This past week we’ve been sharing the good news in Southeast Asia telling Bible stories in English as a door to share the Gospel.
I’ve found that people all over the world want to learn how to speak better English. They often flock around me in groves to practice their broken English or to hear it spoken.
Since we’ve not been allowed to openly share the Gospel in this Country we are using bible storytelling as a means to share with English speakers.
We found that people who take the time to actually learn and speak English have a lot of potential since they are motivated to excel in life.
Our small groups multiplication strategy:
1. Pray and Listen
2. Whatever you hear from God’s Word… obey
3. Whatever you learn, share it with others.
I’d like to explain how we’ve used the English-speaking storytelling groups to minister. I hope it helps you.
Preliminary Planning for The Storytelling Groups
Our contact this week is a national who is also an English teacher. Before I arrived with him I gave him the following instructions (you can give similar advice to coordinators or people of peace before holding the discovery/house groups):
We are training you so you can train others. We would like to help you facilitate these groups. This is an opportunity for you to learn how to begin do small group church planting that multiplies. Please pray and use wisdom setting up the groups. Remember we are trying to reach people who previously have never went to an evangelical church but are open to hearing the good news.
Here’s some specific points:
- The groups are open to anyone who can speak English. Perhaps someone you have been making friends with or someone from your English class.
- Again, we would prefer to not have anyone affiliated with a “church group” attend since we want to concentrate on people who do not know Christ.
- While we’re here, plan on meeting at least 3 or 4 times with the same people in the groups as we will be training and putting into practice what we’ve learned. After that you’ll continue on your own.
- We are not interested in a large number of people.
- We prefer meeting in houses or private places.
- Please pray that God gives you the right “persons of peace”. These are people who are open to the Gospel and God has already been working in their hearts and could help influence others.
- There is no cost for the group so be sure and tell your friends.
I’ve put together an invitation to help. There are no meeting places on the invitation. That is up to you and your discretion.
The English Storytelling Group Invitation
Since we do not actually teach English we hand out an invitation brochure or simply invite people who speak English to participate. English schools are great.
“IF YOU CAN READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS BROCHURE …this English-speaking discussion group is especially designed for you”
We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, and 70% of what we discuss.
Although the facilitator will cast vision about how to win in life, this is not an english class nor will one person be giving a lecture.
Here’s what we’ll do:
- Read and listen to a life enriching story.
- Retell the story in your words
- Discuss what you learned from the story and how you can apply it to your life.
- Be challenged to put what you learn into practice
- Share what you learned with your friends so you can make a difference as you help them also.
All stories are taken from the world’s bestselling book of all time.
*If you are free to share the gospel in the Country you are ministering in you can changed the words to include the Bible and God.
What to Do in the English Storytelling Discovery Group
I’ve attached a pdf of the outline we used in our group:
Start out by making introductions and building relationships with everyone.
We used the theme of “being a winner” since we weren’t free to mention Christ.
“Determined To Win” Storytelling Group Format
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
You can be a winner. Gain life purpose and significance by sharing everything you learn with your family and friends and teach them to do likewise.
Checkup (for second meeting)
- “How have you applied what you learned to your life?
- Who have you shared what you have learned with?
Read or listen to a Story
- Read and/or listen to a life enriching story taken from the world’s bestselling book of all time.
- Retell the story in your words.
Discuss what you learned from the story and how you can apply it to your life.
Be challenged to put what you learn into practice:
- What does this story tell me about God? (If you have the freedom to mention God)
- What does this story tell me about people?
- What does this story tell me I ought to do?
- What do you like about the story?
- What do you find difficult about the story?
You don’t have to use all of the questions
Make commitments and write them down.
- How can I obey or put into practice what I’ve learned
Who am I going to tell what I’ve learned?
Everyone is responsible to obey by sharing what you have been taught with more family and friends.
We found that the most effective way to tell the story was by acting it out like I did with these young people in an English class:
Start Making Disciples – Invite Everyone to Meet Again
Now that everyone has heard God’s Word they have homework; Whatever you hear, obey. Whatever you learn, share it with others.
They should go out and retell the story with the people they wrote down when they made their commitment.
Now everyone in the group should plan on meeting again. Perhaps at the same time or same place. Continue to use the same format of telling stories, facilitating discussions, practicing what they’ve learned and sharing with others.
An important next step is to have participants facilitate the stories and discussions.
Before we left we prayed for God to give us people of peace. God was faithful and gave us an English teacher and her husband.
Another important next step is that participants start new groups.The new groups no longer need to be in English, They can be in the Nationals first language.
In the new group all everyone needs to do is repeat what they learned and how they applied it to their life. They should also encourage new groups to do the same thing with other people.
These types of English-speaking storytelling groups are often called “discovery groups”.
However, I’ve written about our PACE Plan and how to conduct small church groups in a home. We are using the Zume Project for a complete training on multiplying disciples who make more disciples who make more disciples.
Check out the Zume Project and if you sign up, mention my name “Greg Nemer” so I can help you.
Or use the comment form below to let me know you’re interested in using English storytelling groups or the Zume project I’ll coach you on whatever your specific need is.