How do I share the gospel with a young lady who has difficulty reading?

Woman reading bookQuestion: I gave a friend one of your books but I’ve since found out that she is dyslexic. Can you suggest how I can share the gospel with her?

Answer: An audiobook would be good for your friend and, depending upon her background, we have several that might work for her. We currently have these (with more being developed):

In addition, here are some additional suggestions.

1. Read together with her.
We have testimonies from people who have read aloud one of our books and thus explained the gospel message to a friend. Following this pattern, only one copy of the book would be required or your friend could follow along in a second copy.

It’s important to get through the book in as short a time as possible. Because the gospel is told as a historical narrative, avoid dragging out the length of time. This will retain the sense of one story being unfolded, thus minimizing the need for additional review. However, don’t push ahead simply for reasons of meeting an arbitrary deadline. You want to ensure that your friend is comprehending the message. Taking appropriate time for review will help.

For example, you can meet several times a week for two weeks. Or, you can read together over two consecutive weekends. By This Name takes about 14 hours and The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus takes 11 hours.

As a bonus, we have interactive editions of our books that come with video clips. These clips supplement the text of the books.

To help guide you gauge the amount of time you need, we have downloadable time logs that give you guidance on how long each section of the book takes to read aloud. You can download the time logs from our [Worldview Rethink resources page].

Here are two testimonies of people reading together:

2. Watch the Learn about the Bible online video course.
If your friend enjoys learning by watching videos, she can watch our Learn about the Bible online video course. This course takes her through the content of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus in 11 hours.

She can watch on her own or, better yet, you can watch with her and make use of the downloadable workbook together to help determine her understanding of the message.

If you wish to watch offline, you can get the DVD set of The Stranger and view it on the TV.

Testimony of someone learning via the online video course:

3. Read and listen to The Lamb
A third option is reading The Lamb. Although originally written for children, many adults have found it useful, especially those who like listening to a story. This is because The Lamb comes with an audio recording of the whole book. Using controlled vocabulary and simple sentence structure,The Lamb is like a distilled version of The Stranger. You can start with this book then and graduate to By This Name.

You can read to your friend and she can review the story by listening to the audiobook CD. Again, make use of the questions at the end of each chapter to verify her understanding.

4. Read together The Story that Matters
We have a much shorter booklet entitled, The Story that Matters. This illustrated, 64-page booklet uses English that is geared towards those speaking English as an additional language. It takes about 45 minutes to read. You can read it aloud in one sitting and then go through the questions at the back in order to check her comprehension.

With its simple vocabulary and short sentence structure, your friend might be able to read it through herself.

Read testimonies featuring The Story that Matters:

5. Use visual aids as you read together If you can engage more than one sense (sight, touch, hearing, etc.) while teaching her, she might gain a better understanding of the story. Visual aids help to engage her sight and sense of touch. We have visual aids that complement the gospel story. God has put in quite a number of visual aids in the Bible (the altar, the tabernacle, and more) and it makes sense to use them in teaching. For example, the significance of the Passover is brought to life when using the visual aid of the door, the first born and the lamb. Your friend may it helpful to see the visual aids in action as you read together.

I hope one of these suggestions will help your friend understand the gospel message!

Author: Amos Kwok

Curriculum development manager at the international office.