Of the almost 7,000 language groups that exist in the world today, around 4,000 have little or no access to the Bible. How is culture and history passed down in these communities? Through oral storytelling. Over two-thirds of the world’s population are oral communicators. When someone hears the phrase “oral communicator”, they often equate it with “illiterate” or “uneducated”. In some cases that’s true; many people groups around the world have incredibly low literacy rates, low education, and some don’t even have a written language. But being an oral communicator goes deeper than that; it affects the way people perceive the world and interact with information.
Literate communicators tend to think abstractly, whereas oral communicators tend to think concretely. Literate communicators learn from outlines and expositions, whereas oral communicators learn from concrete examples. Many oral communicators can read, but wouldn’t be able to explain to you what they read. Bottom line: if you hand an oral communicator a Bible written in their heart language, they won’t learn from it. In order to reach these people, we need a way to bring them God’s Word, not only in their heart language, but also in a form of communication from which they will naturally and readily learn.