Jerry Wiles on Orality, Memory and Disciple Making

The Power of Personal, Relational Evangelism and Disciple Making

After more than three decades of using orality-based methods and strategies with several churches, ministries and mission organizations, we’ve made some amazing discoveries.  One important observation is how those in the more relational, communal, oral cultures can effectively receive, remember, and pass on biblical truth in rapid fashion.  Many times, they can do so more effectively than those who are more dependent on modern text-based or literate-style communication methods.  Consider how the Good News of Jesus spread throughout the entire populated world in the First Century, before radio, television, or other modern technological resources were available.

The Jesus Model for Disciple Making

Think about how the Lord Jesus communicated with and instructed His followers.  He told stories, used parables, asked questions, built relationships, and created community.  These are all things that we can do today.  They are timeless.  Repetition is another important factor for both learning, remembering and communicating.  As you read through the Bible, consider how much is repeated in different ways.  There are certain things God wants us to remember, and those important themes show up in many different forms of expression.

Keep the Faith – Just don’t keep it to yourself

Consider how much and what are the most important things people need to know, to begin a relationship with the Lord, and become reproducing followers of Jesus. Not based on 2,000 years of church history, but based on what we learn from Scripture, and focusing on the life, Spirit and teachings of Jesus.  It simplifies our task, as followers of Christ, when we focus more on Him, rather than so much on church tradition or even spiritual disciplines.  A key factor is learning a little, practicing a lot, implementing immediately and telling the stories (and God’s Story) often. It’s better to know a little that we tell a lot, than to know a lot that we keep to ourselves.  A friend and co-worker has a favorite parting statement, “Keep the faith, just don’t keep it to yourself.”  Appropriate orality training equips people to do just that.  In our orality training strategies, we emphasize the importance of making sure our methods and messages are biblical, understandable, and reproducible.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles