The role of curriculum developer plays a large part of what it means to be a missionary
Serving as a missionary means wearing multiple hats. For Dan and Mary Vissani, ministering to small-scale farmers in Zambia, one aspect of their role as missionaries is that of curriculum developer.
Western styles of education that consist of classrooms, outlines, proof-texts, modules, and assessments are an uncomfortable fit with many rural Zambians’ inclination towards practical and story-based learning.
Because of this, the Vissanis try to get out of the classroom as much as possible. An example of this is teaching Zambian farmers how to accurately use a tape measure. Learning foundational tools such as this help ensure high standards and correct plant populations. Another benefit of practical learning is that it helps to eliminate misunderstandings of new farming techniques.
These holistic ideas can be applied to discipleship, as well as agriculture. Just as they start farmers with basic techniques, reading about and discussing the life of Jesus builds the foundation for complex theological truths which come later in the journey.