorite management magazines, Fast Company, devoted the March 2005 issue to the topic “Change or Die” (Alan Deutschman http://www.fastcompany.com/52717/change-or-die). It is an important topic for firms to address, as well as for churches (as I hope you have seen from my book “Inside the Organic Church”). The article “busts some myths” about change. Here are two and an implication for bringing about change in your leadership collage.
Myth 1: Crisis is a powerful impetus for change: Alan Deutschman, senior writer for Fast Company, found that “90 percent of the patients who’ve had coronary bypasses don’t sustain changes in the unhealthy lifestyles that worsen their severe heart disease and greatly threaten their lives” (p. 55). The article points out that people just give up. They say “what’s the use?” and prepare to give in. So the import of this research is that a crisis will not “scare” 90% of a people into change. And thus, if we as church leaders try to say “you must change or die” the vast majority of our congregations will probably will not heed our warning. But, there is another myth that can help us deal with this conundrum.
Myth 2: Change is motivated by fear. As we saw above, an outgrowth of Myth 1 is that you can scare people into changing. But as we’ve seen in the medical profession, such scare tactics don’t bring about change (usually only generate aggravation towards the message-bearer, i.e. you 😦 Deutschman points out that people often go into denial when fear becomes too much to bear, stating “when a fact doesn’t fit our conceptual ‘frames’ – the metaphors we use to make sense of the world – we reject it” (p. 55).
Myth-busting Good News: There is good news! Medical researchers have found that people are motivated to change by “compelling, positive visions of the future” which “are a much stronger inspiration for change” (p. 55). That means that optimistic, persuasive, farsightedness that elicits our imagination can help us embrace change.