Darriel Harris tells his story of hearing stories in The Episcopal Church of Sudan in Duke Divinity’s Faith & Leadership:
I also heard stories that helped me in my work. My mission was to establish a community health education program, working through the Mothers’ Union, a women’s organization of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. The goal of the project was to create healthier communities through medical and Christian biblical theological engagement.
I began to notice that narratives were used not only to instruct me. At village meetings, church gatherings and government symposiums, people used narratives and proverbs to articulate opinions and overcome opposing viewpoints. People usually sided with the person who demonstrated mastery over the group’s common stories.
Harris shifts to Biblical Stories in order to participate there, and comes to realize their usefulness in his work.
And the more the people lived into the stories, the more they gleaned from them. “I understand more now” was a common response on follow-up visits. And the stories of Scripture became our common language and motivator.