Avery Willis Leads Class on Chronological Bible Storying

Oklahoma Baptists will be able to learn about an emerging global missions approach from one of the world’s foremost mission strategists at a seminar in Oklahoma City in December.

“Chronological Bible Storying addresses Christians’ need to contextually share the gospel of Christ to the majority of the world that is functionally illiterate,” said Dr. Avery Willis, retired senior vice president for overseas operations for Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board.

Willis, currently Herschel Hobbs scholar in residence at Oklahoma Baptist University, will lead a class on Chronological Bible Storying Dec. 1-3 at the Baptist Building, 3800 N. May Ave, in Oklahoma City. On Thursday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 2, the class will meet from 6:30-9 p.m., and on Saturday, Dec. 3, the class will run from 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

CBS is described as “a method of presentation that tells selected biblical stories in chronological order in the power of the Holy Spirit so as to bring people to genuine faith in Christ, mature discipleship and fruitful Christian service.”

“Though it is hard from some of us to understand, many people in the world are unable to read a Bible,” Willis said. “Therefore, a verbal approach to discipleship is necessary. Chronological Bible Storying is that effective, relevant approach.”

Early examples of CBS were utilized in the 1970s, when Trevor McIlwain, a missionary in the Philippines, needed an effective approach to train tribal groups to understand biblical teachings. He chose to teach chronologically through the Bible starting with Genesis. It was concluded that this exposition produced a much stronger understanding of God’s nature and the Christian faith within the people and transformed their lives.

Willis, a noted missionary and discipleship leader, is the executive director of the International Orality Network, a partnership of major missions organizations committed to using oral strategies such as CBS as a means of evangelizing and discipling the approximately 70 percent of the world’s population which is functionally illiterate.

As Hobbs scholar in residence at OBU, Willis has been involved in the initial efforts of the university’s Global Outreach Center. Established in the spring of 2005, the Avery T. Willis Global Outreach Center coordinates academic programs and international missions efforts for OBU students. The center also serves as a resource for Oklahoma Baptist churches.

The cost for the December seminar is $25 per person. To register, contact Janet Burns at (405) 878-2229 or janet.burns@okbu.edu.