USA (MNN) — While Mission Aviation Fellowship is known for
its aviation program, telling stories is quickly becoming an important part of the
ministry organization's evangelistic outreach.
Regina Manley of MAF-Learning
Technologies (MAF-LT), a 26-year
MAF veteran, says, "It's called Bible storytelling and discovery learning
According to Manley, many indigenous people groups around
the world use stories to help teach, inspire and pass on history from one
generation to another. Now, she's
teaching Christians how to use storytelling to evangelize.
Manley was recently in Colombia where many responded
positively to her methods. "One of the indigenous brothers said, 'This is
exactly how I learned at home. We listened to our fathers and our grandfathers
tell us about our people and our history.' He was very excited because it's a
very natural fit and a good way to share the Gospel."
Technologies division uses technology to bring Bible education closer to very
isolated Christian leaders. Manley says they use solar powered audio Bibles to
help non-readers, "But, Bible storytelling is an important part of that
because it's so easy to remember a story. And we can build an oral Gospel one
story at a time."
She says indigenous people can start learning God's Word and
meditating on it one story at a time. This
kind of evangelism is good, especially in areas where they don't have the Bible
translated into their "heart language."
"Even when the Bible is translated, if they're not
reading, they're not using it. But story by story, we can get the Gospel
message in a very understandable form to the people much more quickly. And we
can also keep adding Gospel portions, story by story."
Manley says this allows evangelism to take place BEFORE the
Bible is translated.
This type of evangelism can also help in areas where
persecution of Christians is high. Manley tells of a Christian man in India who
was often attacked when he delivered Bibles and other Christian literature to
villages. "But now we go in with
Bible stories, and they're fascinated, and they ask us to come back. Where we
were previously rejected, the Word of God is burning their hearts and turning
them to Christ."
Often, a person will read God's Word before coming to Christ. According to Manley,
"It's not a barrier any more. Story by story, they hear the Gospel. Many
times we'll tell five or ten Old Testament stories before we come to the story of
Christ. Then they understand exactly who
that Savior is and why He came."
While this type of ministry is inexpensive on the face of
it, the cost is actually getting to the people. "We just need to get men
and women from isolated areas to that workshop location," says Manley.
"Once there, they receive a week of training and can then go back and
start using their storying skills, and
also train others to do it."
Funding is needed to bring the storying method of evangelism
to isolated Christian leaders. If you'd like to help, click here.