Using the Arts
"Learning takes place when the activity is (1) receptor-oriented, (2) context-oriented, (3) repetitive, and (4) participatory… Indigenous music embraces all four of these learning components. Not only are the words in the people’s spoken language, but the music is also in their traditional music system."
Research shows that music is an effective tool for memorisation. Mary Saurman describes what is needed for effective instruction and shows how music meets many of these requirements: it is receptor-orientated, uses repetition, is participatory, and has intrinsic motivation because it is a part of people’s culture. She offers examples of how music has enhanced literacy programs across the world. Finally she outlines several steps to incorporating music into a literacy program: consider music’s function in the community; ask questions of when it’s used; what it’s used for and who uses it; then consider which song categories and styles are appropriate for literacy; and finally begin to use it! [more...]
“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”
Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible. [more...]
The choice of medium can make a difference, and better artistic quality enhances any communication. However, the most important quality is how relevant the message seems to be to the lives of its hearers. If a hearer (or reader or viewer) thinks the message can make an important difference in his life, he will make an effort to listen, even if the quality is poor. Conversely, if he thinks it says nothing personally relevant, he will ignore even the best presented message. This principle of personal relevance is critical to communication.
Wayne Dye expands upon his third condition for Scripture Engagement:
Accessible forms: People are able to read the Scriptures or hear them from others or by listening to electronic media.
The article describes different ways of making the Scriptures more accessible: storying, literacy, local performing and visual arts, audio recordings, cell phones and video. [more...]
"The occasion in Yali culture which became the natural opportunity for initial and continued transmission of Scripture — basically in the form of Bible stories — was in the evening hours which traditionally were given to nunung and dindil ale story telling. Here was a time when the community was used to gathering, and ready and eager to hear a new story."
This paper highlights some of the assumptions about Scripture that can limit or hinder its communication in an oral culture. The author examines orality (as opposed to non-literacy) with a view to demonstrating the capacity and capability of oral media (stories and songs) for the effective transmission of Scripture. [more...]
The Lunaba Radio Drama team developed a weekly radio program in which they teach the people through means of drama. They teach how Christians have resolved the problems they meet in their lives by doing what God teaches in the Bible.
Radio drama shows the relevance of Scripture to everyday life.
In each radio program made by the Lunaba team in Africa, someone has a difficulty. Then a friend or a neighbor says something like, “You aren’t the first person to have this difficulty. May I tell you a story from God’s Word about someone who had the same difficulty?” In this way, they show how someone obeys a teaching from the Bible and finds God's help.
Sample scripts and more a detailed description can be downloaded from the SPARK site. [more...]
"Because of these songs many are hearing the good news for the first time in their language... These songs, full of God's Word will not return void."
This video highlights the role of ethnomusicology in running Scripture song writing workshops. [more...]
SPARK is a site designed to gather knowledge about the use and effectiveness of media programs in mission/ministry environments, with the purpose of promoting Scripture use. This collaborative site, based on the MediaWiki interface, contains knowledge that has been added and used by people like you.
This vernacular media website provides written, visual, and oral strategies to communicate to oral ethnic groups.
The Storying Scarf is a cotton scarf designed to put an inexpensive set of durable pictures representing God’s Word in the hands of people who could use it to independently share God’s Word where missionaries cannot go. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a series of 21 Chronological Bible stories.
The Making of a dramatised audio Bible
This inspiring "Making Of" video takes us behind the scenes of the recording of "The Bible Experience" audio Bible - a high quality dramatisation of the whole Bible by professional actors (including Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington, Blair Underwood). [more...]
...to ensure the Mazatecs understood a bit of doctrine, we needed to put it in a hymn.
The concept of “limited good” means there is only so much good (including knowledge and love) to go around, so someone’s advantage implies someone else’s disadvantage.
The Mazatecs of Mexico hold this belief. One result is that they are reluctant to teach people directly for fear they will lose their own knowledge, so all teaching is indirect. This article looks at how this affects the spread of Christianity, and the important role missionaries, hymns, gospel recordings and mother-tongue Scriptures have in spreading the gospel. It also outlines Scriptures that speak of God’s unlimited goodness and kindness. [more...]