Workshops: Challenges PDF Print E-mail

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops:

Hosting
Non-Literate
Practicals
Challenges
Locations

Oral Schools

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops:

Hosting
Non-Literate
Practicals
Challenges
Locations

Oral Schools

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops:

Hosting
Non-Literate
Practicals
Challenges
Locations

Oral Schools

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











Training Info:

Workshops:

Hosting
Non-Literate
Practicals
Challenges
Locations

Oral Schools

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

Boatload of Paradigm Shifts


We title this article “workshop challenges”100_5529_Phil_listning_to_story because Simply The Story workshops offer a unique experience. Attendees do encounter a surprising mountain of paradigm shifts, new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking.

From the inception of Simply the Story, we discovered that introducing oral strategies and encouraging people to incorporate oral ways of communication into their literate strategies of evangelism and discipleship would be a steep climb. But those who ascend say the summit made the climb worthwhile.

When people in ministry first hear about the need for oral strategy and they respond with some skepticism, we are not surprised. Remembering our own slow move to adopt oral strategies helps us appreciate this hesitation to “retool.”

Most leaders have only known, and therefore only used, literate styles of communication—and they have had some degree of success. So, very often their initial response to the suggestion that “you may need to adopt new strategies” is not enthusiastic. There can be a perception that all they have developed and supported is being threatened, and that all their years of committed labor and investment are being denigrated.

Early in our STS vision-casting presentations, we experienced better responses to our introduction of oral strategy (orality) when we worded the information this way:


We are suggesting that you embrace, not erase. We are not asking you to set aside any material or strategies that are working well for you. But, if you choose to embrace this added tool of oral strategy, there is a strong chance that more of the people you engage will be able to fully grasp your teaching.


Although great progress is being made in the number of ministries endorsing the use of oral strategies, the how-to of putting oral methods into action has been slow to develop.
A lot being done in the name of "orality" is still literate in design.
Literate thinkers are usually the ones developing the new material and curriculum. Consequently, a lot being done in the name of “orality” is still literate in design.

Generally, when expanding ways to study Scripture or minister to others, new skills or information is added to what people have previously learned. Most often, the new ways are built upon ideas and information the learners already possess.  

Accumulating knowledge is similar to building a house. We establish a foundation of solid information. We build strong outer walls of information and then divide that secured space into rooms with walls of more information. Finally, a roof of knowledge is added which protects all the rest that has been established. Later, when new information comes along, it is added to the house of knowledge, akin to a room addition.  

BUT, imagine for a moment that you want to move this home to a completely different location, to a lake. You want the same home, but on the water; literally you want your home to become a houseboat. To do that you would not be able to just add on to your old house. You would have to use a different foundation, one that would float. Walls would have a different weight and design.  

When we embrace Simply The Story, it is as if we are building on water instead of land. Much of our knowledge about learning and communication that worked well in our literate environment will not work well in the new environment of oral learners.  

Most people who are literate, and who have traditional theological educational training, must learn how to momentarily set aside a lot of their acquired ideas of learning and communication. This “setting aside” must be done in order for educated, literate people to be able to experience and absorb the new methods of acquiring and presenting information that are needed to effectively reach oral learners.

These changes are paradigm shifts from what we may have thought or experienced as the “only ways” to study and share Scripture, to new ways of preparing and sharing. These new ways may be different and even seem to be in opposition to our past information and experiences.

The paradigm shifts encountered when learning and using STS involve:
  • How learners participate.
  • Who can learn and how much and how deeply they can learn.
  • The change of focus for source of information.
  • Styles of information delivery.
  • The integration of preparedness with the freedom of flowing with the moment.

These days offer exciting opportunities in missions. Oral strategies produce long- prayed-for results. Those who do see the need and importance of putting oral strategies into action are attempting to work together so that we all can most effectively and efficiently minister—and train others to minister.

In STS, one of our specialties is teaching oral strategy using oral methods.

Teach oral strategy using oral methods.
From the beginning of our quest to understand oral strategy, we noticed an odd application of insight when people gathered to learn more about orality.

The pathfinders in orality did well at convincing those gathered that the overwhelming majority of the population of the world (including developed nations) were non-literate, semi-literate or preferred oral learners. Yet, nearly all the presentations of these facts were done in power point, lists and lectures–almost no stories!

I remember thinking to myself early in this quest, They convinced us that most of the world doesn’t learn best through literate methods, but here they predominately use literate methods to communicate. Are all of us gathered here the highly literate 10% or what?

Bottom line, it is HARD to be what you are NOT—or to do what you have never learned or experienced.  But we began to learn something about the challenges we all were having from what we saw being demonstrated. We were all giving mental ascent to the high percentage of oral learners in the world, yet we were not applying that information in the ways we interchanged with others.

We realized that we can endorse something as true, say we believe it, but then go out and instantly live as if it was not true.

How does this disconnect occur? Maybe people who were accustomed to teaching using literate methods just hadn’t yet acquired the skills of using oral methods?

When we gain information—information that is diametrically opposed to what we have always believed to be the only way to accomplish a task—we face a decision. We may be called on to make some dramatic changes in our own ways of operating in order to be able to model our new understanding for others.

Paradigm Shifts

Needed to Learn, Teach and Utilize Simply The Story

Following are some samples of the paradigm shifts people may face when learning and using STS, especially people who are trained and experienced in a literate style of Scripture preparation and ministry. Some challenges are due to the content of STS and others are due to the methods we use to train. Not everyone will face all of these shifts, but most of us will face some:

    1. Using questions instead of lecture to deliver information.
    2. Answering questions with questions.
    3. The teacher is not the central focus; the Word of God is the focus.
    4. Opens door to teach deeply those formerly rejected as unteachable.
    5. By using questions that cause thinking, Holy Spirit has room to teach.

    1. Achieves results through non-traditional teaching structure.
    2. The very core of STS trains people to teach others.
    3. Goals strived for become natural outcomes.
    4. Allows teachers to be impacted through those who are taught.
    5. Teaching is independent of written material or physical devices.

    1. Equips people to minister in and outside of Christian environment.
    2. When people are able to discover, teacher waits to give information.
    3. Information is not told, questions assist others to find for themselves.
    4. Vibrant discussion occurs, but content and decorum stay controlled.
    5. Wise participants learn value of holding back, allowing all to discover.

    1. Teachers learn to listen well and respond to input from those they lead.
    2. Not using information outside the story or material outside the Bible.
    3. Literates learn to operate inside the world of oral communicators.
    4. Gain skills of preparing and sharing Scripture without written notes.
    5. To trust the Word and the Holy Spirit to do the work of convincing.

    1. Body unity results from common ground of staying in one passage.
    2. To be comfortable discussing story ideas not on prepared mental list.
    3. Young people can discover spiritual information valuable to others.
    4. Non-literates can gather deep spiritual truth from God’s Word.
    5. Truth gleaned in story and internalized, prompts learners to apply.

    1. Both those new to and familiar with Scripture learn alongside.
    2. Socio-economic and ethnic prejudices lose significance.
    3. People who feel superior start seeing the value in others as God does.
    4. Meditation strived for begins to occur naturally.
    5. The depth of what can be found in a short passage astounds all.

    1. Non-literates and the uneducated can think critically.
    2. STS stimulates teachers and listeners to think more deeply.
    3. Remembering Scripture content is as valid as memorizing, and easier!
    4. Literates able to learn Bible passages without seeing the printed page.
    5. Even leaders learn and are assisted in workshops, called co-leading.

  1. Set training schedule that flexes according to needs of the attendees.
  2. Teachers act as interested learners rather than all-knowing superiors.
  3. People taught by story remember content and share with others.