JEFFERSON CITY – After a Truth That Sticks (Bible storying) class, some participants form an advanced evangelistic accountability group that calls each other monthly.
“MO.O.N. (Missouri Orality Network) is a way for learning to continue after the TruthSticks workshop,” said Mark Snowden, evangelism/discipleship strategist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
Snowden said a second MOON acronym tells what is covered:
• Making disciples – “We share how we’re using Bible storying in our ministry, then pray for each other.”
• Orality tip – “This is a quick, helpful truth such as the importance of putting the storying in the context of a biblical timeline,” (i.e., King Saul wasn’t the Saul who became Paul.)
• Oral Bible – “We tell a Bible story to each other. The caller goes first. This gets the MO.O.N. participants used to learning one new Bible story monthly. This starts them working on a Bible story every month that they internalize, ‘hiding God’s Word’ in their heart (Ps. 119.11). Some assigned stories aren’t easy, like telling the story of the crucifixion and resurrection in under four minutes.”
• Next – “This is the new Bible story to practice. Each person reviews what is to be told to the next caller before hanging up.”
Here are some more details.
“If the circuit is not completed by the third week of the month, I initiate the network backwards, calling the last person on the phone list,” Snowden said. “This network is built on trust that you’ll pass what you received with accuracy.”
John Vernon, the Cape Girardeau Baptist Association director of missions, used orality serving the International Mission Board.
“I continue to use it,” he said. “It’s very effective. It doesn’t lead to an argument as easily. It’s letting the Scripture speak for itself rather than us defending it. It’s more engaging on conversation.”
“Unlike exegesis preaching, Bible storying can catch them off guard,” Vernon said, explaining it is like Nathan telling David a story, before revealing David as the villain.
“Orality allows those kind of aha moments. It leads people to repentance, not just to agree.”
Vernon now uses orality at Rival Roast, his coffee bean roasting business, with new and current customers.
“The challenge is how do you use your business, if you are an owner, to bring God’s glory and beyond,” he said. “Usually, you don’t carry a Bible. But if you are familiar with a story, you are able to communicate that principle of truth.
“It’s a way to entice people into the conversation to things of greater significance.”
Omar Segovia was Bible storying with inner Kansas City people and African immigrants before meeting Snowden last fall.
“It was very helpful to hear the stories from Mark—the accountability, and praying for each other,” Segovia said.
Segovia isn’t as active in the MO.O.N. now, with new church planting responsibilities with the MBC in Kansas City and northern Missouri, yet he appreciates Snowden’s work.
“He’s a very sharp guy,” Segovia said. “I would compare him to an NFL top- 10 draft pick. The convention is very fortunate to have him.”