I sat spell-bound watching the premier of the ‘Master Storyteller’—three short films that artfully visualize how our God communicates orally. The occasion of this premier was the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen) meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia. The setting was a beautiful Christian university campus, and in this workshop I was amongst younger leaders from around the world. I realized this was a watershed moment for the journey of orality and the next generation.
Earlier this century, the Lausanne Movement facilitated the birthing of ‘orality’ through the creation of the International Orality Network. The issue of making disciples of oral learners gained focused attention and changed trajectories for many organizations around the world. Many people in the non-West felt they were understood for the first time. People said to me repeatedly, ‘our country, and indeed, our continent is all oral, and now we feel empowered to minister in the way we normally do it in our culture.’
Sitting in the audience with the next generation of younger leaders and watching the films reminded me of Deuteronomy 31:19 and Revelation 15:3. Moses was instructed to write down a song and teach it to the children of Israel; this same song is sung in Revelation 15:3. This is incredible! What was recorded in oral form from God onto tablets of stone is repeated generation after generation by memory, so that ultimately on that day, as portrayed in the book of Revelation, it is sung back to God. Imagine the voice of God recorded into the many mediums, one day reverberating back to God by a chorus of voices. There is something about God’s primary means of communication—orality—that is very special. He speaks tenderly in whispers and boldly in shouts.
The new generation of leaders in this century are becoming unshackled from textual literacy and are participating in communication that is more oral and visual. How will they be unleashed? How will they bring the Gospel to a world which hungers for truth? What means will they have to build momentum?
Coauthors Dr. Swarr, Gidoomal and Araujo, have over half a century of collective experience in Israel. Each one in their own right can provide meaningful books; however, they choose to collaborate in a relational way so as to model how oral learners work. This book is a unique telling of God’s demonstrative words, work and symbols.
The book you hold is also part of a media ecosystem that includes film, digital art, audio, print and social media. This interactive ecosystem encourages the unleashing of creativity and invites communal conversations about God’s heart for the nations. Through the films, Araujo and Gidoomal bring God’s creativity, symbols and rituals alive! These assist us in exploring and discovering our creative God, and the creativity within us.
This is an ambitious project, but one that aims to speak to multiple generations about God and how a new generation can be unleashed for the Kingdom. You will go deeper in your understanding of God, you will see new ways of discipleship, and you will be changed by the multi-faceted approach of telling God’s creative Word!
May I commend this book to you.
Samuel E. Chiang
President and CEO
The Master Storyteller book and films are available online through our interactive learning platform. If you have purchased access already, you may log in now. Otherwise, click here to purchase access.