The Word One to One Training/Outreach in SA
8 to 18 September
Richard Borgonon (together with William Taylor) developed the Word One to One outreach tool that is impacting evangelism in the UK, Australia and now Africa. He will be in SA through September, conducting training workshops in Jo’burg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town. You are invited to attend a session and experience what Rico Tice has called “the silver bullet going forward” in evangelism. See schedule below.
Grant Griffiths from CBD held a Skype interview with Richard to glean a little more about the Word One to One and his visit.
Grant: So what’s this about you in the TV studio this week with the Word One to One?
Richard: Well, TBN – Trinity Broadcasting Network – is the world’s biggest Christian television broadcaster, and the Billy Graham Association said to them, “You really should look at the Word One to One, because no one has done anything like it.” And of course, the Word One to One doesn’t cut across anything out there because it’s about reaching people you know, colleagues in the workplace, on a one to one basis. So TBN has shown a lot of interest in it.
Grant: Rico Tice says The Word One to One is God’s current blueprint for reaching the unchurched. Has that been your experience?
Richard: Well, in the ten years I’ve been showing this to people, every single person has said, “Why didn’t anyone show me this before?” Every single one!
Grant: That’s amazing…
Richard: Damning of us, actually. Like Rico Tice said, we’re very good at running courses, we’re very, very good at what we lay on in church, but that just doesn’t reach the biblically ignorant person who, in this age, is nowhere near thinking about Christ.
Grant: So tell us more about people’s responses over the last ten years.
Richard: Every person responds in two ways: one, why didn’t anyone show this to me before? I had no idea the Bible said that! And then as they progress through reading John’s gospel, by the time they’re midway, they acknowledge that the evidence for Christ as God is overwhelming… irrefutable. They don’t necessarily become a Christian at that point, but there is always a realization that the gospel is utterly watertight in its evidence.
Grant: So how does the Word One to One fit in with Christianity Explored and other such courses? Is there a synergy?
Richard: It’s the missing element that should precede them. The evidence shows that by the time people are converted on a course like Christianity Explored, they’ve attended it three times… that’s if they bother to come back. That’s how biblically ignorant people are. But the Word One to One is a great way to introduce them, in a far more accessible way, to the Bible and Christ’s claims, after which a church course will have much greater impact.
Grant: Am I right in understanding you’ve been recording a whole bunch of TV sessions of the Word One to One?
Richard: Yes. TBN will be broadcasting the entire One to One series to 52 countries throughout Africa. So we’ve been shooting all 38 sessions of the Word One to One, with each being a television episode. Once they’ve been broadcast, the idea will then be to put them on our website and it will be possible to use them for outreach. But that’s just an add-on. Using the books, one on one with a friend or colleague, is how it works best.
Grant: I’ve gone through the first book and I love it. It’s simple, easy to use, unthreatening… something I would be comfortable using with anyone from their teens through to retirement.
Richard: I’ve seen teens, business executives and even a 93 year old woman in Australia using them effectively. Fantastic!
Grant: The way you’ve formatted John’s gospel demystifies the Bible. I think people generally have an idea of the Bible as outdated, King Jamesy, a stuffy old book they dread opening. But the Word One to One absolutely bypasses that and – slap bang – you’ve got God speaking to you fresh.
Richard: There are two phrases I’d encourage you to use with people: it’s socially acceptable… and it’s socially accessible. That’s clearly what the Lord has done globally by having John’s gospel presented in this way. When we Christians walk into church lovingly stroking our whopping Bibles, we’re really saying to people we have a bunch of knowledge they’ll never have. But when you share a booklet, we’re on the same level and no one’s threatened. We’ve got to have this level playing field if we’re going to engage people.
Grant: So tell us, what do you think of South Africa?
Richard: Oh, I love South Africa! I’m really looking forward to coming back. My problem is, this is my third visit and it really has to be my last for a while. I’m hoping that the Christian leadership in South Africa will now pick up and run with the Word One to One, which is what has happened in Australia. I’m hoping we’ll see an advisory group set up with a training director to take on the responsibility of doing here what has happened overseas.
Grant: You’ll be visiting churches running evangelism training, showing people how to use the course, also doing outreach using it. Is that right?
Richard: Yes, but again, I’m hoping that my trip will result in South Africa picking up on what God is doing. My next focus will be Canada.
Grant: Are you developing this ministry full time?
Richard: No, I’m still involved in business, that’s where I get my contacts. I’m generally doing about twenty, twenty-one Word One to Ones with people I’ve met. I’m not a full-time evangelist. That’s the beauty of this course. It’s for people who are in the workplace, meeting people.
Grant: What’s really great about the Word One to One is the price. So much coming from overseas is expensive, especially if you have to give one to somebody, like on this course. But your price will definitely help us to promote the material in South Africa.
Richard: People spend more on the coffee, Grant! That’s part of 10ofthose Books’ principles. No one’s making money off the material. We’ve priced it so cheap that the royalties are pathetic and just go straight back into the ministry.
Grant: We’re praying for and looking forward to your visit through September, Richard!
Richard: Honestly, shooting 36 television episodes so far has been consuming, but at last I’m gearing up for my trip.
Whether you're 15 or 95, learn how to reach your friends and colleagues using John's Gospel in a friendly, accessible and totally unthreatening format. Best of all, learn to do it one on one! Richard will be in JHB between 9-11 September at the Rezolution Conference, Randburg Baptist Church and Christian Revivial Centre, Lenasia. He will be in Pietermaritzburg on 12 Sep and Durban on 13th. On 14th he'll do training in Somerset West. On 15th there'll be an outreach in Kloof Street, a training workshop in Durbanville on the 16th, and an outreach in Tokai on 17th Sep.