In our previous post, How to Reach an Unreached Culture, we highlighted a few facts about the need for oral strategies. The next fact is that Bible Storying can be used in a sequential method. This is teaching the stories in a chronological manner beginning with Genesis and culminating with the Resurrection. It enables the listeners to hear key Old Testament stories that will set the stage for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It is a logical way to set the stage for the gospel message.
Teaching the Bible using the sequential method has been used with continual success with several unreached people groups on different continents.
This example is taken from Making Disciples of Oral Learners, Published by International Orality Network. In the TIV tribe in central Nigeria, missionaries worked for over twenty-five years and saw only twenty-five baptized believers. That is an average of one covert a year. Their primary medium of communication was preaching — which was learned in Bible school.
Then some young TIV Christians set the Gospel story to musical chants, which was an indigenous medium of communication. Almost immediately the gospel began to spread like wildfire, and soon a quarter of a million TIV’s were worshiping Jesus.
The TIV’s were not resistant to the Gospel as the missionaries had previously thought. A change in method brought abundant fruit. Prior to this, the Gospel was being proclaimed, but it wasn’t being heard. The communication strategy had not spoken to the heart of the people.
This story underscores that:
- Groups may not be necessarily unresponsive, but simply have not received the Gospel in their learning style.
- Where traditional methods have failed to reach people, appropriate oral strategies using the sequential method have succeeded.
- When Christian workers follow these principles, non-Christians are more likely to give the Gospel a hearing, and respond to it in faith. They can then spread the message to their friends, neighbors and families.
Working to address this great need, Great Company of Publishers is helping to fund an original project called the Wordless Panoramic Bible. This Wordless Bible will help to take the Bible to the millions of people, all over the world, who cannot read.