When I first heard about orality, it was couched in terms of how do to a more effective Bible study. I was introduced to New Tribes Mission’s “Ee-taow!” (It is true!) video that showed orality effectively evangelizing among tribal people in Papua New Guinea. It was very convincing. But it wasn’t until I began seeing that the Orality Movement worked here in the U.S. just as effectively as overseas — and among literates — that it really got my attention. I had trained missionaries in many places of the world about Chronological Bible Storying, but to see the transformational nature among those who were actually like me was incredible.
The Orality Revolution requires hard work. You’ve got to see results before you can “kick up some dust.” But when you see God’s Hand moving in powerful ways, then you’ve got to get the attention of those who can strengthen and even accelerate the revolution among others. That’s exactly what happened for at least ten years before Avery Willis was “awakened” to God’s work among oral learners. Instead of retiring on a houseboat somewhere, he exerted his influence with all he had until his dying breath to get the word out in the global missions leadership circles that he influenced.
When you see the revolution, don’t sit on it. Here are some ideas:
- Actively report God’s growing work to powerful producers of curriculum, popular leaders who influence or conduct training workshops, and those brothers and sisters in Christ who have the reputation among churches for promising to make disciples, evangelizing, and training leaders.
- Explain to them the fruit that is being borne into the kingdom using key measurements such as church membership, baptisms, and average Sunday School attendance.
- Include testimonials from changed lives from the community and Bible study small group leaders who are tracking significant and quantifiable change.
- Make a case for how communities are being transformed!
- And continue to faithfully develop relationships with those in leadership in order to intentionally influence them. This will mute criticism and efforts at undercutting the Orality Revolution.
May God bless your efforts at influencing those who wield power! Avery became so convinced in the power of orality that he believed that it should be the “default” way that believers witness and make disciples. That kind of buy-in cannot be bought. It must accompany a change in their heart to the point of advocacy.
You’re almost ready to begin as a revolutionary! Here’s the last requirement for an Orality Revolution: https://truthsticks.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/revolution-requirement-10-of-10-free-the-captives/