First, an article I was asked to prepare for the Orality Journal, a publication of the International Orality Network (ION), was made available online. This article, Mobilizing the Story of His Glory (begins on page 15 of the PDF link), shares about mobile ministry in the context of a primarily oral world. What does a "primarily oral world" mean? Let me share some insights from the ION website:
- There are an estimated 5.7 billion people who are oral learners. This includes 3 billion adults, 900 million very young children, and 450 million children between the ages of eight and fifteen; all of these have basic or below basic literacy skills. They are oral learners because of their limited literacy skills.
- The vast majority of missions work has been done for a literate audience. Unfortunately the vast majority of the true audience is therefore not able to connect with the Gospel.
- Oral cultures are very relational - they share their lives with one another.
- Most oral cultures will communicate with one another in narratives, dialogues and dramas, proverbs, songs, chants, and poetry. When asked what he thought about a new village school headmaster, a Central African replied "Let's watch how he dances".
GMI (Global Mapping International) also just produced a nice little infographic on the subject of orality that I recommend you check out.
Second, a little over a week ago eight members of the Mobile Ministry Forum gathered together at the Renew World Outreach headquarters outside of Atlanta to finalize aspects of the "Mobile Ministry 101" (i.e. Mobile Ministry for Dummies!) course that we hope to finish and make available within the next few months. The need to equip believers, evangelists and church planters around the world with the mobile ministry tools, techniques and tactics that will enhance their ministry effectiveness is what motivated us to develop this two hour course. As we met together, the importance of orality was emphasized over an over!
Key needs for seekers and new believers include audio and visual materials that take into account both a lack of literacy as well as principles of orality that affect billions of individuals' learning preferences. With that in mind, it was such a joy to discover that Nancy Keel (Kiosk Evangelism) had spent the last eight months documenting and gathering audio Bibles and Bible portions that are available in various locations across the web. Wanting to multiply the effect of her work I asked if she would be willing to share the sources where she had found the audio Bible content and she gladly consented. The result is a new resource page here at Mobile Advance- Audio Bibles & Bible Portions. Enjoy and put to good use getting God's word out to the last and the least, the oral and illiterate.