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Church Planting, Discipleship, Orality, Storying Basics, Strategy

Influencing Pastors to Rethink Orality

While I was attending a Purpose Driven Church workshop in 2005, I heard Rick Warren tell attendees to place greeters at their church doors that represented the kind of person that they wanted their church to attract. If that’s 90 year-old men, then that’s okay. Now, who do you think that literacy-oriented pastors attract? Two studies released in 2011, one by the University of Nebraska and the other by the American Sociological Association, showed that whites in America with high school educations declined in their frequency of church attendance, while those with college degrees were the most frequent attenders today.
The church has attracted those who are like them whenever they prioritize a literate worldview preference. Almost everything that most pastors typically are taught to do supports a literate worldview. Projected scripture, reading verses from all over the Bible, using fill-in-the-blank handouts, summarizing biblical narratives, conducting word studies, and exegeting texts create a non-reproducible environment by church members, whether they can read or not. There is a disconnect from the general population by literate worldview pastors who rarely attract people other than those who are like themselves.
A northwestern U.S. pastor said that he asked a simple question of his members, “Can you make disciples?” When he found that they could evangelize, but not make disciples, he turned to Bible Storying because it was so highly reproducible. Encourage your pastor to rethink orality and start making disciples!

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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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