Season 3 | EPISODE 8

The Power of Story, Part 2: The Story God Tells About Himself

56:51 · May 21, 2024

In this episode, Jim delves deeper into the transformative world of Chronological Bible Storying (CBS), alongside missionary Ben Nihart and Kenyan pastors Richard and Benson. Together, they illuminate how CBS profoundly touches hearts and reshapes lives in predominantly oral cultures. Join us as we explore the powerful resonance of these biblical stories with their ministries and witness the vibrant tapestry of faith, repentance, and renewal.

In this episode, Jim delves deeper into the transformative world of Chronological Bible Storying (CBS), alongside missionary Ben Nihart and Kenyan pastors Richard and Benson. Together, they illuminate how CBS profoundly touches hearts and reshapes lives in predominantly oral cultures. Join us as we explore the powerful resonance of these biblical stories with their ministries and witness the vibrant tapestry of faith, repentance, and renewal.

In this episode, they discuss...

  • The concept of “orality” and its importance in sharing God’s stories (4:21)
  • The integration of individuals into God’s redemption story through orality (13:29)
  • The effectiveness of storytelling in missionary work and its cultural relevance in Kenya (32:07)
  • How Chronological Bible Storying can enrich outreach efforts (43:35)

Thank you for listening! If you found this conversation encouraging or helpful, please share this episode with your friends and loved ones. Or please leave us a review—it really helps!

Referenced in the episode...


Special thanks to all our brothers and sisters in Kenya for their hospitality and the gift of hearing their stories. Our guest for this episode was Ben Nihart, a Serge missionary in Nairobi since 2017. This episode was hosted by Jim Lovelady. Production by Evan Mader, Anna Madsen, and Grace Chang. Music by Tommy Leahy.

𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒚 𝑷𝒐𝒅𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒕 is produced by SERGE, an international missions agency that sends and cares for missionaries and develops gospel-centered programs and resources for ongoing spiritual renewal. Learn more and get involved at serge.org.

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Questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to Serge’s Renewal Team anytime at podcast@serge.org



Welcome to Grace at the Fray, a podcast that explores the many dimensions of God’s grace that we find at the frayed edges of life. Come explore how God’s grace works to renew your life and send you on mission in His Kingdom.


0:00:22.9 Jim Lovelady: Hello, beloved, welcome to Grace at the Fray. Welcome to part two of a series on the power of story. Do you recognize that you’re living out a story? Your life is telling a story, lots of little stories making and upholding a larger story of your life? And whether you realize it or not, your story is actually part of an even bigger story of God and his rule and reign over all creation. And that story of God’s kingdom is what we’re going to talk about today. In the last episode I took you to Kitengela Kenya with Serge Missionary, George Mixon, and a number of pastors at a Chronological Bible Storying Conference. This time I’m taking you back to Kitengela with another worker named Ben Nihart, and a couple more stories from two Kenyan pastors at that conference. So if you haven’t listened to or watched the last episode, you should do that because it explains what Chronological Bible Storying is and how our workers use it to teach Bible stories and theology to predominantly oral cultures. You’ll hear Ben use the word orality a lot. Orality is the phenomenon where cultures pass along their cultural traditions through spoken word rather than predominantly through the written word. But if the last episode was all about the stories of what God has done in our life, this episode is all about how God invites us to leave the false stories we’ve been living and into it the story he’s telling about his unfathomable grace and the reconciliation of all things. So in this sense, there really are only two categories of stories in this world. There’s the story of God and life lived in his kingdom, and then there is all the other stories of how we try to live life apart from him. In other words, it’s either God’s story or it’s a story of idolatry. It reminds me of a key passage in Serge’s renewal curriculum called Sonship. It’s from Jeremiah 2:13. My people have committed two sins. They forsaken the fountain of living water and dug for themselves cisterns, empty cisterns that hold no water. When you do life on your own. And we call that, in Sonship we call that acting like a spiritual orphan. It means you forsaken the fountain of living waters and since you’re now acting on your own, you have to figure out on your own how to make this life work. That’s digging your own cistern thing; it’s idolatry. Well, the Lord wants to free you and me from that silliness and he does it by inviting us to return to the real story. And you’ll see that that story never meets us when we’re comfortable or well off. It meets us when our lives are unraveling because the false stories of life always end up unraveling. And that’s where the story of God’s grace meets us at the frayed edges of life. So I want to start this episode with an interview with Pastor Richard because it helps frame the idea of false stories as idolatry and returning to the real story as repentance. Then I’ll take you to my conversation with Ben and then we’ll close things off with Pastor Benson. Pastor Richard is a young Maasai pastor who came to faith through the ministry of Kenyan pastors and Chronological Bible Storying teachers, Bishop Matthew and his wife, pastor Helen. They discipled him through the CBS curriculum, and now he’s discipling other Masai men and women as they leave their empty cisterns and return to the fountain of living water.


0:04:21.6 Jim Lovelady: You would say, “Habari ya asubuhi” and I would say “mzuri” Right? 

0:04:30.1 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah.

0:04:30.2 Jim Lovelady: Okay.

0:04:30.3 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah. Mzuri.

0:04:32.4 Jim Lovelady: Sounds like Missouri.

0:04:35.3 Richard Ole Sakara: Mzuri.

0:04:36.2 Jim Lovelady: Mzuri Well, okay. So tell me your name, where you are serving and the name of your church. And we’ll start there.

0:04:46.8 Richard Ole Sakara: Okay. My name is pastor Richard Sakara. I’m from Narok, the place called Ndulele. I work in the Ministry of Baptism Calvary Baptist. So I’m a pastor there. I have started the church, four years now. I did CBS in the year 2017 in Nakuru County under Pastor Helen and Bishop Musyoka.

0:05:19.7 Jim Lovelady: Okay. They taught you? 

0:05:20.7 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah, they’re my teachers. So after I graduated, I went back to home Narok and we started the school there together with my brother Samuel. We have to teach many classes and right now we have other classes that we are teaching. People there are very happy there. There’s a revelation day by day about the Bible. And there’s a lot of things that we didn’t know, but through this, we learn many things and new things, so there’s a lot of impact.

0:05:57.6 Jim Lovelady: Tell me a story of someone in your church whose life was changed when they heard one of these stories from the Bible.

0:06:03.4 Richard Ole Sakara: Okay. The story I like most about the rich young.

0:06:11.2 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. The rich young ruler.

0:06:12.3 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah. And in our area there’s those Maasai, they are rich people, they love the cattles. So the most they like number one and God number two.

0:06:28.1 Jim Lovelady: Oh, okay.

0:06:29.6 Richard Ole Sakara: So they like most, they, like I can tell you, they love cows more than their children.

0:06:36.2 Jim Lovelady: Oh, wow.

0:06:38.1 Richard Ole Sakara: A man can love cattle more than his children.

0:06:39.8 Jim Lovelady: Interesting. They love their cattle. Number one and they love God, number two.

0:06:44.6 Richard Ole Sakara: Number two. So when I have a time to interact with them, I teach them about the story of a young ruler. Many of them, they have to change and they have to receive Jesus as their savior. So now, I have men, more than 10, who have come to church through these stories.

0:07:13.2 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:07:14.1 Richard Ole Sakara: So they have decided that surely they should put God number one and money and cattles come before. So that story has changed those men and they have come to church and they love Jesus Christ.

0:07:32.6 Jim Lovelady: Interesting. That’s one of my favorite stories, the rich young ruler, because he has everything. He has so much wealth, he has everything he could ever want, but he still feels something is not right, something is lacking, something is missing. So, that’s why he goes to Jesus to say, what is missing in my life? Jesus says, give all of those things away and come and follow me. And the rich young ruler couldn’t do that, so he went away sad. But the men that you’re talking to, they hear that story and they don’t want to be like the rich young ruler. Is that what happens? 

0:08:19.3 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah. They didn’t want to be like the young ruler because this guy, the young ruler, when he was told by Jesus to sell all of these properties and give to the poor, so he feel very bad. And I can say he was loving his properties and himself most.

0:08:45.0 Richard Ole Sakara: So, when he went away and Jesus looked back to the disciples and told them, that you see how it is very hard for the rich to enter.

0:09:00.8 Jim Lovelady: The Kingdom of God.

0:09:02.2 Richard Ole Sakara: The Kingdom of God. It is very hard, and Jesus gave an example of a camel that is very easy to enter into the hole of a needle. It is very easy for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. So, when I used to teach this story, they come to their senses that it is true that all of their time, all of their mind and all of their hearts, they used to spend looking after this and loving this and worshiping this. So, we have to love God first. We also have to love our friend. We also have to love our families, like family members, children, our children. Instead of loving this most and worshiping this.

0:10:00.9 Jim Lovelady: It sounds strange to say that someone worships their cattle. Where I am from, in Philadelphia, in the United States, someone would say that it is very strange that they would worship their cattle. But we have our own, there are the things that we worship, that we love even more than our children. So, a great example is, the cattle is your… Where you are, cattle is work, cattle is life. Well, where I live, our career, what we do, our work is life. And so many men can love their career more than their family. They can love their career more than their wife and their children. And so, it is the same as how we can idolize this thing. And we can look at it, we can say, this is where my joy is. This is where my meaning in my life, my life comes from.

0:11:10.1 Richard Ole Sakara: Yes, yes, yes. I remember my mentor told me, the thing that you love most, or the thing that you love number one, it is your God.

0:11:22.0 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:11:22.3 Richard Ole Sakara: If you love something most, or more than other thing, that thing is like you are worshiping. So, I was telling them, we should, and we must love God most than any other thing. Because it is our creator, He is our God. He showed a lot of love toward us. So we must love God number one as the Bible says in the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 33, that we must seek first the kingdom of God and other things will be added to us.

0:11:56.2 Jim Lovelady: That’s amazing.

0:11:57.8 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah.

0:11:58.2 Jim Lovelady: Amen. Seek first the kingdom of God. All these other things will be added to you.

0:12:03.6 Richard Ole Sakara: Yeah, sure.

0:12:03.7 Jim Lovelady: Amen. It’s very mzuri sana… Thank you Richard. Thank you so much.

0:12:10.9 Richard Ole Sakara: You’re welcome.


0:12:18.4 Jim Lovelady: I loved this conversation with Pastor Richard, because he points out the nature of idolatry. How every culture has stories that reflect the culture’s values that shape the actions of that culture. But when we’re confronted with the story of God, we have to make a decision to either follow him, or continue doing our own thing. And the beauty of repentance is that no matter how far we’ve strayed from the real story, our Father sees us from far off and runs to us. Because like Spurgeon says, the eyes of mercy are faster than the eyes of repentance.

So now I want to bring you to the conversation I had with Ben Nihart and the power of God’s story to reshape a culture. And as I take you to this conversation, you gotta realize that when this was recorded, Ben and I had already had four or five previous conversations over the course of the two days that I was in the country. So you’re kind of stepping into the middle of a continuing conversation about the missionary strategy called orality and the glory of being brought into the story of God. I hope you enjoy.

0:13:29.5 Benjamin Nihart: We do see and when we’re looking at Bible Storying and we see, oh, each of us have a story, every person has their own story. And when you start looking at God’s story, it’s very important to get this right of, well, God has actually invited us into his story. He’s weaving us into his story of redemption and how we play a part in what he’s already doing, not how we’re living our own life. How can God play a part in the areas of my life I want to pull him into? 

0:13:55.9 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:13:56.2 Benjamin Nihart: And so with orality, a lot of this is, it is this holistic view of these things in which we’re actually seeing, oh no, it is, God has invited us into his story and we’re seeing this played out through scripture, through all these stories of, wow, God’s is, the Bible is one big story made up of many stories.

0:14:15.9 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:14:16.7 Benjamin Nihart: And so that’s one of the things we want people to see is like, man, God is weaving this, God is, has this amazing plan of bringing people back into proper relationship with him and to write relationship. And we focus a lot of our teaching, it is on being a sinner. It is on being justified,yes. But it also is this relationship that was broken, the relationship was hindered. Relationships are really important culturally here, more so probably than America. And in a different sense. And so how the relationship was broken. Well, that’s a big deal. And so now God is weaving his way through the promises of a savior to bring us back into a proper relationship to reconcile that relationship, not just forgiveness, reconciliation, of course, in computing his righteousness, yes. But that relationship being restored, you know, and that’s, that’s a concept that everyone can relate to in a culture that is very communal, that is holistic, that is much more relational in the sense of, if someone knocks on your door at eight o’clock, nine o’clock, 10 o’clock something, and you’re like, oh, I’m going to get up. I’m going to make chai for them, and we’re going to have a meal together. And it’s not going to disturb me. It’s not an inconvenience to me because they’re my friend. Yeah. It’s just expected.

0:15:22.6 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:15:23.2 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. Yeah.

0:15:24.5 Jim Lovelady: So who are you?


0:15:30.0 Jim Lovelady: Where are we? 

0:15:31.0 Benjamin Nihart: That’s a great question.

0:15:32.7 Jim Lovelady: I really actually don’t even know what time it is.

0:15:35.1 Benjamin Nihart: That is a wonderful question.

0:15:36.6 Jim Lovelady: It feels like 2:00 AM [laughter]

0:15:37.8 Benjamin Nihart: It is. The jet lag is real. So my name’s Benjamin Nihart and I serve here in Kenya with my wife and three kids. So when we moved to Kenya, we moved here about five years ago. But it’s really fascinating because what led us here as we were looking to missions and looking where God was calling us. And when we visited Kenya, I actually went around with George Mixon, we went around and he showed us bible storying. And it was kind of one of those… During that two week trip, it was one of those strange moments where it’s like, this is what I want to do. This is where I feel comfortable; I feel this is where I feel like God has placed me until he calls me elsewhere. It’s one of those, be faithful until you feel like God’s calling you elsewhere or moving you to a different place. And so it’s like, it’s been amazing to kind of jump in and it is something that’s unique. It’s not so common in the States to be like, oh, what is Chronological Bible Storying? And most people couldn’t even define that in a sense.

0:16:35.2 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:16:35.2 Benjamin Nihart: But to see the impact it can have on a culture here and cultures that’s different from our own, different from the West. And but really beautiful in a lot of ways. So that’s been really exciting.

0:16:46.3 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. And so here we are in Kitengela for a week-long conference with pastors from all over Kenya. And it has been really cool to see pastors from all sorts of denominations, that the full spectrum of denominations all gathered around this love for the story of Jesus and love for telling that story. And so it’s just been really fun to hear just this morning. They, well, yesterday George told the story of the paralytic being lowered tearing the roof apart and lowered. And then a few other people told that story. And then this morning, they had a little time of worship where they were singing together. And then I’m gathering that it was all in Swahili. So, I’m gathering that he invited a few people up to tell that story. And I know that story well enough that I can just, I can kind of follow based on gestures of the four friends who lowered.

0:17:53.8 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:17:55.7 Jim Lovelady: And so a woman tells that story and then another guy tells that story. And so they’re just sitting around, Hey, tell me a story about Jesus. Why is that so impactful? 

0:18:06.4 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. I really think, I mean, as we think through, everyone who is a believer would probably have one of those moments, we see it in the scripture, the whole, but God moments is like, we’re dead in our trespasses, all these things. But God, and it’s just when we actually really step back and look at God’s story, and when we train our pastors, we look at all these stories and we see how much, how valuable we are to God. That’s one of the things we focus on when we look at man, we of course look at man’s sin and how he blames and he hides and he covers. But we also look at man as valuable to God. We are valuable to God and God has invited us to be part of his story. So that is something we… People love stories. They can relate to these stories. They can… I would argue most of the pastors we train can relate to most of the biblical stories in ways much better than myself or us from the West, because they still live in a culture in many ways, in some of the rural areas of Kenya that are more similar. So when we tell a story of Abraham and Lot and the herdsman fighting. And they start dying laughing? During the middle of the telling of the story, they’re hitting each other on the side and kind of laughing. They all have stories of that exact same situation in their life. Oh man, I hate that. When that happens, when you know this, they have a person’s name in their head. Oh, that person. And their cows. And our cows. And then we both have, you know, shepherds who are watching them and, oh, that’s the worst.

0:19:35.7 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:19:36.9 Benjamin Nihart: They relate to these stories in a way that’s really beautiful, that actually helps teach us something. Even as teachers to say, oh, wow, they’re relating to it in this way because they can relate to the pains and the agony of that specific situation, or some of these parables about farming. Well, most of the people that we train have some sort of farm that they’re growing something on pretty consistently. They have animals. And so they’re able to see this story in a different way. I think that’s really beautiful, that can help teach us something, Yeah.

0:20:08.1 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. As I’ve interviewed a few of these pastors, just hearing how they relate to these stories has been very fun because they’re telling me, why they were impacted by the rich young ruler, why they were impacted by the Samaritan woman… Like, what is so meaningful about these stories? And the beautiful thing about it is as they’re unpacking that, I go, oh yeah. I relate to that too. Who was it? Yeah, it was Richard for the Maasai people, the rich young ruler is a powerful story because where he lives, it’s all about cattle. Like cattle is life and the way that people will make an idol out of their cattle and love them more than family.

0:20:52.5 Benjamin Nihart: It’s reputation, it’s authority, it’s position, it’s… their idols.

0:20:56.5 Jim Lovelady: Now we are talking about things that all of us commit to.

0:20:56.6 Benjamin Nihart: All of us have idols, those are big… So for example, we teach a story and actually, here and we talk about idolatry and what does it look like? You know, the one really amazing story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and actually looking at, oh, there’s a signal. The music is what’s played for people to know they should bow down and worship the idol. There’s music that’s being played. And so actually when we’re teaching through Sonship, it’s actually really fascinating. We’re trying to look at yes, but how do we identify our idols? Because most of the time when we actually identify our idols, we’re identifying the music that’s playing, that’s showing us to worship. So we’ll say, oh, I go to my phone and that’s my idol. We’ll say, my phone is my idol. Well, I don’t think so. That’s a surface idol. We really get into this. Even that’s the same thing. I’ve sat down and had conversations with Richard about this actually. We were in Nakuru where he was taking our training and said, okay, so cattle is not itself the idol. It is an idol. Yes, of course.

0:21:57.0 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:21:58.6 Benjamin Nihart: But it’s really the surface of something much deeper.

0:22:01.3 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:22:01.9 Benjamin Nihart: And that’s the thing that we can all relate to. The much deeper thing. ’cause you might not say, oh yeah, man, my cattle, I got a disease. That’s not going to be your everyday conversation.

0:22:09.9 Jim Lovelady: Exactly. Exactly.

0:22:10.0 Benjamin Nihart: But you can say, man, I just crave approval of others, I just crave control. I just crave a reputation. I just crave comfort.

0:22:20.3 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:22:25.9 Benjamin Nihart: Oh, now everyone, no matter where you’re from, you can, you can relate to those things. And so for this, it’s like, oh no, that music that plays that signal, “what we kind of call it” is actually showing us we worship, something different. So if I am having a disagreement with someone, and my first instinct is to pull up the phone, oh, I’m, I’m running away from something.

0:22:41.3 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:22:41.3 Benjamin Nihart: So that I can chase comfort maybe, or want to be, there’s all of these, you know, inner workings. But back to your original question, why are stories so impactful? I think it would be helpful just to kind of back up a second and look at this. There’s roughly four to five billion people in the world that are what we call primary oral learners. Now, what primary oral learners means, it doesn’t mean people are illiterate. There’s kind of five, five facets of literacy. You have illiterate, you have function illiterate, you have semi-illiterate, you have literate, you have highly illiterate or highly literate. But within that, you can have oral learners that are in all of those categories. So you can have someone who is very educated, who is still a primary oral learner. What that means is the primary way in which that culture communicates the most important truths to the next generation, to others, is through oral means. So that would mean proverbs, stories, songs, rites of passage, chance. There’s so many different ways. And I’m sure, and even in some of your conversations with people you’ve seen. I was just in a small group, we were just discussing this, oh, all these rites of passage. Oh, that’s an interesting thing. When you marry someone from this culture and you bring this dowry, there also has to have, this animal has to be sacrificed. It has to be, or blood has to be shed in this way during this ceremony. Or George might have mentioned some of these ceremonies that happened traditionally with Maasai and so those things are ways in which important truths are passed down, whether it’s through story or proverb. And so one of the things is even as there’s been, much more education and people will be much more educated, just because someone moves to be very educated doesn’t mean they stop being a primary oral learner. In many ways, they still prefer to learn in this way, even though they have become very literate, very educated. You could talk to them and they speak. They’re in many times, they speak so many languages, they can run circles around us in a lot of ways. But it is something of, that’s the way they prefer to learn best in many ways. And the majority of the world is still that way. But yet, International Rally Network, a while back, I was actually reading a book, and this study is probably 12 years old. I think 12 to 15 years is 2010-ish. But it was saying that with that many people that are primary oral learners, but 90% of the mission working mission workers going to those oral learners are teaching in primary literate ways. And so we’re not saying as our ministry that that’s wrong. What we’re saying is there is a great need to teach in an oral way so that it can be understood in a way that the culture teaches the most important truth. If we have what we believe to be the most important truth of someone’s, like, the most important story, we need to share it in a way that is not only understood, that’s easy to reproduce.

0:25:38.6 Jim Lovelady: Most immediately understood.

0:25:40.4 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah, absolutely.

0:25:41.1 Jim Lovelady: I’m not going to teach you how to read so that you can get this story.

0:25:44.0 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:25:45.0 Jim Lovelady: First, I’m going to tell you this story.

0:25:46.2 Benjamin Nihart: Exactly. And we would actually argue, it is one tool of many tools. If a pastor can have another tool, we call CBS a tool. It’s one tool that is very helpful for each of our pastors we train to have. Because there’s audiences they go to. Imagine you’re trying to reach out to a Muslim. And you walk up with a Bible. We talk about this a lot. And you’re like, “Hey, I want to, I want to tell you something from here.” There’s automatically barriers that come up.

0:26:13.0 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:26:13.6 Benjamin Nihart: Whereas if you’re having an opportunity just to sit with somebody and you’re sharing stuff. “Hey, can I share this story with you?” Much more relational, much more open. And it’s a soft approach where there’s not as many barriers that come up. But I do have a story. Actually, it’s from a person who is a Muslim Christian. They used to be Muslim. Now they’ve converted. They’re a Christian. And they were in a bus with all people from their previous tribe. From their previous people group.

0:26:37.9 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:26:38.7 Benjamin Nihart: And they were bold enough to sit in the Matatu, which is a Matatu is like a public service.

0:26:43.4 Jim Lovelady: In the bus.

0:26:44.9 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah, in the bus. Can I tell you guys a story? I have this story. Told him a biblical story. One they also have in the Quran. So now, but told him the biblical story. Not, it’s not the exact same in both. So now people were, after he told us, “Oh, but I thought it went this way.” That’s what they said, “Oh, but I thought it went this way.” And you’re like, “Oh, so he used it as a way to, but I thought it went this way.” Now you have all these people thinking about, well, I thought the story went this way. Oh, I thought the story went this way. But it’s created interest. And now he’s able to kind of slowly say, “Well, let us look more at that.” He’s able to guide some of that conversation. And now there’s interest and interest. And later they’re having more conversations with one or two of the people on the bus later. Let me get your number. Let’s talk more about that. So led to more conversation and led to kind of this open dialog that wasn’t so harsh as it would be to say, “I’m going to go preach at these people so that they can repent and believe the gospel.” It’s like, well, you’ve already put up walls. They’re going to walk away. They’re not going to listen to you. So that’s something. But yeah, I think communicating the gospel in a way people can understand it. And it can be transformed by it. It’s huge. And I think communicating the gospel and just the way we learn best in the West, for example, say, well, I love when someone goes verse by verse and brings out this Greek and brings out this Hebrew. Hey, that’s beautiful. That’s wonderful. Great. But if someone doesn’t have any clue, even the English words you are using because you’re using this eloquent language. What benefit is it to the people you’re shepherding or you’re trying to to disciple and try to kind of point to Christ? It’s like, no, we need to use ways in which people can understand it; grasp it. Not just formally, not just in your head, but actually grasp. What does it practically look like lived out? That’s why stories are so helpful. It is people living out this great story. It’s people living out their faith and struggling to live it out, then repenting, believing again. The Israelites continually over and over. It’s like, oh, man. But then we see, oh, actually, I’m very similar. I struggle with my faith. Like I do believe the gospel. Absolutely. But man, as I live it out, there are definitely areas in which I struggle to have that faith lived out. Or for example, faith expresses itself through love. It’s like, oh, when I have a love problem, it actually points back to, “I have…”

0:29:06.7 Jim Lovelady: A faith problem.

0:29:08.3 Benjamin Nihart: A faith problem but we don’t want to admit that. But the reality is it does show us that when I’m struggling to love people well. So, yeah.

0:29:16.5 Jim Lovelady: It’s fascinating to me because you know I’m not convinced that American culture learns best through verse by verse exegesis. I think that those are probably tools to get to the real way that we get to the heart. And this is one of the things that has been interesting as I’ve just been in this context the last few days. And how exciting and immediate and capturing and engrossing these stories are for folks. And then you’re saying, “Well, yeah, there’s actually a very close, very immediate context.” They are shepherds, very literal shepherds. Like, I don’t know a literal shepherd you know…

0:30:01.2 Benjamin Nihart: Well, you’ve already interviewed a few that are pastors and also are shepherds today.

0:30:04.2 Jim Lovelady: Right. Yeah. I mean, so I met a few real shepherds this week. But the distance, I suppose, from that context, from this being a thousand, these stories are thousands of years old. But it’s how do you extract this thing that is constant the whole time? And maybe in an American context, you use exegesis and you use the original Greek and whatnot. But it’s not for its own sake. It becomes this… So that this can be very relatable to the person right now. So the story is about cattle for one person and it’s about an Ivy League education for another person. But it’s the same desire for those same idolatries. It’s the same enslavement. It’s the same addictions.

0:31:00.2 Benjamin Nihart: And those things play out when you’re in a situation in your life. And you’re thinking about, like this week, we’re talking about Daniel. And what about what does it look like to isolate from the culture or to assimilate? What is this other way that Daniel’s living? He’s not isolating or assimilating. He’s actually doing something different. And now when they’re practically living that out, I was just in a small group and this guy is saying, yeah, so my child’s getting married and we have to pay this dowry. But on top of that, I’m supposed to do this animal is supposed to be slaughtered. And they won’t accept this dowry unless the animal is slaughtered.

0:31:30.1 Jim Lovelady: Oh, wow.

0:31:30.5 Benjamin Nihart: And now I’m having this, he’s having this exact moment of, okay, culture is calling me to assimilate and I’ve just learned this story. But now… My reaction is to isolate and just completely reject, but that’s going to break relationships. So what do I do? What is this gospel way, this faithful way to live a transformational life in my culture that God’s called me to live in? What do I do? Oh, the story is being played out of a biblical story that’s helping him as he’s thinking about this story. Oh, I’m in this situation. Oh, I’ve lived this situation. Oh, I know what it feels like in these ways, practically.

0:32:06.1 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:32:06.5 Benjamin Nihart: Stories help us in those ways.

0:32:07.6 Jim Lovelady: Right, right.

0:32:08.2 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:32:09.0 Jim Lovelady: Then I contextualize it to an American situation where something in the world is requiring me to do this thing for me to know that I’m accepted or for me to see that I’m okay. If it’s like I said earlier, I need to get into an Ivy League school, not just any school. I need to get into an Ivy League school or my children need to make that team. If my children don’t make that team, I’m not a good dad or I’m going to become a coach so that I can make sure that my kid is on the team so that I can all the things that we, okay, so wrestling with what does it mean to be in the world and not of the world that whole, that whole thing.

0:32:54.1 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:32:55.4 Jim Lovelady: But it really is. It’s the stories that go, okay, well, let me tell you an old, old story about these three dudes who wouldn’t bow down and they ended up in the fire. And everyone’s like, I don’t think that my life relates to that at all, but maybe that’s where the exegesis comes in.

0:33:16.0 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. And I think one of the things that I think is a challenge for all of us is, are we okay to simply accept the word of God as it is? And not to say, well, I have to try to come up with this new, crafty, new, beautiful way to explain this old, beautiful truth that is simply played out in this story.

0:33:42.5 Jim Lovelady: And just let it be what it is.

0:33:43.6 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:33:43.8 Jim Lovelady: Just the beauty of what the CBS material is. It’s like, this is the same story. We’ve all memorized it. And I love how as everybody gathers around and someone tells a story, when they’re done, somebody will stand up and be like, Hey, they forgot to say this part of it. And in that, it’s a communal storytelling.

0:34:05.2 Benjamin Nihart: Absolutely.

0:34:05.9 Jim Lovelady: Time, which is really beautiful. So there’s something about…

0:34:06.5 Benjamin Nihart: There’s a correctiveness to that, which is beautiful to say, hey, he left that one section and then the guy would go, oh yeah, I forgot this section. Oh yeah. ‘Cause you know, none of us are perfect in that.

0:34:16.7 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. So talk to me about where, where Kenya is in all of this. Like take me, give me a big picture of what’s going on, how CBS is impacting Kenya. I mean, there are pastors, there’s 50 something pastors here that are going to go to all, go, they’re going back to their churches and the ripple effects of this are, it’s been astounding as I’ve been talking with people.

0:34:39.5 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what, what we do here in Kenya, so George started this many years ago. And so kind of a big picture would be George had a passion. He understood, he was living on Maasai. He saw a need for communicating the gospel through oral means as a way of communication. So he got a passion for it. When he started doing Bible storying, as we are still doing it, it kind of began with one group and that one group, one training for a whole year to take them through all the stories. We go very slow. We’re going to take a year to go through the training. Started with one training and then it’s grown slowly and slowly. And so now we have about 20 trainings and they’re all over. So it started to kind of more central location of, of a specific place. And now it’s kind of growing from the coast to Northern, to Western, I mean, really to the South, Northeast, Northwest. I mean, we’re really all over now, which is really amazing. And what you’re saying is like, we have people from all different denominations, but when we, our training doesn’t change based on what denomination we’re going to. These are the solid truths of scripture. These are the essentials of scripture. How does the whole Bible fit together? How are we saved? What does it look like to live a life of repentance and faith? What does it, what does God call us to? And I think those things say, Hey, we’re bringing you all together, but there are many pastors that we have trained that have gone through some of these things and they’ve said, Oh, I wasn’t preaching the right gospel. I’ve had multiple pastors say I was preaching a prosperity gospel. Well, I had a pastor sit with me and say, so you’re telling me as a pastor, I should, I should talk about sin as I’m teaching through stories.

And that was his conversation. It’s like, Oh, but he said, but if I talk about sin and talk about how we’re sinners and all these sin we see, people aren’t going to want to come to my church because they want to hear health, wealth, prosperity, and that’s not everywhere, but that’s just, that was his situation where he is. And he’s in one of the informal settlements, one of the slums in Kenya. And so it’s like, Oh, in that area, people are grasping for a message to tell you, “hey, if you believe this, you will get, you have good health and wealth.” And you’re in a really desperate situation. That’s an easy message to want to grasp because you’re desperate. You’re in a tough situation. You don’t have excess. You’re, you’re struggling for everyday needs. And then someone’s telling you believe this and you’ll get rich and you won’t be in this situation anymore.

0:37:04.2 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. This religion of negotiation…

0:37:04.8 Benjamin Nihart: But if someone tells you, Hey, even you in your desperation are also sinful, just like the person who’s rich and is sinful. We all fall short.

0:37:13.3 Jim Lovelady: But there’s grace.

0:37:14.3 Benjamin Nihart: But there’s grace. And that one is not as easy to teach because people don’t, some people don’t want to hear that.

0:37:21.1 Jim Lovelady: Well, we are naturally inclined against it. We have a natural aversion; I have a natural aversion against grace. Grace is a completely different playing field and we’re just not accustomed to it. So that religion, which is the prosperity gospel has taken it. I don’t even like that it’s taken that word gospel because it’s not good news.

0:37:46.0 Benjamin Nihart: Correct.

0:37:46.5 Jim Lovelady: It’s a negotiation. It’s a business deal. It’s a transaction. That’s not. It plays on the same. If I sacrifice a certain number of whatever animals, then this will go well with me. That’s same kind of religion. That’s not grace.

0:38:03.9 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. It’s true. And, as I even think through some of the stories we’re doing, some of the things, one of the things that actually, I really love about the Kenyan churches if when you go on Sundays, whether, I mean, the average church in the world, but even in Kenya, the average church, you’re talking 40 to a 100 people. That’s the average church. Now there, of course, there are big churches in the big cities and towns, there’s some that are bigger, but the average church, that’s the size. But one of the things I love is the joy that comes out of people that go to church. The joy you see in their faces to worship God, the joy to gather together, the joy to hear God’s word, the joy to be together in community and to be there for a lot longer than we are in the West.

0:38:42.6 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:38:43.3 Benjamin Nihart: A lot of the services are much longer, but there’s no rush to say, I have to rush to something more important. No, we’re here for this event today, and we want to worship God. We want to hear God’s word. One of my first times I preached here in Kenya, I went to a small church, maybe, I mean, very small church in the slums. It couldn’t be more than 15 feet by 15 feet. Packed. So we sit down, we’re worshiping God, we kind of come in, we sit down and I’m sitting and someone is sitting across from me, and their legs are in between my legs. [laughter] So, we’re sitting, to fit more people in the church. And I’m thinking, wow, it is hot. There is no space. There are no instruments in this church. It is all, we’re just…And there’s joy everywhere. And then I get up to preach. This is kind of a cultural moment as a missionary. I get up to preach and he calls me up to preach. But we hadn’t had a lot of conversations before that. He just said, Hey, I’d love for you to preach here. I’d only been here for less than a year.

And I got up there, Hey, just by the way, how long do you want me to preach for? What is the time? What do you like? I didn’t want to go, my thought was, I don’t want to go too long where he’s going to say…

0:39:56.0 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:40:00.5 Benjamin Nihart: Hey, how could you preach for this long? And he goes, well, whatever the spirit leads you to preach. So, I get up there and I preach a message just like 40 minutes long. He gets up there and summarizes my sermon for another 30 minutes ’cause I didn’t go long enough. And I’m like, oh, man, that’s just a cultural moment. You’re new. You don’t know. You kind of understand. Oh, actually, he felt like, well, that was such a short sermon.

 I need to revisit what he said, not to change what he said, but just to kinda extend it because it was, 30, 40 minutes was really short. And I’ve learned since then, of course. But it’s like, it was one of those funny moments after we left, I was like, I think I should have prepared a longer sermon…

0:40:29.8 Jim Lovelady: That’s so funny.

0:40:30.8 Benjamin Nihart: But it’s just different ’cause in the States we measure a lot of the sermons, just like they’re planned that needs to be this timeframe. Because studies have shown people can listen for this long and grasp this, and they won’t want to focus on this long. And there’s all these studies being shown how long exactly those sermons should be.

0:40:46.5 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:40:52.6 Benjamin Nihart: And, but yet here there’s no thought of, oh, well, that’s how it should be. No talk. Like, explain everything. Give us a full sermon. Which is kind of a funny moment for me.

0:40:53.7 Jim Lovelady: Right. Hey, welcome to Kenya.


0:40:55.4 Benjamin Nihart: That’s right, absolutely.

0:41:00.8 Jim Lovelady: That’s amazing.

0:41:02.3 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:41:02.3 Jim Lovelady: There’s so much in this. So, any other things that you have? 

0:41:08.6 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah.

0:41:09.2 Jim Lovelady: I’d love to hear any other thoughts about this.

0:41:10.0 Benjamin Nihart: One of the things that I think, I’ll mention this in kind of a safe way for people we work with, but we have had a chance to work with many unreached people groups over the past, really three years. It’s been growing. And really naturally through relationships.

I went to some area, I just randomly met somebody and they’re like, oh, well, I’m a local missionary working among this people group. It’s like, oh. And they’re like, we’ve been waiting for Orality training, we’ve been trying to find an Orality training for seven years, and no one we found can do this.

0:41:39.4 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:41:39.7 Benjamin Nihart: Can you please come do this for us? Oh, absolutely. And so, we’ve actually seen that grow. And one of the unreached people groups we’re working with, they’re working on how to use audio stories? How do we use video for stories? How do we have it in our own language? And how do we broadcast through social media where people who are opposed to hearing the gospel in public. Because they would never be seen in public listening. And at the same time in the privacy of their rooms with their cell phone, now that there’s so much technology, they’re willing to listen to the Bible story ’cause something deep inside them is missing.

0:42:15.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:42:19.6 Benjamin Nihart: They don’t feel like they’re, whatever the religion they’re worshiping, what they’re following is not satisfying them. And they’re finding massive success doing that first. And then they have in-person relationships with them as they follow up. But over 18 months, they’ve been using Orality, which is really, really amazing. We trained them about two years ago. They’ve done CBS and Sonship, and they’ve been using Orality to reach their own people who are opposed to the gospel, not just with words, but even some of them are physically opposed to the gospel in ways if you were to preach to them in person.

0:42:50.3 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:42:50.5 Benjamin Nihart: And most of these people are heavily persecuted. And they have seen over 18 months, over 35, I think 36 people now come to faith from that religion to this religion. And they’re… What they’re kind of talking about, which is really amazing, is we’re seeing one of the greatest movements we’ve seen since the early ’90s among when our people group.

0:43:05.2 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:43:05.4 Benjamin Nihart: People come to faith.

0:43:06.5 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:43:09.5 Benjamin Nihart: And they’re using Orality as the tool to reach their people.

0:43:11.0 Jim Lovelady: That’s awesome. Well, I think the session’s over, I don’t hear George talking.

0:43:19.5 Benjamin Nihart: That’s true.

0:43:21.9 Jim Lovelady: Teaching anymore.

0:43:22.0 Benjamin Nihart: That’s true.

0:43:22.1 Jim Lovelady: So it’s probably about lunchtime.

0:43:22.8 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah. Thank you.

0:43:24.9 Jim Lovelady: Thanks so much. I look forward to hanging out some more when we go down to Kyuso.

0:43:26.2 Benjamin Nihart: Yeah, absolutely.

0:43:27.0 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:43:27.2 Benjamin Nihart: It’s going to be awesome.

0:43:28.6 Benjamin Nihart: Thank you.


0:43:35.8 Jim Lovelady: It’s so encouraging to me, to see the Lord reshaping the culture around the story of God’s kingdom. And my interview with Pastor Benson is a great example of how this works itself out in individuals. And so, here’s my question for you. How do you introduce yourself? Depending on my context, I’ll say something like this. Hi, I’m Jim. I’m a Pastor. I have a wife, three kids. I live in Philly. It’s vocation, family, where I live, and maybe eventually like what NFL team I support. Well, the Kenyan pastors, they did it like this. My name is so and so. I’m a born again Christian. I’m the husband of one wife. I have this many children, and I’m a pastor in such and such a place. They did this all the time, even though I was on, I wasn’t able really to get it on film, very many times. But I gotta say he was really convincing because this is what they’re doing. They’re starting with their tribal affiliation, born again Christian. Then they’re further differentiating themselves from their worldly context where polygamy is common by saying husband of one wife. It’s only after this that they talk about their vocation, and even in their introducing of themselves, they’re framing themselves within the story of God. So, “hi, my name is Jim, beloved child of God, sent to be his blessing everywhere I go.” Meet my friend, pastor Benson. Well, Benson, yeah, it is great to meet you.

0:45:09.7 Benson Mutisya: Thank you so much. My name is Benson Mutisya. I’m married to one wife. God blessed us with five kids and two granddaughters, and a grandson. I live in Nairobi. I have a congregation in the eastern side of the great city of Nairobi, where I have been ministering for the last, I think 25 years. And God has really grown the ministry has grown us both numerically and also spiritually. We began from zero. We began in a slum area. And I and my son, we used to go house to house. It was a dark place actually, with all kinds of animism and all kinds of beliefs. It was very weary. And, God really opened the wide doors and people received Christ. And now the congregation is growing. We thank God, through CBS, we have been able to train and also equip our leaders, both ladies and men, and God is using them really immensely to propagate the Gospel. A good example, yesterday we had a lady who was preaching to us, and she was focusing from the book of Acts chapter 2. Talking about the lady who was sitting by the gates of the temple, borrowing and asking for alms. And she really expounded it very well. It was very powerful.

0:46:54.2 Jim Lovelady: All because of the CBS training? 

0:46:56.2 Benson Mutisya: Because of the CBS training.

0:46:58.1 Jim Lovelady: Oh, that’s…

0:46:58.9 Benson Mutisya: What I did is that for the last three years, I’ve been training all levels of our leadership from youth to the women leadership to men leadership, and give them responsibilities of either shepherding their own group or even ministering in a Sunday service. And yesterday was very exciting to see our sister really bring it out very well.

0:47:25.3 Jim Lovelady: What do you think it is about the CBS that has been such an impact on your congregation? 

0:47:31.2 Benson Mutisya: One thing is that, in an African setup, we love stories. I remember many years when I was a young man, I used to love staying with my grandma, and she would give us stories, stories that could speak to my heart, could even map out my tomorrow. And, so, CBS kind of a storying format has attracted many people. And the people as they listen to the stories and get to learn what is in the story, it really becomes a tool that can transform. And we have seen it really transform both adults and young kids in Sunday schools. It’s a program that opens up one’s mind and also gives encouragement to present the Gospel. Whereas before that, people would be very shy; they would be timid. But as you learn the story, know the story, now you can communicate it with confidence. So CBS is a tool that really has helped my congregation and of course, many other congregations that I’ve seen grow over the years.

0:48:46.7 Jim Lovelady: What was it like before the CBS material? 

0:48:54.5 Benson Mutisya: Before the CBS material? I think there were programs, and still there are programs that churches and ministers are using to equip their leaders. But, because of the complexity of maybe, the way they are written, the way they can present and open up the gospel, unlike the CBS, CBS really, is a symbol. It’s short focused, Bible based, and you don’t need to dig and dig and dig. You have everything there because the stories are somehow crafted in a way that it presents and pulls out the truth and the principles that are taught in that particular passage in the Bible.

0:49:43.7 Jim Lovelady: Oh, That’s so good. Okay. So what is your favorite of all the CBS stories? 

0:49:51.7 Benson Mutisya: Wow. I think I have…


0:49:51.7 Jim Lovelady: You have to pick one. Just one.

0:49:52.1 Benson Mutisya: I love all, I love the creation of the angels. I love the call of Moses. I love when the children of Israel were called out from the bondage in Egypt, but above all, I’m kind of drawn to the story of the Samaritan woman. Samaritan being they were not well connected. They were connected, but they were not friendly. They were not close with the Jewish people. And now Jesus is trying to break that fence, that wall.

0:50:25.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:50:25.5 Benson Mutisya: To reach out not only to his own people, the Jewish, he wanted to go out to the Gentiles. And the story of the Samaritan woman really opens up my mind and touches me on how to even reach those who are rejected, those who are downtrodden by their communities. And also being able to open our hearts to those who are seeking and give them hope.

0:50:58.9 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:50:58.9 Benson Mutisya: This woman did not know how to get out of the trap.

0:51:01.6 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:51:01.6 Benson Mutisya: And then Jesus comes in and really opens our mind and talks to our heart, talks to our life, which brought transformation and change in her life. So the Samaritan woman is a story that I love.

0:51:14.5 Jim Lovelady: Oh, I love that story too. He sees her.

0:51:17.3 Benson Mutisya: Yeah.

0:51:20.0 Jim Lovelady: He goes out of his way.

0:51:20.1 Benson Mutisya: Exactly.

0:51:20.2 Jim Lovelady: To go be with her.

0:51:20.8 Benson Mutisya: Actually, that was not their normal way of going back to Galilee. But he had to go around with a purpose, even though I think the disciples didn’t understand. But he had a mission and he had to fulfill that mission. That’s why they were even surprised when they came back. And here was their master, their teacher talking to a woman, which actually gave them to have a setback. What are you doing with this woman? What are you talking about? 

0:51:54.6 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:51:55.7 Benson Mutisya: And then what really blew up their minds was when they said, now the food is ready. Welcome. Let’s have lunch he said no, I’m not hungry.

0:52:03.1 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, I have food that…

0:52:03.2 Benson Mutisya: Where did you get the food? Who gave you food? We brought it all for us. And so he said my food is to really share the gospel, to share the love of God with other people.

0:52:17.3 Jim Lovelady: And so what’s beautiful about that is that she goes and shares.

0:52:22.6 Benson Mutisya: Unlike anybody else, unlike many people who really feel that, well, I’m better than, I’m well versed with the gospel or with the scriptures more than this, this lady who was a disgrace in the community was able to be transformed, not only from her sinful ways, but also to become an evangelist.

0:52:47.9 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:52:47.9 Benson Mutisya: She became an evangelist and people were able to listen because she was telling it in the first hand.

0:52:56.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:52:56.8 Benson Mutisya: The first experience. This is the man that taught me all that I’ve ever done. Might this be Christ? So I think that way the lady was freed not only from her sins, but also delivered from being shy, being shameful in the community to become an instrument that God could use.


0:53:19.2 Jim Lovelady: Oh, I love it. Well, Benson, thank you so much.


0:53:29.3 Jim Lovelady: I started this episode with the verse from Jeremiah 2:13 about forsaking the fountain of living water. And I think it’s perfect that Benson told the story of the woman at the well from John 4, because she met the fountain of living water that day when Jesus asked her for a drink from the well. She was living out a story, and then she met the real story, and it changed everything for her. So here’s my challenge for you. Be on the lookout for the way you’ve been forsaking the fountain of living waters. Pay attention to the ways you dig cisterns for yourself, all the ways you look for life that just don’t satisfy. See where you’ve been living out a false story and how your actions have reflected a false kingdom. Then ask your heavenly father to show you the real story. And you just might find yourself in the story of the rich young ruler or the woman at the well, or maybe one of my favorites, the prodigal son. And in your repentance, you’ll experience a father who sees you from far off and comes running to you to bring you into the party because the eyes of mercy are faster than the eyes of repentance. And just like it happened to the woman at the well, because renewal always leads to mission, you’re going to want to tell everyone what the Lord has done. Come and see the man who told me everything about myself. And of course we’re in the business of helping you believe the story of God and your place in it as someone who is beloved in God’s eyes and sent to be a blessing.

If you’re struggling to make this a reality in your life, go to serge.org/renewal and explore the various opportunities to lean into your belovedness and your sentness and one of those opportunities that you’ll discover is called Discipleship Lab. It’s a cohort style curriculum designed to help you find yourself more and more aligned with the story of God and to learn skills to disciple others into God’s story. So check out the show notes for links to that and a link to give toward the Ministry of Chronological Bible Storying in Kenya. Funding this project directly helps George and Ben take the CBS training to more places and have a growing influence for reshaping cultures around the story of God all over Africa. And as always, leave a rating or a like, and a thumbs up on YouTube and share this episode with friends and family and anyone who’s considering life on mission. And as you go to live within and to live out the story of God, go with his blessing. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to smile down on you. May the Lord be gracious to you, turn his bright eyes to you and give you his peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, life everlasting. Amen.

Ben Nihart

Ben Nihart is a worker for Serge and will be completing his MDIV in Missiology in the next year. He is married to Lindsey and they have three daughters. His work is in the field of Orality through a ministry called Chronological Bible Storying where the focus is coming alongside the established church to help equip the local church leaders with a tool for outreach.


Jim Lovelady

Jim Lovelady is a Texas-born pastor, musician, and liturgist, doing ministry in Philadelphia with his wife, Lori, and 3 kids, Lucia, Ephram, and Talitha. He is passionate about the ministry of liberating religious people from the anxieties of religion and liberating secular people from the anxieties of secularism through the story of the gospel.

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