by Jonathan Towell
Written on June 21, 2017
In late April, we quietly launched our first iPhone app. “Spoken” allows people to learn English by reading Bible and receiving free coaching from a native English speaker. Students record their scripture readings and Christian coaches record responses.
When a person signs up for World Bible School, it is usually because they already had some interest in the Bible. This is not always true when a person signs up to learn English. Instead, they are exposed to God’s word, sometimes for the first time. Of course, we know the power of the word of God:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The approach for Spoken is simple. Adopt a student. Listen to scripture readings (on your own time). Record a response that gives encouragement, pronunciation advice, and a thought about the scripture. Invite your student to study the WBS material with you. And when your student decides to put on Christ, let us know and we’ll help with follow up.
Each response takes 30-60 seconds. This tool is very simple to use.
Shortly after launch, we began global advertising to people searching for things like “English coaching” or “English pronunciation help.” Some of the top responding countries are Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Myanmar, Egypt, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Nepal, and Algeria. Do you note a pattern? This is an excellent opportunity to connect with and teach Muslim and Hindu seekers.
Today, we have hundreds of students ready for a coach. Will you help us and adopt a student?
How to sign up as a coach?
If you are already signed up as an online WBS study helper, you can sign up to coach by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: To be a Spoken coach, you must speak English as a first language and have an iPhone.
Melissa Anderson | The Christian Chronicle
Melissa Anderson | What We’re Reading
Francis Chan. Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples. Colorado Springs, Colo: David C. Cook Publishing, 2012. 336 pages.
As I study, I’m somewhat convicted that there are more things I could — and should — be doing. But mostly, if I’m being honest, I feel pretty good about the work I’m doing. I spend time helping others. I set a good example. I’m vocal about my beliefs. My faith is strong. My prayer life is strong. I’m studying a good deal.
Really, I’m in a good place.
As I think about ways I can disciple others, it starts to hit me. All of these things I feel good about doing also are things that other people do for me. Others share their faith with me. They pray for me. They study with me. Are they discipling me? Do I need to be discipled? Yes, in fact, I do.
David Platt. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Colorado Springs, Colo: Multnomah, 2010. 240 pages.
It’s extremely humbling, but all of us need someone to show us how to become even more like Christ. We will never reach a point where we don’t need to learn more about him and his ways.
My problem with this is my pride. I don’t want to be discipled. I don’t like the idea of people doing things for me out of a sense of obligation. I don’t like the idea that someone would look at me and see a sin or a flaw that needs work. I don’t like the idea of being someone’s project.
The truth is that I need those who are wiser in their faith than I am to guide me. I need someone to point out my sin when I can’t see it for myself. It’s tough to acknowledge that we are flawed, that we need each other. It’s tough to let others take care of us. It’s tough to be discipled.
As I read these books, my focus isn’t only on how I can apply them toward making disciples of others, but also how I can be more open to allowing others to make a stronger disciple out of me. It isn’t about me anyway. It’s about God and bringing him glory.
MELISSA ANDERSON is a military spouse of 18 years. She and her husband, Joshua, have three children and worship with the Gateway Church of Christ in Pensacola, Fla. She has a Master of Business Administration degree and is pursuing a master’s in marriage and family therapy.
WHAT ARE YOU READING? Share your thoughts on the books, music and films that inform, influence or impact your faith. Send your suggestions to email@example.com