Int’l (MNN) – Two-thirds of the world’s population learns through oral communication. Unfortunately, this means that many Gospel initiatives relying on written content stop short of reaching the unreached. Spoken Worldwide hopes to combat this, by equipping successful ministries to translate their efforts for oral learners.
This initiative is called Orality Coaching. Since 2015, Spoken Worldwide has been partnering with other Christian organizations and hosting Orality Coaching workshops. By God’s grace they have seen great success.
Ed Weaver with Spoken Worldwide says, “The model is that we’ll come alongside an existing ministry that has a curriculum, or has a methodology of working, and historically has been in a highly literate environment. And then we will help them modify that and move that into recognizing that there are non-readers that would expand their reach of ministry.”
Orality Coaching Workshops
These workshops give Christian individuals and organizations the tools and strategies needed to help share their Bible studies, messages, and literature with an oral audience. These workshops happen all over the world in partnership with large and small Christian ministries.
Workshops can include both readers and non-readers, but the goal is to equip local people who already see the need for discovering a different way to share the Gospel. The sessions are completed orally and interactively. Students are given the tools to translate their content into oral stories and are given examples to help them practice and learn.
For instance, instead of a traditional inductive Bible study, they tell a Bible story orally.
“We’re digesting that passage together without having to read it. And there’s group learning, and then there’s group replication,” Weaver explains. “Each person is going out of that group, and then can take that to someone else they know or another small group and have that same kind of discussion. So it enables discipleship to happen more quickly, more easily. There’s less barriers to entry, if you will, to join in learning about who God is – to engage with Scripture.”
The impetus behind this initiative is the spread of the Gospel. Spoken Worldwide knows that the Church needs to work together. Different people and organizations have different strengths. Instead of “competing” or focusing solely on their own work, Christian organizations need to work together to see the Gospel brought to every unreached people group.
Teaching people how to present the Gospel orally is Spoken Worldwide’s passion and skill. They want to share that to help increase their own ministry as well as the reach of their partner ministries. However, working with many people and ministries requires wisdom and discernment.
Weaver says, “So far the pilots that we’ve run, the partners we’ve engaged with, have had tremendous response to this program. And ultimately, what we want to do is we want to be behind the scenes and help them be more effective in their work. So [pray] for us to take a good backseat, and to learn how to get out of their way and let them do their ministry well.”
Prayer is crucial. Weaver asks that the Church pray for Spoken Worldwide to have wisdom as they minister with their partners, but he also asks that they pray for more workers. There is a lot of demand for these programs and not enough staff to pursue every opportunity. Pray that God would provide more workers.
He also asks the Church to be on the lookout for organizations that would be open to this partnership model. Point those who are in leadership with Christian outreach ministries to Spoken Worldwide and their Orality Coaching program.
Header Image courtesy of Cristeen Quezon on Flickr https://bit.ly/3qpTow2