StoryRunners® and Global Church Movements, Cru’s church planting ministry, are linking arms to help one another offer the gospel to more and more who have never heard. Global Church Movements has a robust church planting training and operates in 130 countries with over 160,000 people planting churches; however, the training used only literate methods. For church planters like Malika, those methods limited her effectiveness. “I work with many women in my church and many of them do not read and write,” she says. “It is very difficult to help them share the gospel because the methods we have are written.” StoryRunners, simultaneously, wanted to ensure School of Storying (SOS) participants continued to use the stories and their training to advance the kingdom of God long after the SOS residence workshop ended.
This summer, StoryRunners and Global Church Movements are officially moving forward in collaboration, combining their church planting and storytelling components. In fact, Bekele Shanko, the Vice President of Global Church Movements, has requested StoryRunners launch an initial church planting training using only Bible stories to 40 countries by summer 2021; and, he has named StoryRunners the official storying ministry for their church planting network! “Recognizing the unique giftedness of StoryRunners to present the gospel and training processes orally in clear and compelling ways, we have developed partnership with them,” says Shanko. “As a result, our church multiplication training process is now available orally in multiple languages and already making significant impacts around the world.”
Now Malika can better foster spiritual growth among the women in her church who don’t read or write. These women, in turn, can plant churches just by telling Bible stories! In small groups, they will lead others to hear a Bible story, learn the story, discuss the story and apply the story. Over time, these groups will grow into house churches that will grow just by telling Bible stories.
“This [oral Bible story training] is fulfilling a dream. I have struggled to train those who cannot read and this is going to accomplish that,” says a national director for Cru in West Africa. Since an initial field test with stories in this director’s country last fall, 12 new churches have been planted. Your partnership is fulfilling his dream and planting these new churches so that lives are being transformed. Thanks to you, more and more oral learners all across the world now have the opportunity to hear God’s Word and to become followers of Christ who, in turn, offer His gospel of salvation to others. You are helping those who have never had access to God’s Word before begin to follow Him in communities of faith. Thank you!