Uses & Users:
Church - Pastors
Short Term Trips
Youth - Children
Uses & Users:
Church - Pastors
Short Term Trips
Youth - Children
Read Article From Dallas Graduate/PhD BIOLA
Paper from Career MAF Missionary/Teacher
Testimony of Fuller PhD Ministry to Secular Jews
Numerous Bible schools and seminaries throughout the world have invited STS instructors to introduce oral strategies and Simply the Story to their faculty and students. The invitations to lead week-long workshops in these institutions of higher learning continue to come to us.
As well, here and there, STS is being woven into curriculum and being offered as a course. We are prayerfully on the lookout for academics and those skilled in setting up material for curricula to assist in formatting the existing teaching material of STS into a standard curriculum style.
We offer a few reports here of schools and seminaries that have incorporated STS into their offerings. More is seen in the reports from Africa and West Africa.
You may recall that several years ago the South India Bible College first used STS in their summer ministry outreach in the slums. They saw such an excellent response in the slums that the principle included it as a class.
Now, as a result of the impact on their students, we were asked to lead a training in the seminary. The training is going on well by His grace, both Bachelor and Masters degree students at South India Seminary are showing great interest to learn STS.
The Principal and the board want to use STS as one of the major subjects in their academic curriculum.
“Show a Deeper Walk”
Grace Bible College, the largest Bible school in India, now uses STS as part of their curricula.
Reports from their staff state, “Our graduate evangelists are seeing greater responses to the Gospel and growth of the village believers than ever before.
The evangelists themselves, who have been trained in and use God’s Story and STS, show a deeper walk with the Lord and better understanding of the Bible than our previous graduates.”
Response Among the People
South India Bible College and Seminary used STS for summer outreaches in the slums. The school directors saw such a wonderful response among those to whom the students ministered, that the directors decided to add STS to their training program in the college and seminary.
Testimony of the Rediscovery, through Simply the Story, of an Ancient Jewish Tradition— Storytelling— for Effective Jewish Ministry Today
My wife Diana and I have served as missionaries to the Jewish people for twenty-nine years. We ministered for eight years in Israel in pastoral and teaching ministries.
The Jewish people, known as “the People of the Book,” are also people of books. Historically, their high education and literacy skill paves the way for their many successes. It became apparent that I needed to become learned and intellectually well-equipped to effectively reach and minister to Jewish people.
After achieving my goal of attaining a PhD degree, I believed I was intellectually prepared for ministry to Jewish people. I was quite practiced in delivering expositional Bible studies, with outlines and a largely lecture form.
But over the years, I was becoming quite weary of using apologetics and argumentation. Jewish people, and especially those schooled in Rabbinic thought, can argue and debate you to a standstill over who is the Messiah and other theological issues. Head-to-head Messianic vs. Rabbinic apologetics was usually futile in terms of winning Jewish people to the Faith in Jesus the Messiah.
Then, about two years ago, I met Larry Dinkins, another missionary with a PhD. He began to tell me his story of how his high level academic training was not working in Thailand. He came to understand that the Thai are largely oral learners. He learned of Simply the Story (STS), experienced a paradigm shift, and began using this way of communicating scriptural truths with the Thai and other Asians. It revolutionized his teaching and ministry.
This impressed me, but I assumed storytelling was generally an approach used with non-literate and uneducated people, so my first response was to think it not relevant to Jewish ministry.
But it did not take me long to think twice—stories would be Jewish–friendly, if one used the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures (the “Old Testament”). The majority of Jewish people today are secularized and not very Biblically literate. Yet they would instinctively know these are the stories of the Jewish people, the stories of Israel, and would resonate with them. I believed it was worth a try.
Well, long story short— I have been using Simply the Story (STS) now in a weekly Jewish Seeker’s Bible Study for about two years in the Los Angeles area. We have between twenty and thirty who attend each week, and about one-third of them are Jewish. My Jewish friends love it! It is the best approach I have ever discovered for engaging Jewish seekers with the Word of God.
STS provides a context for discipleship as well as leadership training. I have been coaching Jewish believers to lead in the STS model, and they are growing in leadership skills as they do so.
One Jewish man embraced Yeshua as his Messiah through our group several months ago. Several Jewish seekers are attending, three or four have continued to come for months; they have not yet embraced the Messiah, but they are participating in the stories and bonding to the group.
A Jewish man is his early 80s, who lived most of his life in New York City, came to faith in Messiah about three years ago, and now attends our Seekers Study. He told me, “I grew up in Hebrew school and synagogue and had to learn the stories of the Torah and Hebrew Bible, but he told me recently, “I never really knew the stories the way I have learned them now; they have come to life!”
STS will continue to be a major element in my ministry repertoire in the future.
[See interesting article Bill authored that wove in the story principles of STS. The myriad of STS applications and the uniqueness of how Bible stories can be utilized in ministry can be seen in his article published in Jewish Voice Today. 2.4 MB
By Rev. Bill Bjoraker, PhD
US Missionary to Jewish People, Assemblies of God
Director Operation Ezekiel
Faculty, Academic Advisor, William Carey International University
Besides the articles and testimonies above, more from trained theologians who treasure God’s Word are seen in Uses & Users-Churches and Pastors | Uses & Users Bible Translators | Bible Translation
For specifics on how Simply The Story treats Scripture see Design of STS.