Our goal is to see people in hard to reach places
- hear God’s story (evangelism), and
- become followers of God (discipleship),
- so that they can be prepared to spread God’s story throughout their culture (fulfilling the Great Commission).
We show them how they can share biblical stories accurately in the culturally normal way in their villages. In almost all these places, the oral stories that are shared in the villages become the only Bible available in their village language.
Instead of starting our own projects and sending our own Western church planting teams, Background partners with churches and organizations God has already called to a region or people group to train their own people in how to use storying as a natural approach to ministry.
Once a story is shared in some setting—a group of men sitting by a cattle watering hole, between women sitting at a market selling potatoes, a small village sitting around a tree as the sun starts setting—we help believers learn how to walk through a story together and discover truths in it with their people. We don’t teach them to be preachers or evangelists; we encourage them to be co-journers.
Since we began in 2008, we’ve gone to local villages in twenty countries where believers–most of them following Christ for less than a year and a half and most with limited school education– have started churches in villages in Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and tribal religion areas where no church has been before.
We work with our partners to do the training at the village level with those who will be living in the village. We don’t give any handouts, use PowerPoint, show videos, or do anything that isn’t naturally a part of who the people are. We train the same way we’d like them to go do. We’ve done trainings in houses with chickens and half-naked kids running through, on large platforms in trees to avoid monsoon floods, and in mud and bamboo churches on a hilltop—natural places locals gather. We show them how stories are very interactive and community based, just like life in their villages.
Simply put, we train believers to take God’s Word to the village level through Bible storying, letting people get into God’s Word and God’s Word get into people with the fewest number of obstacles possible.