New teaching method helps church growth

By November 25, 2009

International (MNN) —
With the help of Partners International, church planters worldwide are
discovering new ways to connect with the unreached. Almost 50 ministries which receive assistance from Partners in 20 nations have been equipped with a new
teaching method, which helps church leaders connect through the power of story.

Approximately 4.5
billion people, or 70 percent of the world's population, communicate their
values and culture orally through storytelling, drama and music. Evangelism and
long-term discipleship are challenging in these cultures because most
traditional methods are ineffective. 

Working with Scriptures
in Use (SIU), Partners connects their associate church planters with SIU's
Communication "Bridges to Oral Cultures" training course. This course teaches
church planters how to share their faith through storytelling, dramatic
presentations of the parables, cultural adaptations of Scripture to song,
memorization of Scripture, and systematic presentation of Bible stories.

"We were never
taught to look at the Bible as a storybook," said one of the trainees.
"We were never taught that Jesus was a storyteller. This is the first time
we have heard that storytelling is as powerful a communication tool as
preaching."

Church planters and
pastors in West Africa, Ethiopia, India and Indonesia who have already taken
the beginner course will move on to the advanced teachings this year. Funding
is needed to expand the ministry into North Africa, Bangladesh and Sudan.

A pastor in India said
the training reinvigorated his ministry

"We Yenadi people
are an oral culture, but I was using book culture methods," said the
pastor. "I am convinced that the method of storytelling in small groups will be
effective. When I heard these teachings, I wondered why on earth I used other
complicated ways when this simple strategy is available."  

Partners reports that because
stories are an easy way to transmit the Gospel, new interest in Christianity is
growing in many areas. Over the last two years, partners who were most impacted
by the program have now started their own storytelling-training courses.

You can help church planters
worldwide learn how to use story effectively for ministry. Click here if you'd
like to support this program
.

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