Oral Learning People Groups in the US: Immigrants and Refugees

There is an incredible opportunity in missions right here in the US, at our own doorsteps! As you probably know, there are many thousands of unreached people throughout our country who have come as refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants from some of the most difficult, dangerous and war-torn regions of the world. Many refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers (often referend to as diaspora) are oral-preference learners. As they relocate their lives to our cities and towns…

Comprehensive Oral Bible Strategies: Essential to Effective Kingdom Building

This month’s post is part of a series about the distinctives of SIU’s church planting and disciple-making approach as developed by our founders, Jim and Carla Bowman. It is a fact that many of the unengaged and least-reached people groups in the world live in hard-to-access places and belong to traditional, oral cultures. Books and printed materials are not part of their everyday experience. People living in oral cultures, many of whom speak three to four different languages in addition to their mother tongue, have always…

“Healthy” Oral Bible House Churches

Characteristics of “Healthy” Oral Bible House Churches

As the leader of SIU (and to be honest, Jesus is our leader), I often am asked what I consider a success in terms of new church plants. What is a “healthy” oral Bible house church? What SIU calls a new plant in our field reporting with our SIU partners – to which we had 5,843 new in 2018 alone! It’s always good to discuss this topic with our US based leaders but most importantly to seek the Lord and to seek out those who live, breathe and participate in these oral Bible house churches in the field, our indigenous men and women of peace.

Integrating the “Traditional Oral Arts”

This posting is the second in a series on the Distinctive Applications of SIU’s Oral Bible Strategies as written by our founders, Jim and Carla Bowman:

“The Storyteller finishes the enthralling narrative of Elisha the prophet and Naaman, a Syrian commander healed by God of leprosy. The dramatic ending is met with silent reverence when into the story circle steps a woman portraying the slave girl; she is barefoot, wearing a handspun brown tunic. Another actress, Naaman’s wife who meets her slave girl in the circle, wears dangling bracelets, long, silver earrings, and a silk veil. They talk briefly in the native language discussing the dilemma of Naaman’s illness. Other characters come on the scene: the king of Syria, Naaman, Elisha, and the story is now enacted in drama. The drama ends … with song and dance in celebration of God’s miracle.”

Indescribable, Unmerited Mercy and Forgiveness

I’ve had enough! How many more wrongs will I allow this person to inflict on me?
Have you been here before? It is frustrating to experience firsthand a pattern of actions that causes great personal pain, especially when the person behind the actions is either blind to the issue or unwilling to listen and change.
BUT, when I am feeling wounded by someone else, I have to remind myself to stop and think about how many times I also have repeated a pattern of failure or disappointment in my relationships.
We are indeed a motley crew, we humans. We are quick to judge and tell others what is “right” from our perspective. It reminds me of when the apostle Peter went to Jesus with this question…

The Dialogue Style of Jesus

The Dialogue Style of Jesus

We are truly blessed that the founders of SIU, Jim and Carla Bowman, are still actively involved in our ministry by praying for us and providing much-needed guidance and insight. The Lord has led them into a new season of bustling, but enjoyable retirement, still bringing glory to His name. This month’s blog entry is part one of a new series on the distinctives of SIU’s Oral Bible Strategy, developed as the Lord guided our founders to create the foundation of what SIU has now become. The Bowmans share…

Regional Gatherings of Maturing Leaders…

Every once in a while, as the Lord leads our efforts here at SIU, a window of opportunity opens up for one of our Bridges Training Networks, networks of proven ministry partners in Asia or Africa, to bring regional indigenous leaders together for a Round Table or Regional Summit. At these events, attending leaders share what the Lord is revealing in their communities, discuss what local groups of oral Bible churches and fellowships face as they implement the Bridges strategy, pray and seek the Lord together, and encourage one another as they face much persecution …

Lives Transformed by the Gospel

Lives are truly being transformed by the Gospel through our SIU Field Partners (courageous “Men and Women of Peace”). As they practice Storying and the Oral Arts, they are creating, multiplying and replicating indigenous church-planting and disciple-making movements around the world. What’s amazing is that we believe the numbers reported are conservative.

Overcoming Fears to Reach Our Neighbors

One of the things our SIU team looks forward to the most is hearing new testimonies of impact from people who attend one of our Bridges training events held around the world. We know these testimonies will be coming, and to be honest, I kind of get giddy with excitement waiting for them to be shared. (Giddy is probably an old school term, but oh well, I am getting up in years.) These new stories of transformed lives…

journey - simple, organic, reproducible

Simple. Organic. Reproducible.

As I traveled to a number of missions conferences last year, I so enjoyed meeting missionaries with different personality types, ages and lengths of service, with some having served 30, even 40 years in a foreign field. They were each unique and their callings different, yet they had learned many similar patterns in their journey with God to furthering His Kingdom.