Passing of the Onion
When missionaries Beky Poteat and Jane Schmitz were introduced to Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship training, they not only appreciated the benefits for their own ministry but wanted to share it with the pastors’ wives that they train in Togo. In the oral teaching method that they use with the women, many who are still illiterate, they teach two of the pastors’ wives who then train others, who then train others, and so on until the teaching is passed on to pastors’ wives all over the country. Beky and Jane were never quite sure if the concepts, especially that of peeling the onion, were quite understood. This concept involves initiating conversations with people with the goal of getting down to their core beliefs and taking the time to develop redemptive relationships with them.
One Sunday, Jane was invited to one of the local churches to attend a special service they called Women’s Sunday. It is a time where the women, under the authority of the pastor, lead the service, sing, teach, and then provide a meal for the entire church. It was a pleasant and affirming surprise to see Madame Daniel, the pastor’s wife, began the service holding an onion and a knife. She began to explain the concept of peeling the onion and the need to hear people first to understand what they really believe. Then came two dramas that showcased the difference in one’s approach to evangelism. One highlighted what happens when you don’t take the time to get to know people or listen to them, while the other showed the advantages of listening and truly caring for others in order to share the gospel effectively. The message was on the Bible event of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. It emphasized the need to share the gospel from where the person is in their understanding.
Jane left the church that day extremely encouraged. She discovered that this passing of the onion had progressed from one woman to the next and the church audience now hearing it was six levels away from the original training. People all over the country of Togo are being challenged with sharing the gospel in a way so that others truly understand, embrace, and retain the message of God’s redemptive plan for mankind.
Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship training is producing much fruit all over the world. Would you like to experience how this seminar can equip you to share God’s story of redemption effectively in a world of competing faiths and cultures? Would you like to learn how to peel a worldview onion and pass that on to others? Join us at the ABWE Training Center in October for our next training event. Can’t make the trip to Harrisburg? Ask us about the possibility of hosting a Good Soil seminar in your church or area.
To learn more about worldviews and the onion peeling analogy read our article:
How To Understand Worldviews: I'm an Onion - You're an Onion