SHERRIE WILLIS BROWN, a Kansas City educator and the daughter of the late DR. AVERY WILLIS, has authored a marvelous and impacting book about her father. Avery was characterized by being willing to go … and by doing … any and all that God led him to do.
His is a lifetime of obedience to the Living God, the Creator of the universe.
The book … with longtime friend, smiling Avery Willis on the cover is titled: “I Aim to be that Man!” It is his answer to great men of the past who have said: “The world has never seen a man completely dedicated to God!”
Since much of it was from his journaling, his other writings and communications, Sherrie describes the book as “… almost his autobiography!”
I am honored to have Avery as a warm and admired friend from our student days at Oklahoma Baptist University.
His dear wife Shirley, Sherrie’s mother, just joined him in Heaven on a day in December, 2018, on their 63rd anniversary.
In time he and wife Shirley served as missionaries in Indonesia. He observed that the ministry there at the time had developed there had followed a “western” model, not adapting enough to the Indonesian culture. During those days of adjustment Avery became President of the Indonesian Baptist Seminary. Instead of moving forward in a direction of one centralized seminary location – a western model – he was in leadership in placing the Seminary in seven different locations throughout the country. This allowed local followers of Jesus to be closer to and more available to the people. The focus led to more laypeople leading many small groups and house churches.
This movement contributed heavily to the emerging of the “church planting” movement that is now advancing in many parts of the world.
Sherrie’s book amplifies on many of the points that are here summarized.
In being led to return to the United States, “Lifeway” asked him to help in developing in discipleship concepts. So he ministered there in Nashville, TN for a time.
And In seeing that many churches needed help in Biblical discipleship, Avery developed “MasterLife,” a “hands on” and practical study in discipleship that was wonderfully successful in assisting thousands in growth of Biblically following the Lord.
Amazingly, MasterLife has now been translated into more than 60 languages!
Sherrie’s book continues to develop Avery’s growing impact for the Kingdom of God. He became Vice-President of Overseas Operations of the SBC’s International Mission Board (IMB), an administrative assignment to oversee more than 5,000 Southern Baptist Missionaries Worldwide. He served for ten years in that role until his “retirement.”
I went to his retirement and was honored to be invited to bring remarks about our shared days as fellow students at Oklahoma Baptist University.
Then, there at Richmond, VA, he took me to lunch. He shared his newfound vision that the majority of the world’s people were primarily “oral” in their learning and communicating skills. As he was a disciplined student throughout his life, so much through written, academic means, I was so impressed as to his message to me. “If we are going to reach the world as Jesus commanded in the ‘Great Commission’ (Matthew 28:19, 20), we must do it in a different means than the way we have been doing it, which is largely through literary, academic, written means. We are going to need to include ways to reach the world’s majority, primarily oral learners.”
Of course, so much more – always with the theme of obeying God – in the book by Sherrie Willis Brown, titled; I Aim to be that Man!
Past radio “links” to Dr. Avery Willis – and the “orality” Moment
To hear … “Mark Snowden: majority worldwide are primarily oral learners: he, Avery Willis co-authored book re it” … click on …
To hear … “Avery Willis, Larry Richmond re DNA21; New Testament patterns provide NT impact; your invitation to be a part” … click on …
To hear … “Matt Willis & granddad Avery Willis penned ‘Learning to Soar’ regarding Biblical lessons seen in eagles” … click on …
To hear … “Mark Snowden, Bible “storying” specialist leads International Orality Conference sessions to reach oral learners” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/2013/09/06/mark-snowden-bible-storying-specialist-leads-intl-orality-conf-sessions-to-reach-oral-learners/ ;
To hear … “Avery Willis wrote “Learning to Soar”; as with eagles, God “stirs our nest” in discomfort to grow us” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/2010/06/16/avery-willis-www-learningtosoar-org-as-with-eagles-god-stirs-our-nest-in-discomfort-to-grow-us/
*To hear … “Avery Willis: Eagles soar through, over trials; so can we; book written with grandson Matt Willis” … click on …
To hear … “Dr. Mark Grossmann/David Hendrick; specialist Mark defines strategic importance of Biblical orality” … click on …
*To hear … “Willis, Dr. Avery – May 2008” … click on …
To hear … “Mark Snowden, Bible “storying” specialist leads International Orality Conference sessions to reach oral learners” … click on …
To hear … ”Rick Brekelbaum, retired corporate executive; now passionate for reaching the world’s majority: oral learners” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2010/10/15/rick-brekelbaum-retired-corporate-executive-now-passionate-for-reaching-the-worlds-majority-oral/
To hear … “Jerry Wiles, Former Prez, Living Water International (www.water.cc); North American Director of www.orality.net” click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/2017/01/07/jerry-wiles-former-prez-living-water-intl-www-water-cc-n-american-director-of-www-orality-net/
To hear … “Samuel Chiang of Hong Kong leads International Orality Net (www.orality.net) , STL Conference regarding world’s majority” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/2013/09/03/samuel-chiang-of-hong-kong-leads-intl-orality-net-www-orality-net-stl-conf-re-worlds-majority/
To see a “month by month” listing of hundreds of radio conversations available and found on www.haroldhendrick.com, click on …
https://haroldhendrick.com/?p=456 … and scroll to the bottom (ignore the comment that says “Not found, error 404)”