WHY SO MANY TYPES OF EE?
Recently there was a question raised as to why we need so many different types of EE? Hot on the heels of introducing XEE, EE Malaysia will now launch Weavers, yet another type of EE in September 2010.
Presently, EE’s purpose statement is “to glorify God by equipping local churches worldwide to multiply through friendship, evangelism, discipleship, and healthy growth!” The Lord has taken the EE ministry since it was started in the 1962 to become an international one reaching out to diverse cultures and different age groups literally throughout the four corners of the globe.
In many current documents on EE’s vision, the following is often stated, “EE’s vision is to see Christ-followers of “every nation equipping every people group and every age group to witness to every person.”” The role of EE has grown into one of equipping every people group and every age group. What this means is that EE has recognised that there are different groups of people that it will need to equip and that these different groups will learn how to share their faith differently. Whilst the gospel is the same, the learning methodology will be different. We cannot expect to teach adults and children using similar methods. Also, teaching adults in post-modern western cultures would also be different to teaching adults in tribal groups on Borneo island or even adults in metropolitan China and it’s not just the language that is different. The way they think, communicate and respond socially would all be different.
At its very early stages, the EE materials as they were then used were translated into other languages as and when EE came into contact with pastors and church leaders who were not English speakers. By 1995, EE had reached every nation (political) and a special celebration was commissioned in the following year. In the process of translation, the EE materials were sometimes contextualised into the target culture. For example, the first diagnostic question in Chinese would go something like this, “Suppose you were to leave this world (not die!) today, do you know for certain that you will enter heaven?”
EE TRAINING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
One of the earliest “modifications” to the EE training was the development of Youth EE. In the original EE, there were too many things to learn and when given a choice, young people would not register for EE training. In cultures where they had greater respect for authority, the teens would learn EE as they defer to their local church authorities. But by and large, in Western post-modern cultures, young people shied away from learning EE using the original “adult” materials. Youth EE was then developed to make the learning effective and fun for teens.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUTH EE AND ADULT EE
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “What are the differences between Youth EE and the adult version?” Youth EE is best described as more “user friendly” for young people. While the basic outline has not been changed, the wording, style, transitions, and illustrations have been altered to be more appropriate to the normal discourse of a student.
There has been a great deal of research and writing about the Baby Boomers, Busters, Generation-X’ers and the Millennium crowd. Youth Pastors would serve their ministries well to learn the dynamics of the teen culture. Originally the EE Gospel Presentation was written at a time when Baby Boomers were very young. Most people held onto certain presuppositions and had a distinct predisposition towards Christianity that enabled EE to be effective. However, younger generations of people are growing up in a culture that views Christianity in a different way. It therefore would be reasonable that we carefully examine how we present the Gospel today versus 20 years ago. Youth EE attempts to do that. Although the basic Gospel, which is a timeless truth, has not changed from Adult EE, many sections and ways of making points of the Gospel have been revised.
An example of the differences between Youth EE and Adult EE is can be seen in the transitional statements between the “Man” and “God” sections of the Gospel presentation, where the nature of sin is continued by an examination of God’s character:
A. Adult transition: “This comes into sharper focus when we look at what the Bible says about God”.
B. Youth transition: “There must be a completely different way, God’s way”
Youth EE is not intended to be some sort of “dumbed down” version of the standard Adult EE presentation, using language that would only be appropriate for young children. Nor is it written in some sort of “hip” adolescent vernacular. Rather, it is simply less formal, and seeks to express the Gospel using phrases and a style that younger people would find comfortable.
Because the basic EE Outline is not compromised, the transition from Youth EE to the adult version, when needed, is easily made. One of the goals of Youth EE is to develop from the ranks of young people, future church leaders who will be equipped to train others in EE wherever they may go as adults.
EE TRAINING FOR CHILDREN
Then someone sparked the idea of a separate type of training for young children. Kids learn differently and so EE began the process of reviewing its training program and adapting it so that children can be equipped to share their faith. This type of EE came to be known as Kids’ EE.
Here’s some write-up on Kids’ EE including its purpose statement:
Kids’ EE has been called the “most exciting” thing to come along in children’s ministries in 30 years! Why? Kids’ EE is a discipleship training program for children that clarifies the truths of the Gospel message and shows them how they can share it with others.
“It’s just amazing to watch kids share the Gospel,” says Lori Aubuchon of People’s Church in Fresno, CA.
You can be amazed by your kids too! Investing in training your 8-13 year olds through Kids’ EE is an investment in the future.
The Purpose of Kids’ Evangelism Explosion
To glorify God by equipping adults worldwide to teach children the Gospel; to clarify it for them, bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and assist them to become witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Provide culturally sensitive, top quality materials for every facet of Kids’ EE Ministry for every major language.
2. Provide multiple formats for top quality training in the application and implementation of the Kids’ EE Ministry.
3. Provide assistance to local churches to launch and maintain effective Kids’ EE ministries.
4. Equip and train leaders to assist local churches in establishing the Kids’ EE ministry in every major people group.
5. Raise and manage, with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, the necessary resources for the Kids’ EE Ministry to carry out its objectives.
6. Distribute Kids’ EE materials in multiple formats for churches, schools, Bible clubs and other agencies.
7. Promote Kids’ EE in churches, schools, seminaries, colleges and other agencies worldwide.
In Kids’ EE, children learn through games, songs and quizzes and the learning is fun so that the attention of the kids is maintained throughout the semester. The kids are taken for on-the-job training so that they can experience sharing their faith. Children’s ministry would never be the same after that! And so, Kids’ EE with new, “cool” materials for children’s learning was born!
ADULT EE (renamed as CLASSIC EE)
As a result of the development of Kids’ EE and Youth EE, the original “standard” EE came to be known as Adult EE. Since then we have developed many other types of EE e.g. Share Your Faith, Everyday Evangelism, EE for the Deaf and Dumb, Prisons EE, Seniors EE, Island EE and many other EE types to reach the different target groups. In recent years, much resources has been invested into developing XEE, a type of EE that is heavily DVD driven and where the latest technology in learning methodology has been employed. XEE is meant for those brought up in the present post-modern era. Many of these are already adults so “Adult EE” has now been re-named Classic EE to avoid the notion that XEE is not for adults.
EE itself is more than 40 years old and although it has been revised periodically, many of the teaching methods employed were from another generation. The teaching methods were outdated and overly dependent on the teacher’s personal skills. Even the concepts of “eternal life” and “death” which the EE presentation uses were no longer deemed relevant by sections of our secular, post-modern society.
XEE has kept the core principles of EE e.g. the on-the-job training that made EE effective. These were “non-negotiables” for the development team from day one and had been retained. With a zero-based approach, even the 5 gospel points were revisited and a fresh look was given to the relevant scriptures and illustrations. (No one could answer why we never used John 3:16, the most familiar verse in the Bible, which an unbeliever is most likely to know if they knew only one single Bible verse, so this was added in the XEE gospel outline.) In short, under XEE a student will learn:
a. The Gospel in an interactive and story driven format.
b. How to effectively implement XEE in your local church.
c. How to facilitate interactive training instead of lecturing.
d. How to discover XEE concepts through group discussions.
e. How to develop good discussion group leaders.
f. Practical training in XEE role modelling and practice sessions.
Hope For Kids’
Based on the successful Kids’ EE discipleship training ministry from EE International, Hope For Kids was developed through a joint effort between EE and OneHope. Its purpose is to:
• Clarify the Gospel for kids
• Assist them to become witnesses for Jesus Christ
• Bring others to a saving faith in Jesus Christ
Materials tested, proven!
Hope For Kids appeals to kids’ primary learning styles utilizing songs, games, crafts, skits, and illustrations. Every unit includes some object that provides a concrete illustration of one of the key Gospel concepts that is taught in that unit. Through this approach, kids are able to effectively learn and retain the Hope For Kids Gospel outline.
From top to bottom, the materials are biblically based. They incorporate tested and proven methods so kids not only learn to share the Gospel, but also are given a foundation for spiritual growth for life!
Kids CAN Share!
We believe the Great Commission is for everyone, not just adults or even youth. Hope For Kids lays a foundation for spiritual growth in children and enables youngsters to respond with excitement and enthusiasm to Jesus’ command to all of us to be His witnesses. It develops a worldview that is framed by the recognition that without faith in Jesus we are all lost in our sins.
(The EE Malaysia Board is recommending Hope For Kids materials for children from ages 5-9 and for the standard Kids’ EE materials for children of ages 10 and above.)
Plans are that Hope For Kids will be launched in Malaysia in October 2010 amongst the existing Kids EE teachers and after that several launches will be held throughout the country via 2-day workshops. One feature of the Hope For Kids training is that the materials for the teachers’ workshops as well as for the children’s usage in the churches will be provided free of charge as these have been sponsored completely.
Weavers & EE’s People Group Services
EE’s vision is to see Christ-followers of “every nation equipping every people group and every age group to witness to every person.” Missiologists have identified over 16,000 People Groups defined by country, ethnicity, caste and 6500+ languages. Over 6000 of those people groups have been identified as “unreached” with the Good News about Jesus. Even among heavily evangelized societies, most people still need to be able to understand the Gospel message in a way that makes sense to them and to see how it is lived out. And let’s not overlook the fact that the world population is growing at about 9000 people per hour!
EE People Group Services (PGS) is all about effective training in personal evangelism for the world’s 16,000+ People Groups. EE PGS is partnering with Church leaders and ministries worldwide to develop multiple services, tools and types of training that are easily reproducible for indigenous multiplication within a given People Group or Affinity Bloc of People Groups. They also facilitate cross-cultural training that will in turn facilitate in-culture training and evangelism.
For personal evangelism and training to be effective means that EE People Group Services bases its services, tools and training on sound research. It is this research that shapes the ways in which the Gospel message is packaged for a given People Group or Affinity Bloc, and affects how the training strategies are designed. In this way EE PGS trainees come to have a clear understanding of salvation by faith in God’s grace to mankind through Jesus alone, and they learn to communicate this in clear, natural, biblical and Christ-centred ways.
“Weavers” is a suite of strategies, training events, and support services designed to enable adults in “oral communication cultures” to effectively weave Good News conversations into their day-to-day interactions with people. Weavers’ designers’ thinking in this has been very much helped by decades of experience with oral communicators in their Bible translation work as well as in personal evangelism and discipleship, and by interaction with others who are involved in the International Orality Network.
A distinguishing feature of Weavers is that both the training and evangelism are done using a series of narratives from the Bible.
– Weavers facilitates good understanding of the Gospel by using biblical narratives rather than just a few summary points about the Gospel.
– Weavers is reproducible by illiterates, semi-literates, and others who prefer oral / aural means of learning.
– Weavers is specifically intended for cultures where oral styles of communication are preferred over literate-based communication.
– Weavers training is very interactive so that storytellers and their audience learn to “live in the story,” feeling it and interpreting it as was originally intended.
– Weavers promotes humility and respect in order to build relationships for multiple conversations about God’s Good News, and thus to help entire families turn to Christ.
– Weavers facilitates adaptation and translation to other languages and cultures.
During the Weavers training, participants observe demonstrations, discuss and practice the Bible narratives with conversations, and learn to tell others about their experience with God. Included in the training are on-the-job training visits to put into practice what has been learned.
From September 20 – 24, 2010, EE Malaysia will be launching the “Weavers” training in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Those who work with oral learners or know others who do should consider attending this specialised training. The registration form can be downloaded from our website: https://eemalaysia.net.
As things stand, we already have enquiries for the equipping of Deaf and Dumb believers in Malaysia. I believe in the future we will introduce many more different types of EE but every type of EE will focus on making disciples and fulfilling Christ’s great commission by equipping believers of every age group and every people group to share their faith. We will endeavour to become all things to all men so that by all possible means we might save some. As the Apostle says, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel …” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
Voon Yuen Woh
21st August 2010