Storying Basics

This category contains 44 posts

Thoughts on Orality in America

What would you say to a group of Christian leaders in America about the need for an oral approach to disciple-making? Here are my notes from two presentations last week in Orlando, Fla. The International Orality Network’s North American Region director, Rick Brekelbaum, invited me to lead training sessions at Lifebridge Church and the other … Continue reading

Orality and Gospel Advance

Imagine yourself seated at a wonderful restaurant. The kind with tablecloths. Behind you is a door leading outside, but you put that out of sight while the food keeps coming and coming. It is wonderful, healthy, and just what you need! Oh, you wish others could enjoy it, too. Meanwhile, outside the door right behind … Continue reading

5 Tips for Opening those Closed Groups

A farmhand convinced the rancher to eat lunch right after breakfast so they’d have more time in the back 40 digging in fence posts. And then he convinced him to eat supper, too. But after dinner, the farmhand went to bed. The rancher found his bunk. “What do you mean going to bed after three … Continue reading

Do No Harm Among People in Need

A science fiction story once described an astronaut-type volunteer who was able to step into an alternate universe. As a reminder of home, his wife at the last moment handed him their baby’s rattle. In this world, the sound it made was cute and harmless. However, when the rattle was shaken in that other world, … Continue reading

Of Hooks and Clubs

Last summer, I was invited to be the “storyteller” at an evangelistic block party in a rural Missouri town. I had four sessions. In the first one, I cut out a golden calf from gold foil wrapping paper and was good to go. Well, I asked what an idol was and explained that God didn’t like … Continue reading

But can you make disciples?

It was an honor to meet recently with a young pastor from southwestern Missouri. He wanted to know how he could get his church to become active witnesses for Christ. He had a pen and paper and was ready to write down a training program or book he could use. However, my advice was to … Continue reading

The Unreached Half: Wrenching Statistics on Literacy in America

Half of all Americans struggle with reading skills. Yet, our churches remain geared to the highest literacy levels. No wonder unchurched Americans tune out approaches from Christians! We relate information in the ways we prefer to deliver it, rather than in the ways those who need it most want to receive it. Yet there are … Continue reading

The Resources are in the Harvest

What would a map of those you’ve led to faith in Jesus look like? A believer in Texas shared this hand drawn “map” of those he had shared Christ with and who had passed it along. Those he witnessed to were in red and the second “generation” was in blue and so on. This all … Continue reading

Five Reasons to Use an Oral Approach

Many church leaders wonder how they could be more effective as witnesses and in making disciples. Consider these five issues for using an oral approach to evangelism and discipleship. Reading Ability: At least 50% of the adults in the U.S. must be considered oral learners because they have no literacy or limited literacy skills. If … Continue reading

Teaching the Lesson or Making Disciples?

My Sunday School teacher called early on a Saturday morning. “Mark, my store was broken into and completely vandalized. It’ll take days to repair. If you don’t teach tomorrow, then we won’t have Sunday School. How ‘bout it?” I agreed, but only out of pity. Prior to that moment, I had only taught a third … Continue reading