I was given a spectacular gift recently! As a part of the ION Leadership Team, I was asked to go and represent ION LT at the memorial of a dear partner, Dorothy Miller (TGSP/STS).
Arriving the day before, I quickly realized it was going to be a trip to remember.
God began to pour out a blessing. If you have seen me, you have probably also seen the ION Prayer Team. I do not go onsite without taking at least one of our team with me. God provides for them and for me! Lucy Knight (ION USA Prayer Coordinator) and I were blessed beyond words as we were in the midst of those we are called to “watch and pray” for around the globe. And it got even better, we were going to be living with them over the next few days. There day and night to hear of God’s activity and their testimonies of God’s provision and faith.
13 days with the Storytellers
On our trip we were able to go to the international headquarters for The God Story Project (TGSP) & Simply the Story (STS) in Hemet, California. It was a delight to spend 13 days with this ministry family. What a blessing to be with those who LOVE the Word of God and seek to take it literally into their hearts. Dorothy and Tom Miller have done a great service to the body of Christ in building the foundation of such an endeavor. May God continue to bless these groups.
Being with the global family at Bethel with the Storytellers. . .
God is certainly on the move and He is moving people around the globe. What a gift to be able to sit and listen to the stories of the storytellers. It has added fuel to the fire in my heart for the Nations. It has been my honor and pleasure to cover these groups in prayer and to lead others to pray and catch a glimpse of the work of God in and through these two group’s work. Many of our prayer team have gone to STS Training. But I have to admit, it was my turn. Lucy was able to up her training also. I have to share that being with them, and stepping into the process of learning the process of Simply the Story made all the difference in my spirit as to what God is up to.
I am even more convinced that Scripture Engagement in the form of sharing God’s Story is the way. How can we argue with the pattern of Jesus? As we submit to learn and share using His pattern of allowing others to go deep for their own treasures is the way to go.
Before attending the workshops, I had a small portion of God’s vision as to what He is doing in these two movements. Seeing it first person was a life changer. Using God’s Story for His glory is the way to bring Scripture into the heart.
Be sure to check out STS and step into a workshop, it will be a life changer for you also!
An Interview for Story4All
While I was there, Story4All interviewed me. Take a listen here: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/3323131
STS/Simply the Story
Please join in praying for the trainings/Oral Bible Schools around the Globe. The stories of the activity of God on this particular group of Storytellers is most remarkable.
“Trying To Keep Up”
Simply the Story began in 2006. It came out of the work of The God Story Project. In the first seven years since its beginning, multiple Simply The Story workshops were held in 98 countries! However, you will see a list of 115 further down this page because it is a combined list. We’ve Integrated into the workshops-held list are countries where people minister who have attended a workshop have then afterwards brought the teaching style of STS back to their country of service.
The chart below documents God’s increase as it shows the current countries covered.
Based on field reports and typical replication of STS, we conservatively estimated that, after that first four year span, 300,000 people were using STS principles in ministry.
Certified STS instructors now span the globe, and 22 training centers spread over all six populated continents.
How Does This Happen?
As with other movements of God, people plant, God gives the increase.
In our initial testing of Simply The Story, we presented the concept to our leaders in The God’s Story Project in USA, Asia, Africa, and India. These leaders had previously partnered with TGSP to produce multiple language versions of God Story: From Creation to Eternity. They heartily embraced STS.
Then, to launch Simply The Story, we made a five-country, 42-day, 20-seminar trip. We trained Christian leaders in the STS way of using pure and complete Bible stories, and of doing interactive, inductive Bible study, oral style. After experiencing STS, many of these leaders immediately included leading STS workshops as a part of their God-given ministry assignments.
Since that time, these leaders have attempted to respond to the huge interest generated by those inaugural Simply the Story workshops. Almost none of these leaders are financially supported by TGSP. A few key country leaders do receive travel money, as needed, when STS is planted in new regions and countries.
First Disciples … Then Disciplers
We discovered that those who attended these workshops immediately began using STS concepts in ministry and in the training of others. Within the first two years, due to the design of training and certifying of instructors that developed and the replicability of STS, we saw these results:
- Workshop attendees understood Scripture for themselves.
- Attendees spontaneously began productive evangelization and discipleship.
- Workshop attendees learned how to train others.
- Those they trained began to train yet others. (see Multiple Generations)
Some of these listed are not stand-alone countries, but may be protectorates or another sub-classification. We list this way, not just to make the list look more impressive if it is longer (and it does), it is because it we want to see what regions have and have not had some kind of STS coverage. I.E. it was a milestone to see the one done in Republic of Ireland by instructors from N Ireland. Many fragment countries such as Sudan split because the separate regions had very different identities. We track where STS has been or has a witness, and places we yet want to cover.
w = workshop held. p = person(s) using STS there.
|STS – What & Why:What is STS?
Spread of STS
|1. Andaman Islands-w
11. Burkina Faso-w
15. Cape Verde-p
16. Central African Republic-p
22. Costa Rica-w
23. Cote D’Ivoire-w
25. Democratic R Congo-w
26. Dominican Republic-w
38. Guinea Bissau-w
41. Hong Kong-w
44. Ireland, Northern-w
45. Ireland, Republic of-w
59. Malaysia West-w
60. Malaysia East-w
70. New Zealand-w
73. North Africa 1-p
74. North Africa 2-w
75. North Africa 3-p
86. Sierra Leone-w
90. South Africa-w
92. Sri Lanka-w
93. St. Lucia-w
94. Sudan North-w
95. Sudan South-w
107. Undisclosed #1-p
108. Undisclosed #2-w
109. United Arab Emirates-w