Engaging Different Audiences
Pastors who have studied in a language other than their mother tongue can have difficulty using the local language Scriptures. When they preach, they sometimes borrow words from the language in which they studied, rather than thinking about the word that will communicate best in their local language.
For this reason Bible Institutes, seminaries and churches should encourage those who study the Bible to use the translation in their own language and investigate how important terms were translated.
On completing this 43 lesson course, a speaker with the Scriptures in their own language will be able to:
- identify how key terms in their language are translated;
- use the terms when they teach or preach;
- better understand the doctrine based on or related to the key term;
- attach greater value to the Scriptures in their language since they know that there are appropriate ways to communicate key terms in their own language and that it may change according to the context;
- use the Scriptures with more confidence and motivate other people in their ethnic group to do so.
The course is also available in Spanish and Portuguese. [more...]
"I realised that no translation was worth anything if my children didn't read it on their own because they wanted to. The burning question for me as a parent was how do I get my children into the word of God so that the word of God would get into them? As a professional illustrator the answer became obvious."
The Illustrated Bible - containing the historical books of the Old and New Testaments - is available in two formats: as illustrated pages and as video. Each Bible story selection contains the full Bible text with accompanying images.
The videos are made from the still images, with the camera moving over the illustrations, zooming in and out, and panning across. The images are realistic rather than using a cartoon style.
There are several free Bible stories and video clips to view online or download, as well as others to purchase. Translation and dubbing is possible into other languages. [more...]
Producer: Viña Studios, Sololá, Guatemala, Central America
Deditos is a video Bible story series targeting children between the ages of 4 and 14. Considering the challenges faced by children throughout the two‐thirds world, the stories are carefully chosen to reveal God's character, his dealings with mankind, and his never‐ending desire that we draw closer to him.
Each episode includes:
- the Bible story dramatized in roughly 23 minutes with real‐life fingers as actors, incorporating a song the kids can learn;
- PDF files of five dynamic lessons based on the story, including print and audio versions of the teacher’s guide and pages with interactive activities for the children.
The complete Deditos series will include 21 stories with a major emphasis on the Old Testament. The videos are being produced originally in Spanish, in sets of three each year.
What is 'The Story'? It is both a book and a campaign.
The book is an abridged version of the NIV Bible, arranging the Biblical narrative in chronological order in 31 chapters. Bridging paragraphs with some explanation are included between the selections of Bible text. There are no verse numbers. A few psalms appear in the chapter on David's life, and Proverbs in the chapter on Solomon. Extracts from Paul's letters appear in the chapter of stories from the book of Acts.
As well as the main version of the book designed for adults, there are also versions for teens and for different ages of children (2-5s, 4-8s, 9-12s).
The campaign is a call for churches to take up 'The Story' as a journey through the Bible for all ages - to encourage people to grasp the Bible narrative and how the different parts of the Bible fit together. There are teaching notes for pastors and group leaders as well as video clips. This could be a 31-week series to go through the whole Story, or churches could adapt parts of it according to their needs.
One of the challenges of producing an abridged Bible is to know which passages to include and which to leave out. Not everyone will agree on the choices made. For example, The Story misses out the Tower of Babel. It would be interesting to compare different panoramic/abridged Bible products as to the decisions they have made. [more...]
"What we are trying to do is say we want our people to know the Scripture — and how will they know the Scriptures other than by reading it? And what’s the best way to read it? I’m convinced that it’s designed to be read in big chunks, out loud, with people getting together."
Cornerstone Church in Kingston, UK, have embarked on 'The Big Read'. The idea is to read one book of the Bible each month, together in small groups.
On the first Sunday of the month, the pastor preaches an overview of the book. Then at the midweek prayer meeting, they read the first few chapters together, leaving the rest for the small groups during the other weeks of the month. They've put together a series of 10 questions to help them reflect on what they're reading.
"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."
"Pastors have taken on the 'lecture' method to display the 'big man' syndrome which does not allow the people to engage. They are expected to sit and listen and remain silent. They feel this is how the church has to operate. The pastor simply tells them what the Bible says and what they need to do. They are not able to live out what they are told because they still have unanswered questions."
The model of the pastor as 'big man' who knows it all means that people have to sit and listen, and often this does not lead to engagement with Scripture in life-transforming ways. In many traditional cultures, leaders taught through stories, questions, and riddles, allowing people to interact and discover. Can pastors today learn to use discovery methods in the church that allow people to interact with Scripture and discover lessons for themselves? This article says yes, with field experience from Africa to demonstrate it. [more...]
"Those under 20 are ‘digital natives’ — fearless and proficient in manipulating the media with understanding of it structure and potential. It is these young people we must harness to help Christians be salt and light on the internet social networking sites."
One person can only shake hands with about 25 people in 15 seconds - but if they all keep shaking hands with others, a whole room of 250 people can be reached in 15 secs. Such is the nature of viral videos!
Roy Meredith (Logosdor, Australia) tells us about 'R U Smarter than a Fly?' - a 5 part video narrative about the birth, life and death of Jesus as seen through the eyes of flies. He discusses the idea of viral videos and how Scripture engagement needs to take place where young people are online (e.g. social networking sites). [more...]
"Read the Bible for Life aims to improve biblical literacy in the culture and the church by simultaneously moving readers toward greater skill in reading the Bible well and toward a deeper commitment to applying Scripture to everyday life."
The Read the Bible for Life initiative seeks to accomplish two things foundationally:
"1. We want to help people learn to read the parts of Scripture well, so they know how to engage a psalm, or an Old Testament story, or a parable, applying the word in specific, life-changing ways. 2. We want to help people understand how the grand story of the Bible fits together, so they can understand their place in that grand story that God has written on the world."
On the initiative's website you'll find videos, podcasts, blog posts, as well as details of the book "Read the Bible for Life" by George Guthrie (Union University). [more...]
"Most of our Scripture Engagement tools are geared toward teens who are relatively open to the Scriptures though perhaps struggle to see the relevance. But what about the antagonistic atheists and seculars who favour naturalistic science over the implausible supernatural; the untrusting skeptics and agnostics who find the historical and moral assertions in the Bible literally in-credible; or the confused seekers and New Agers who want meaning to their life but are suspicious of any (religious) truth claims—no matter how seemingly relevant—lest they be duped and lose their “freedom”?"
Encountering God’s Word has the potential to transform teens outside the church. But what if their attitude to the Bible closes their ears? How can we open ears, establish trust, and arouse interest? Sometimes we need to talk about the Bible before we can invite teens to read it. These resources unpack a pre-evangelistic conversational strategy that challenges, informs, and inspires teens to see the Bible as plausible, credible, and relevant.
Dave Benson has researched the area and is actively using the model he presents here in Australian schools. Attached here is the booklet and presentation he produced for the World Wide Scripture Engagement Consultation 2009 - and a copy of his thesis 'The Thinking Teen'. [more...]