After 12 years of oral ministry, three things have become our intentional, determined, resolve:
1. Train people in
God’s Word. We have worked in nine different
countries and the need continues to become more obvious.
In Malawi, there are prison chaplains, rural pastors, and a Bible School; three separate groups, who all want help training their people. I have found the same in other countries as well. Church leaders have seen the problems their pastors face when they go down dangerous doctrinal paths without solid biblical training. The people spiritually starve without Christ-centered, gospel-centered instruction.
2. Empower nationals to teach their own people. The challenge of learning the culture and the language well enough to teach scripture takes years. Trusting the nationals to teach their own people allows scripture to be taught in their heart language from the very first lesson that they study. This is the first step in nurturing independence rather than dependence. Leaders must be able to teach their own people rather than looking to those from the outside for wisdom.3. Implement oral training as the strategy. We can help people become disciples who make disciples. The oral method of teaching is a unique strategy. It involves the students in the learning process as they find the answers to their questions in scripture itself. The process of stepping through a scripture passage teaches students how to study, and the requirement of memorizing the story gives students a natural method to pass on the scripture they have studied to others.
The year 2020 has been a focus of predictions and future thought for years. Now that we are here, what can we know about the Orality Institute for 2020?
- The leaders in the Dominican Republic will need to be encouraged as well as their students from this past year. We will have a teacher’s training time where we can hear what has gone well and what has been difficult.
- The curriculum in Malawi will be translated into Chichewa so that the classes can continue without using the English text. There are two leaders doing the translation, each of them is doing a book.
- The rural pastors of Malawi will be challenged to go through the first book of the curriculum in their nine study groups. Currently, they are reviewing the lessons that they were given during the training week.
- The prison chaplains will be introducing the oral training to the inmates in Chewa prison this year.
- The Iris Africa Bible School of Malawi will begin introducing oral training to their students.
- The trainers in Uganda will be encouraged to go through the fourth book of the curriculum which focuses on planting churches. The hope is to see churches springing up from the graduates that have been a part of the oral training these past 10 years.
More than the goals above, we will be trusting the Lord to build this ministry according to His will. It is His precious Word and Jesus is the center of that message. Our job is to be faithful obedient children. 1 Peter 2:4-10 says, As you come to Him,… you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house.