Engaging Different Audiences

Manuel pour faire un bon usage de la Bible dans chaque langue et culture
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Presses Bibliques Africaines (2011)

"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."

This is the French version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill. It is also available in Portuguese.

The French version can be obtained from Wycliffe Benin in Cotonou or from the SU department of SIL in Nairobi.  [more...]

Author: John Ommani

"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...]

Letting go of our most valuable resources
Author: Roy Meredith (Logosdor, Australia)

"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...]

Shaping the thinking of teens outside the church
Author: David Benson

"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...]

Author: Margaret Hill

"I think the workshop gave all the kids a way of expressing thoughts and emotions that they had no outlet for before. It helped them know that what they are feeling is normal and that God cares deeply about them."

How can children who have been traumatised by war engage with Scripture meaningfully? How can they believe in a loving father who cares for them? Through stories of children who had experiences similar to their own and Scripture stories, they can learn that - although life involves suffering - God cares for them. Through games, crafts, and conversation, they can give voice to their pain and bring it to Christ for healing. This model has proven to be effective with children in Gulu, Uganda and Liberia.  [more...]

A framework for approaching youth Scripture Engagement
Authors: Naomi Swindon, Adrian Blenkinsop

"Scripture engagement must allow the young person to ‘discover’ the message for themselves (as opposed to ‘being told’). They need to discover the relevance and value of God’s story for their lives, and our role is to be a guide, a storyteller, an encourager, and a listener to the Holy Spirits guidance."

Seeking to engage a young person with Scripture can be disappointing – and exhilarating. Have I failed if they don’t connect or react negatively? Having an array of engagement tools at our disposal, combined with an informed awareness of the context and culture of youth will enable us to use the right resource at the right time.

This approach is being used by Scripture Union in Victoria in a schools-based context, and by Bible Society in South Australia in a youth group and schools context.  [more...]

A Bible Engagement Tool designed to assist people to grasp the big picture of Scripture; the story of the King and His Kingdom, and their place in it!
Author: Clayton Fergie (Scripture Union International)

"The pattern of a fundamentally fragmented and disconnected understanding of Scripture still remains a major issue for those within Christendom, in both the majority and minority world."

Timelining Scripture is an innovative, yet simple Bible engagement tool that helps people to grasp Scripture as the single great coherent story of God’s purposes for the world. It reinforces a strong notion of the Kingdom of God and is particularly useful for helping people to find themselves, their community and their cultural context as actors within the biblical story. It is adaptable across age and cultural contexts and is highly visual, interactive and flexible.  [more...]

Como tornar a Bíblia relevante para todas as línguas e culturas
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Vida Nova (2010)

This is the Brazilian Portuguese version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill.

A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media. Includes activities, assignments, further reading resources and links to useful websites.

This version has two extra chapters in addition to those found in the English version - "Addressing human concerns: Alcohol abuse", and "Sharing your faith with animists".  [more...]

Author: Lamar Vest (President and CEO, American Bible Society)
Published by: The Huffington Post (11 May 2010)

"The Bible has yet to beat the perception of being a dusty old rule book among millennials largely because to substantiate relevance and garner interest, the text first must be read... The message of the Bible is unchanging, but how we deliver that message not only can change, but must."

Lamar Vest discusses some of the strategies the American Bible Society is using to encourage the millennial generation to engage with the Scriptures, including creative delivery methods and "new tools that put the user in the driver's seat of their Bible experience".  [more...]