As we engage in discovery Bible studies and oral Bible studies, one thing I keep noticing is the way Bible stories grab everyone.
In one of our weekly meeting households there is a teenager with some kind of emotional/social issue. He can become violent suddenly, or experience an emotion that doesn’t fit the moment. He has trouble talking to people directly and almost never makes eye-contact. He is extremely intelligent and loves to read and use the computer, more than interacting with people.
He often has to be physically forced to sit with the family to participate in the Bible study and has tried several times to run away as soon as it get started. However, once we start listening to the Bible passage in order to learn it by heart and tell it to each other. He gets quiet. Once we start telling the passage to one another, he participates. Once we start talking about the story, he identifies with it. A transformation occurs. It is temporary, but amazing.
He starts talking in multiple sentences, instead of short phrases. He starts looking at people when they talk and when he talks to them. He smiles. He talks to his parents about how he will obey the scripture and how they can help. He really engages.
Then by the time we close with prayer, he is back in his shell and ready to run away to the other room.
(He wants to be baptized now. Not in a church, however. He wants to be baptized in a river.)