StoryRunners – How Shall They Hear?

StoryRunners was founded to accelerate the spread of the Gospel to people who have no awareness of Scripture and who have no written language.

ORLANDO, FL – StoryRunners is an incredible ministry of Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ). StoryRunners was founded specifically to accelerate the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ to people who have no awareness of Scripture and who have no written language.

The organization accomplishes this by creating oral stories that are taught to those who have never heard of Jesus or the Bible. There are many faith-based organizations that have been diligent and effective in translating the Bible for people who have a written language or dialect. Yet, more than half of the 7,000 languages extant in the world – oral or written – have no known copies of the Scriptures.

“StoryRunners enables people in those unreached language groups to hear the Gospel in a way they understand.”

Since 2003, StoryRunners’ vision has been to multiply disciples by providing effectively-conceived Bible stories to oral learners in 500 languages. To date, nearly 100 sets of “The Promise,” a 42-story compilation of the entire Bible, have been developed, distributed, and are deployed.

Learning by Hearing a Story

We all learn by hearing. We learned our first words and sentences and stories as children by hearing them. Most of us knew the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears long before we could read it. We understood the story the first time we heard it. We could retell it after hearing it repeated several times. We learned songs by hearing them and singing along.

During the earliest chapters of history, listening to stories was the primary mode of learning. None of our ancestors, from Adam to Abraham to Noah and to Moses, had the Scripture in written form until Moses wrote it all down in what is now known as the Pentateuch. Yet, they knew the story of Creation, our Creator, and His relationship with His Creation—all without it being written.

Teaching by Sharing the Story

StoryRunners developed the School of Storying to train native-language speakers to retell the Bible story from Creation all the way to the soon return of Christ. Students learn the entire 42 stories – and are able to accurately share them – in just four weeks.

Each new language story is derived from the first editions in English. The translated stories are subjected to meticulous scrutiny to ensure Biblical accuracy, simplicity, cultural appropriateness, and comprehensibility.

The process begins with a group listening to each story in a language they understand, but not their local language. After determining that the listeners understand the essential elements of the story, one of them is asked to record the story in their local language.

The recorded stories are shared among selected groups of students for a peer review. While the peer review is conducted, a trainer reviews an English translation made from the local language version. The versions are compared, and recommendations are made for improvement.

Unbelievers from the local language culture who are unfamiliar with the story are invited to people check the story. They listen to the newly-developed story several times. The teacher asks questions to determine how easily the lesson was understood and able to be retold.

Next, the entire group enrolled in the School of Storying review the audio one more time for consistency. They also ensure the continuity from each story to the next.

In yet another review, the showcase check, a storyteller from each group tells their story to another group to see if people unfamiliar with that particular story can learn and retell it accurately.

Finally, the teaching team conducts a final Bible check, comparing an English translation to its biblical source. Once no additional changes are necessary, the storytellers record a final audio master.

StoryRunners is getting the Bible to people who have no written language by telling God’s story the way we all began learning and the way everyone who lived prior to Moses learned about God and the precious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Click here to listen to any or all of the 42 stories that comprise the original English version of The Promise. Each lesson is short and simple. Only a very few are longer than three minutes.


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