Jerry Wiles on Little ‘Trimtabs’ that have Big Impact for God’s Kingdom

A mini Orality Training on the Roadside in Ethiopia

There are many African proverbs about mosquitos.  One of those says, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.”  Anyone who has done much international travel in the more tropical regions of the world knows the importance of dealing with mosquitos.

There are actually numerous lessons we can learn from African proverbs, as well as local proverbs from around the world.  A proverb can be defined as a short pithy saying that expresses basic truth.  In addition to biblical proverbs, there are many verities of local proverbs that can be useful in communicating spiritual truths and spreading the Gospel.

Principles of the Kingdom of God

Trimtab was a new term to me until a friend of mine explained it to me several years ago.  In conversations with a group of people recently, I discovered that many are not familiar with the term trimtab. All aircraft and ocean-going vessels have a rudder that guides and directs the airplane or ship.  On the tip of the rudder is a much smaller rudder, known as a trimtab.  When the trimtab turns, it turns the rudder, and the rudder turns the plane or ship.

Since learning about trimtabs, I have discovered that there are many implications of this concept.  We could think of trimtab as a modern-day parable incorporating the kingdom principles Jesus spoke about in the Gospels.  For example, He said the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed and yeast.  A very small seed can produce a large plant, and a small amount of yeast can affect a large lump of dough.  It’s a great lesson to know and understand how little things can have such great impact, especially in relation to our service and influence in ministry and mission work.  It’s also encouraging to know how God uses so many different ways of advancing His Kingdom and how we can participate in His redemptive activities.

Communicating Truth by All Means 

Several years ago, we began hearing reports of how churches were starting and reproducing in remote areas through radio broadcasts.  One program consisted of simply reading Scripture at dictation speed, with no commentary.  What was discovered later was that students were copying the Scriptures, reproducing and distributing them.  Discussion groups were springing up around the life, teachings and Spirit of Jesus.  Churches were being planted, growing and reproducing. This is a great example of how God uses multi-model methods to spread the Gospel and advance the work of the Church.  In this case, it included oral or spoken methods, along with the use of modern technology and print-based media.

In the Orality movement we like to emphasize how God is using all means available for communicating the Gospel, making disciples and multiplying church movements.  Of all the ways and means He has used, and is using, most people have come to the Lord through Orality-based methods.  Churches, of course, depending on the culture and context, can include cell groups, simple, organic, house churches, congregation that meet under trees and many other expressions of the Body of Christ.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles

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