Bible Storying // Orality Training Workshops
Discover why church and mission leaders today are saying that the Orality Movement is transformational in church history and one of the most significant developments in Kingdom advance in the past 500 years.
Orality is the fastest growing movement in evangelism today, and it is changing the face of missions around the world. The rapidly reproducing disciple-making and church planting movements are among oral cultures in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Increasing numbers of churches and ministries in North America are also realizing the importance and impact of orality-based methods in sharing our faith and making disciples, anywhere, with any people group.
While orality methods and strategies are amazingly effective ways of communicating the Gospel and making disciples, they also enhance efforts in relationship building and developing community. Simplicity and reproducibility are key factors that make these methods universal and transferable into any culture around the world.
According to the International Orality Network, more than 80% of the world’s population (5.7 billion people) are oral learners, by necessity or by preference — people who can’t, don’t or won’t read, or prefer to learn and communicate by means other than print-based media or written instruction. Oral learners communicate through methods such as storytelling, drama, songs, poetry, parables, proverbs and other oral arts. Ironically, an estimated 90% of the world’s Christian workers present the gospel using literate—not oral—communication styles. In order to reach and disciple oral learners, we must learn to use the strategies that are familiar and relevant to them.
Dr. Tom Steffen, professor of intercultural studies at Biola University, director of the Doctor of Missiology program, former missionary and author of a number of books on missions and cross cultural ministry, writes about the Orality Movement going global. He says, “The modern orality movement impacts global ministry on every level, whether one is aware of it or not. It influences every aspect of ministry: training, theological education, Bible curricula, Bible translation, evangelism, church planting, community development, business as mission, creation care, the arts, media, hermeneutics, and homiletics. Let us hope that global church leaders discover its contributions. The present orality movement can provide many answers for global ministries if we can shed our silos.”
When considering what is often referred to as the Great Commission, to communicate the Good Story (News) of Jesus to everyone, to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all people groups, it would be important to determine what message and methods are totally reproducible and transferable to all places and people groups. After having trained thousands of people world-wide since 2009, in orality methods and strategies, Living Water International continues to receive very encouraging feedback. Many say that orality is a revolutionary development in mission strategy; it is historic and transformational. Based on feedback from the regions where the orality trainings have been conducted, we hear how the training is being reproduced and is having a multiplying impact. Over the past few years our focus has turned to include Orality Training for Trainers (OT4T) and more advanced Orality methods.
Some who have experienced Orality Training have discovered its many applications and effectiveness in multiple areas, such as Orality in Business as Mission, Leadership Formation, Integral Mission, Community Development, Team Building, Children and WomensMinistries, and many others. Pastors and church are also finding that Orality enhances efforts in renewal and unity among pastors and networks of churches. It is especially capturing the attention of those involved in cross-cultural and international work.
At Living Water International, our mission is about much more than water. When we provide Water, for Life, in Jesus’ name, our hope is that those who receive it would know the grace and power of the true Living Water that alone satisfies the deepest thirst. This is why the Oral methods and Contextual Bible Storying are so important. In our Orality Training Workshop, we will invite you to interact with the stories of the Bible as an oral learner. You won’t just learn statistics and theories about oral cultures—you’ll experience Contextual Bible Storying both as a listener and a storyteller. During the workshop, you will participate in the same orality training that Living Water conducts around the world.
Anyone interested in becoming more effective in sharing your faith, disciple making, church planting or mission outreach anywhere in the world will greatly benefit from gaining a working knowledge of relational narrative communication skills and orality strategies.
The terms orality, oral cultures and oral preference learners all refer to the people of the world who can’t, don’t or won’t read, or those who learn and communicate best through means other than print-based media or written instruction. Orality strategies are not intended to take the place of any other methods that are effective, but to provide additional resources for one’s ministry/missions tool box. We want to insure that the message and methods are biblical, understandable and reproducible. Some unique features of our training include; learning a little, practicing a lot, implementing immediately, and telling the stories often.
This one-day workshop offers practical and proven principles in making disciples of oral preference learners. Topics include:
Participants are telling how this training is bringing transformation to their lives and increasing their effectiveness in sharing their faith and disciple making efforts.
Orality In America e-book a resource for sharing your faith.