A few times a year an email arrives that says, “New Order.” On the surface, these are just emails from people who download the Orality Institute curriculum. Behind each of these downloads is a person who is using the oral curriculum for a larger purpose and a wider influence than we realize.
Ramon Smith downloaded the curriculum from Waxahachie, TX. He is being trained as a mobilizer with Global Cities Mission Initiative. The work that they do is among dispersed people and refugees. He is hoping to use the curriculum to engage the people in the community and to give the congregation tools for outreach.
Tracy Alin is from Moorhead, MN. She feels a sense of call to disciple the nations and just finished her PhD on using solar oral Bibles in Andhra Pradesh, India. She was very interested to hear about the oral ministry that we have done in that area. She has also developed a partnership with a group of churches in Nepal whose churches have grown from two to seventeen. Those leaders requested further training in God’s Word so she was asked to teach basic doctrine and missions to them.
Samantha Monasterio is from Cantonment, FL. She downloaded the English curriculum and plans to use it to develop members from her congregation who want to serve oral cultures.
Tyler Hauschild is from Spokane, WA. He has an interest in the languages of Uganda and he wants to use the curriculum for discipleship.
Indeed, in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it… from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. Colossians 1:6-7 This mission community network is reaching out with God’s Word and it is exciting to be a part of what the Lord is doing around the world.
The Orality Institute board does not get much visibility, but they have an essential role in this ministry. They give the structure to Orality Institute in a similar way that we provide structure for our ministry partners. At our meeting on April 19th, we reviewed the trip to Uganda and the specific responsibilities that we offer to that ministry.
The Orality Institute fills four specific roles as we come alongside of our partner ministries:
First, we introduce people to oral instruction. Many have never heard of or understood what an oral strategy includes. Once they see it modeled, there is a natural interest in the training.
Second, we help prepare leaders for teaching their own classes in their own language. They know the stories from the Bible, they only need to learn how to teach them in an oral style where the students contribute the answers as the teacher asks the questions.
Third, once the teachers understand how to teach and facilitate the classes, they only need support to be successful. That support is standing alongside of a teacher, awarding the students with certificates, and validating their ministry with our presence.
Fourth, as leaders grow and classes progress, our partners benefit from guidance in multiplication strategies. In Uganda, that has meant moving from a centralized ministry team to zonal leadership. Now each zone oversees their own teachers and students. The apostle Paul told Titus, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order.” Paul Kneeland shared, “I am overwhelmed with fullness from the fruit we are seeing in this country. Hundreds of lives are being transformed through the Word of God… through Jesus Himself!