Telling the Stories

The Childhood Spiritual Formation Toolbox is a production of Central United Methodist Church Traverse City, in conjunction with the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church and the Northern Waters District.

Share widely. Tell the story.

You have our permission.

Telling the Stories Toolbox

The Bible is full of ancient wisdom and over-the-top and exciting stories that capture the attention of children. It has stories about why we are here, about how God loves us, about why we hurt and how to ask for forgiveness. There’s even a story about a man being swallowed by a fish – and he lives to tell about it! This toolbox includes ideas, links, and resources for young people, and those who explore the Bible with them.

For Grown-ups

Equipping You

Not sure where to start? 

  • Looking to grow in your own knowledge and understanding of the Bible? The Bible Project has videos, podcasts, Bible studies and more to learn about the Bible and the stories it contains.
  • Try a daily devotional like The Upper Room (click on Daily and then select an option)
  • Join a Bible Study at your church or start one with other parents. Ask your pastor or church staff for help in selecting a book.
  • Listen to storytellers

Empowering You

Feeling overwhelmed? 

  • Start small! 
  • Listen to a storytelling podcast, like The Moth
  • Read a children’s Story Bible to learn and get comfortable with the stories. Read on your own or with your child. Ask wondering questions like: I wonder how a character felt. I wonder which character I relate most to. I wonder what happens next.

Encouraging You

You got this! You are enough!

  • Children love to hear stories! If you don’t have a story to share just now, find a great children’s story book! Here’s a list of favorite authors to get you started:
    • Matthew Paul Turner
    • Glenys Nellist
    • Jennifer Grant
    • Amy-Jill Levine
    • Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
    • Traci Smith
    • Rachel Held-Evans

With Kids

Conversations & Resources

  • Wondering Questions
    • I wonder what part of the story you liked most.
    • I wonder what part of the story is most important.
    • What do you think happened next?
    • Here is a list of more ideas
  • Reading the Bible ideas from Lifelong Faith

Rituals & Traditions

Part of telling the story is sharing rituals and traditions.

Congregation Resources


  • Take time during worship to share stories. Use the sermon, children’s time, or another part of worship to share stores of faith.
  • Be creative about Biblical storytelling.
  • Use different methods of media for storytelling (video, social media, art, music, photography, etc.)

Supporting Parents & Caregivers

  • Connect young parents with experienced parents for support, encouragement, and connection.
  • Provide a children’s library with books that help tell the stories of the Christian faith

Building Connections to Home

  • Digital Playlists connected to Bible Stories
  • At-home kits for families
  • Events for families to learn together about how to read the Bible, ask questions, and relate the Bible to life
  • Milestone Ministries (Milestones and Taking Faith Home)