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Discipleship, Media Tools

Media that Complicate Disciplemaking

What about using teaching pictures, flannelgraph, storying cloths, timelines, video clips, audio players, movies, and a number of other really cool media? My stock answer requires three conditions:

#1: Contextualization works: The media that are used must be relevant. Generic tools have their place, but if they cannot be easily understood by the average people among whom you work, then they won’t have a very long life. People want to use what was used with them. If they’re lacking it, there will be a gap in credibility, status, or implementation.

#2: Reproducibility is underway and subsidy is eliminated: If group X has it, then group Y must have it, too. Avoid introducing inappropriate technology or resources that cannot be easily obtained, duplicated, or used without outside assistance. Creating dependence upon something that is not inherently indigenous or common to the group creates problems in the long-term. If outsiders need to continually fund the tools used in Bible Storying, then the methodology needs to be revisited and placed into an appropriate scale. Otherwise, the disciplemaking revolution will never start while the locals stand around with their hands out wanting resources that they can never provide.

#3 Decision-making information is in hand: Media tools are relatively expensive and frequently not as reproducible as some would prefer. That is why decision-making information is so valuable. Are you making decisions based on facts or hunches? What are your research plans when implementing new technology?

Media are tools. If something doesn’t work, drop it, and try something else. Experiment with small samples before investing time and resources to achieve desired outcomes and avoid potential consequences.


About Mark Snowden

TruthSticks originated from the book I co-authored with the late Avery Willis. Truth That Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truths in a Teflon World was the book and this blog and Bible studies have resulted. It's great to be partnering with churches who are committed to making disciple-makers. Request a catalog of Bible studies using orality at SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.


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