Watch Simply the Story: Changing Lives Through Stories with Andrea Miller
Listen to Simply the Story: Changing Lives Through Stories with Andrea Miller
“God. The Creator and Giver of life. Does He speak? Does He care about us? Can we know Him? Yes! He spoke, He cares, and His message for all people tells us how to know Him.”
So begins God’s Story: From Creation to Eternity. This 80-minute message, created in the 1990s, shares the main stories of the Bible in a chronological format. It enables people from any culture to readily grasp the whole Gospel from Creation to Christ and beyond. This series of easily-learned stories provides an effective way to reach the lost and teach them the truth of God. It’s simply presented, narrated by a single voice with a musical background. God has used this simple teaching tool to reach millions with the Good News.
The production of God’s Story requires faithful, collaborative effort from a number of skilled believers. Through the hard work of volunteers like Andrea Miller, who we interviewed for this story, as well as the technological innovations of MegaVoice, God’s Story continues to touch hearts and lives through global distribution. It has sparked an entire ministry based on the importance of storytelling.
The God’s Story Project was born of the evangelistic efforts of Dorothy and Tom Miller. For many years, they ran the largest equestrian center on the west coast. This gave them the opportunity to build relationships with the hundreds of kids who came to the ranch to learn about horses. As a result, they began to lead Bible studies and many nonbelievers came to know God.
In the process of leading these Bible studies, Dorothy learned three things about reaching people with the Good News of Jesus:
1. Stories are impactful. The Bible itself is a collection of stories, and stories, or parables, were one of Jesus’ favorite teaching tools.
2. If you start with Jesus, you start in the middle of the story. Chronological storytelling is important in order to lay a solid biblical foundation and to tell the big picture story properly.
3. Discussion-style studies are ideal. This format allows leaders to understand what their students do and do not know. Also, when students ask questions, they are empowered to discover new ideas for themselves and take ownership of what they’ve discovered.
Dorothy combined these insights with her experience as an accomplished author to write the script for God’s Story. She also wrote a corresponding discussion guide to encourage lively conversations about the story’s content. Since she wrote the story like a book, it only needed a single storyteller or narrator. This made it much easier to translate into many languages. In 1995, the English version of God’s Story was completed. As an 80-minute audio or video overview of Scripture, it wove together stories, music, and sound effects into an engaging Gospel presentation.
Today, God’s Story has been recorded in over 430 languages. It has been shared around the globe via CDs, VCDs, group presentations, and, starting in 2005, MegaVoice audio players. Andrea describes this recording’s ongoing influence as a testimony to God’s faithfulness.
MegaVoice Players As Storytellers
As the God’s Story Project grew into a 100% volunteer ministry, they developed connections with missionaries and missions organizations around the world. At an Orality Network conference in Thailand in 2005, Andrea Miller set up her booth right beside Tom Treseder’s booth. Though they didn’t have opportunities to interact in person, Andrea was able to try out the MegaVoice audio Bibles on display at Tom’s booth while he was away during breaks. She was struck by the intuitive navigation and high-quality speakers.
“I didn’t need instructions on how to use it,” said Andrea. “Something I love about MegaVoice is that they’re constantly looking for ways to improve what they have, not just sitting back and saying, ‘Oh, this is a winner, let’s just stop here.'”
She ran into Tom at the end of the conference and said, “I think we’re going to be able to work together.” He looked at her in confusion and said, “What?” He didn’t realize she’d been visiting his booth while he was gone and experimenting with the players!
Andrea connected Dorothy Miller with MegaVoice and they shared MegaVoice audio Bibles with God’s Story Project leaders from Africa, India and Asia. These leaders loved the audio Bibles initially, but Dorothy told them to go out and test the players in the field and write back with more specific feedback.
Dorothy later received a letter that read,
“This is the best thing to come out of the west in years.”
Collaborative, Open-Minded Missions
Prior to their introduction to MegaVoice, the God’s Story Project distributed their recordings via portable backpack VCD players. At the time, these players cost $600-$700 each. MegaVoice helped them bring their costs down and increase their distribution dramatically.
As new technologies became available, God’s Story began sharing their material via microSD cards, DVDs, MP4s, MP3s, and through websites like YouTube.
“As I see it,” said Andrea, “There should always be multiple ways to distribute our materials. MicroSDs are cheap, but there are still huge advantages to MegaVoice players. It’s not a question of either or, but when? It’s totally context-dependent.”
To date, the God’s Story Project has distributed thousands of MegaVoice players. These players are typically loaded with both God’s Story and a full Bible or New Testament, depending on what’s available in a given language. Even as their reach has grown, the ministry has remained donor funded. Prayer is their primary fundraising strategy.
“People know what we’re doing and they love what we’re doing and they see the results. The biggest thing is the results. We keep the Scriptures center to everything we do, and God honors that in so many amazing ways. We see lives being changed daily. It’s not uncommon for us to get testimonies daily.”
The ministry built on their experience with the power of stories by launching Simply The Story, a ministry that trains people to tell Bible stories in an evangelistic context with ease and impact.
Testimonies of God’s Faithfulness
Andrea has many stories of how God has worked through the partnership of God’s Story and MegaVoice. Here are a few of her favorites:
“In 2008, a God’s Story leader was traveling on a train in India and there was a young man on the train that the other passengers were referring to as the ‘unruly boy’. He was being disruptive, so the leader gave him a MegaVoice audio Bible loaded with God’s Story and a full Bible in the boy’s native language.
11 years later, that same leader was doing a Simply the Story training in India. During one of the breaks, a pastor walked up to him and said, ‘Sir, do I know you? I think I met you on the train.’ The leader replied, ‘I’ve been on many trains.’
They finally realized through further discussion that he was the ‘unruly boy’. 11 years later, he was a married pastor with a child. Having that MegaVoice and having God’s Story, both very critical tools, was instrumental in helping that leader lead this young boy to become a believer.
My own grandmother was not a believer, though I kept trying to tell her about the Lord. Finally, she was in the hospital and I gave her a MegaVoice and said, “Just listen to the first 15 minutes of this.” She was a captive audience. I watched her face as she listened and we had a little discussion afterward. I asked her what she thought and if she wanted to listen to the rest and she said yes. All of that because I had a handy lightweight, portable, and already charged player that I could simply leave with her.
Lastly, there’s another story I love from India. There was a farmer who would spend the night on a cot high off the ground watching his fields. A missionary gave him his own MegaVoice player with God’s Story. This farmer listened to it every night for a month. When the missionary came back, the man had so many excellent questions and was able to answer the missionary’s questions in return in depth!”
Relationship: The Most Powerful Ministry Tool
“I step back and I see how God brings the goers, the funders, the prayer warriors, the makers of tools, the makers of content, the translators – it all fits. We all tend to be people who try to say this is better than that. We’ve got to stop being people of either/or and become people who say, ‘In this situation, this is the best tool but in that situation that is the best tool.’ We need to know what tools are available and where and when to use them.
MegaVoice players are thoughtfully put together so that people can’t steal the solar panel. This makes the content more important than the device. MegaVoice has designed their players to make content, like God’s Story, shine.
The tools all work together very well and they all bring people into God’s Word. Jesus is the Word, so you can’t know Jesus without knowing the Word. It doesn’t matter where someone is in the discipleship process – the Word of God changes hearts. We know that when we give the Word of God and people interact with the Word of God, they’re interacting with Jesus and their hearts are being changed.
My appreciation for MegaVoice goes beyond words. The team’s passion, their friendship, and their support mean so much. I love the heart that MegaVoice has for the Lord and for what God’s given them to do.”
You can learn more about the work of Andrea’s ministry through their story-filled podcast, Heart Pocket.
At MegaVoice, we equip our Partners to fulfill the Great Commission so all people may engage with the Word of God in their own language.
There are many ways you can partner with us in this mission!
- Sponsor an audio Bible each month for a person in need of hope.
- Purchase audio Bibles for your own use and distribution.
- Donate to a fundraising project through our nonprofit, MegaVoice International.
- Pray for our global team as they work to serve God.
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