Jerry Wiles on The Place of Orality in the Great Commission

Bible-less Maasi Women in East Africa participate in Reproducing Disciple Making and Church Planting Movements

What is the Great Commission anyway?  A recent study showed that a large percentage of church goers in North America did not know.  A very simple summary of the Great Commission could be “communicating the Gospel to everyone” and “making disciples (followers of Jesus) among all people groups.”

The next question might be “What is Orality?”  There are still a lot of people asking that question.  Here is a website with a good definition and explanation http://www.orality.info/.  The websites at the end of this article are great places to find other resource.

Completing the Great Commission

When we think about actually completing the Great Commission, we must consider what it will take to reach and disciple the least and last unreached people groups.  Jesus didn’t say make disciples of all literate people groups, but all people groups.  Many past mission strategies have been about reducing a language to writing, translating the Scriptures, teaching people how to read, then introducing them to Jesus.  Now we know that we can introduce people to Jesus, whether they ever learn to read or have the Bible in their language.

Oral Cultures and Oral Art Forms

There are still several hundred language groups in the world today who have no written form or any Scripture in their language. With better understanding of Oral Cultures and Oral Art Forms, we know that people can begin a relationship with the Lord and become reproducing followers of Jesus, before they have the Bible in their language. However, Orality Missiologists are also advocates and supporters of Bible translation work and literacy programs.

Some places where Living Water International staff and partners have conducted Orality Training we have found that Oral Strategies have accelerated both Bible translation and literacy programs.  One Bible Translator in Central America reported that after participating in Living Water’s Orality Training, the process of discipling new believers had been cut from seven years to one year.  There are other missiologists who have been practicing and advocating for what is sometimes referred to as rapidly advancing disciple making.  One of the keys is streamlining and simplifying to a more Early Church model.

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SOURCE: Assist News