USA (MNN) — When you are learning something new, do you prefer to read about it, or have someone explain it to you? According to International Orality Network, more than 70% of the world's population (5.7 billion people) are oral learners, by necessity or preference.
President of Living Water International Jerry Wiles says, "There are some good studies now that demonstrate that oral methods are more effective than a highly-literate style of communication."
Oral learners communicate through methods such as storytelling, drama, and songs. Ironically, about 90% of the world's Christian workers present the Gospel using literate communication styles. "We've created an orality training workshop–a one-day workshop in the United States in English," Wiles said. "We call it an Introduction to Contextual Bible Storying."
In the workshop, attendees will learn about the nature of oral cultures, as well as why and how oral strategies work. "It's very participatory, it's engaging, and it's fun. People really enjoy it and find that it's a different type of training model then we're used to in our Western literacy-based culture," Wiles said.
You won't just learn the statistics and theories about oral cultures: you will be able to experience Contextual Bible Storying both as a listener and a storyteller. "It's a jump-start to give people some skills and tools that are effective in sharing their faith, but also in the disciple-making process."
LWI is not looking to replace Bibles, tracts, and other witnessing tools that are working. "Wherever we go, we say, 'This is not to take the place of anything else you're doing that is working.' We encourage people to continue reading the Bible, continue Bible translation literacy programs and technology when it's appropriate."
In past workshops, Wiles said that attendees say using stories and other oral skills "is an easier, more natural way of sharing our faith."
There are three Orality training workshops that are currently scheduled. One is in Portage, MI on March 2. You can click here to register. The other two are in Houston, TX. "We talk about the power of simplicity, the power of reproducibility, the power of multiplication, and personal evangelism," Wiles commented.
Living Water International is always looking for new places to hold these workshops. If you know of a church that would be willing to host a workshop, click here to contact LWI.
Pray that people will use the tools they learn in the orality training workshops to more effectively share the Gospel. Pray for those who have or are signing up for one of the three workshops.