Here’s the short version of how Regina Manley developed the Bible StoryFire Series and the Bible StoryFire Leader’s Guide.
Regina Manley head shotAs a storyteller, consultant, and coach, Regina Manley is passionate about working with groups reaching oral learners—an estimated 7 out of 10 people worldwide. She helps client ministries design communication, education, and training geared for this great majority. Literate learners also benefit from these same practical approaches modeled by the master, Jesus. The result is better communication of the Gospel and training that can equip all believers to continue making disciples.

Regina and her husband served 32 years with MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). For 17 of those years, they ministered in Ecuador both in the Amazon Jungle and the Andes Mountains where her husband worked as a missionary pilot. Regina cared for their family of four children and ministered with women’s groups and Child Evangelism Fellowship. For five years she led a high school team conducting evangelistic street drama.

After assignment to MAF home staff, Regina earned a Master’s degree in linguistics at Biola University. She then felt the Lord calling her to focus on equipping church leaders to minister to oral learners.

In 1974, Dr. Ralph Winter of the U.S. Center for World Mission challenged the Church when he said more than 3 million church leaders worldwide served with little or no training. He called it the greatest leadership crisis in church history. Compounding that problem, 90% of their congregations would not or could not learn from reading. This meant those who needed the Gospel the most were either not grasping or remembering what their pastors taught—even if educated.

Through a series of God-ordained encounters with other ministries, Regina discovered the beauty and simplicity of Bible storytelling followed by discussion. Telling Bible stories, followed by basic questions, allows believers at all literacy levels to learn directly from the Word themselves, and to become disciples of Christ able to effectively use the Bible stories and discussion to disciple others.

Regina trained using the Simply the Story® method then led Bible Storytelling and Discussion workshops in 17 countries over the following six years. She trained hundreds of church leaders to teach using two of the same methods that Jesus used: storytelling and asking questions. But despite the workshops’ overwhelming success, she came up against a difficult limitation. She and her team could not meet all the demands for workshops. Nor could everyone who wanted the training leave work and family for days to travel and attend a workshop.

To overcome those limitations, she wrote the Bible StoryFire series. Then her team, along with dozens of volunteers, invested hundreds of hours producing the audio lessons, demonstration videos, and Leader’s Guide in order to simplify the training process. Now anyone can learn, and easily pass on, the good news of the Gospel to others.

Currently, Regina pursues a doctorate in curriculum development as she continues to consult with and coach mission and international church organizations working with oral learners.