Tools and Methods
Thinking of organising a dedication event – such as for a Bible, a New Testament or another Scripture portion? There's a lot to do! Here are some of the kinds of questions that might need to be answered as plans are made for the big day...
This document highlights many of the pratical questions that need answering for a well-organised dedication event. It covers the following areas: choosing the right date, invitations, publicity, amplification, setting up the venue, food, accommodation, transport, book sales, audiovisual coverage - as well as the parts of the ceremony programme. [more...]
"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...]
One of the major obstacles for the acceptance of an idiomatic translation of the Scriptures into a vernacular language where there is some form of established church is that often there is a strong veneration of a translation of the Scriptures in the national language.
In the translation project for the Asheninka language of Peru, the team was faced with resistance to the idiomatic translation in the vernacular because of a strong attachment to an old Spanish translation. To assuage this resistance, they attempted to teach translation principles to the Asheninka lay pastors and to discuss with them the benefits of idiomatic translation, but both activities met with little success. However, a change of attitude came through a series of seminars that educated them about the source of the venerated Spanish version and the kinds of adjustments that were made in translating it from Greek to Spanish. [more...]
“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”
Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible. [more...]
The listing of these Eight Conditions or eight categories of factors used as a tool for evaluation can prevent surprises and help the church, missionaries, and Bible translators alike to focus on those activities that are likely to have maximum impact. It’s the great longing of my heart that the people groups of the world will not only have the Scriptures in their heart language, but that the Scriptures will have greatest spiritual effect.
Wayne Dye presents eight conditions affecting the use or non-use of the translated Scriptures:
- Appropriate Language, Dialect and Orthography
- Appropriate Translation
- Accessible Forms of Scripture
- Background Knowledge of the Hearer
- Spiritual Hunger of Community Members
- Freedom to Commit to Christian Faith
- Partnership Between Translators and Other Stakeholders
Common factors emerge that affect Scripture use: level of literacy, prestige of the language, and attitude of church leaders.
A wide variety of reasons account for published Scriptures not being used. They include a lack of literacy, a language that is dying or has low status, a translation rejected by church leaders, an inappropriate published format, a lack of distribution, a lack of contextualization when using Scriptures, and others. A summary of the conditions necessary for seeing Scripture used is also offered. [more...]
"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...]
The dedication of the New Testament should be a wonderful celebration, but it should also be much more than that. It is about a change of mind, heart and life, individually as well as corporately.
This article describes ongoing language committee discussions and planning in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is that as an outcome of such meetings, the committee will not only come up with a plan for the New Testament dedication, but beyond that for the use of the translated Scriptures in churches and society - as well as a plan for use of the mother tongue. [more...]
"Clear, simple and readable - very practical, fully supported with further reading ... exactly the kind of thing that is needed."
Chris Wright, Langham Partnership
A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media. [more...]
"In 2001, a small group of concerned people met in Nairobi to discuss how to help people traumatized by war. By 2009, this discussion had yielded much fruit, both in Africa and around the world. As violence increases in the world, so does the need for ministry to traumatized people through Scripture, mental health principles, and the healing power of the Holy Spirit."
Harriet Hill tells the story of how the 'Healing the Wounds of Trauma' workshops began and developed. She shares personal insights and lessons she has learned in her own life, hearing people testify both that "God is good" and yet "This is not easy."
A key component of the trauma healing workshops is the use of the mother tongue Scriptures: using the heart language to address heart issues. [more...]