Best Practices

Designing for users with accessibility needs

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“most churches don’t intentionally exclude people with disabilities. But because the world is, by default, a poor fit for people with disabilities, the church is also a poor fit, unless we intentionally include people of all abilities.” – Ryan Faulk joniandfriends.org/the-largest-unreached-people-group-youve-never-heard-of

We encourage church and mission leaders to think not only of mission among those with a disability, but to recognize, affirm and facilitate the missional calling of believers with disabilities themselves as part of the Body of Christ. The Cape Town Commitment II-B-4

Sadly we can end up excluding many people, unless we are intentional about doing more to include them. Read More »Designing for users with accessibility needs

Translating the Bible into Action (2nd Edition)

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Translating the Bible into Action has become a key resource for anyone interested in helping people discover the relevance of the Bible in their lives, especially in terms of newer translations in minority languages. This new edition includes new chapters and updates that take into account new opportunities and changes in technology in the last 10-15 years. Written in an accessible way for use with churches, most chapters can be introduced and explored in an hour or two. The book provides recommendations and links to further articles, many of which are available on https://scripture-engagement.org/ and https://www.ijfm.org/

When Jesus was born to Mary, God “translated” himself into our human world. This act of God’s translation continues today wherever the gospel is expressed, in each language and lived out in each culture that makes up our diverse world. Unfortunately, the church often ignores its cultural and linguistic diversity and, instead, imposes a dominant “language” and “culture” for expressing faith. This textbook seeks to challenge that situation.

By identifying common barriers that prevent people from engaging with Scripture, the authors explore the ways churches can maintain unity in Christ and celebrate the diversity of their membership. Addressing a wide-range of relevant issues and using practical applications, this revised and updated edition re-establishes the importance of good, contextual Scripture engagement. A key resource in helping church leaders encourage people to communicate with God in their own language and to discover that Christ wants to make himself at home in their world.

To purchase (print or ebook) see the Publisher’s website

Translating the Bible Into Action

Contents

  1. Barriers to Engaging with Scripture
  2. Using Appropriate Scripture Products
  3. Language in the Plan of God
  4.  Culture in the Plan of God
  5. Mother-Tongue Scripture Use and Church Growth
  6. Using Scripture in Multilingual ChurchesRead More »Translating the Bible into Action (2nd Edition)

Great New EMDC Resource

All of effective Eurasian Kingdom initiatives are built on two key elements: 1) Effective Communications 2) Effective Collaboration – How we work together. Long-time EMDC champion, Phill Butler, is an acknowledged expert in these fields.  His book, Well Connected, the global “bible” of partnership and network development is now in a dozen languages.  Phill has just completed a great new resource website with 140+ articles and 30+ videos on these topics. 

Read More »Great New EMDC Resource

Which kind of translations make more impact? 

  (photo credit: esperanzatolentino.wordpress.com)

Which kind of translations make more impact?

This is a good question.  It is also a complex issue and more than one set of parameters comes into play. That is, there’s more going on here than “literal vs meaning-based.” Long ago David Landin did research in Bolivia to see which indigenous Bibles were being used there 10 years after completion. Answer: the ones with the hymns in the back. And in those, it was the hymns that were being used, not the translations themselves.

One key factor that has proven true over the years is whether or not the local church leaders (pastors, evangelists, teachers) choose to use a new translation or not. If the local and regional church leaders do not show support for a translation, it will likely fade into obscurity. This is why nowadays many projects begin by contacting local and regional, even national church and denominational leadership in order to hear from them what kind of translation is most desired by them for their people. And continued conversation with these leaders is fostered all along the life of the translation project.

Read More »Which kind of translations make more impact? 

How is Scripture Engagement different from Bible Study

 
How is Scripture Engagement Different from Bible Study?
Dr. Phil Collins
Scripture engagement is not the same thing as studying the Bible. It is a complement to deep study of the Scriptures. In the process of promoting Scripture engagement, the last thing we want to do is detract from the importance of studying the Scriptures. Let’s be very clear here: Studying the Scriptures is absolutely essential to the Christian life2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to come to the Bible as a “worker who . . . correctly handles the word of truth.”
Teachers of the Scriptures are a gift to us from God (1 Corinthians 12:28). Jesus came as The Teacher (John 13:13). The Apostle Paul was a scholar (Acts 22:3). The inductive study of the Bible—the process of observing, interpreting, and applying the Bible—is how we understand what the Bible means. We must know what the Bible means if we are to have an accurate understanding of God as we meet with him.

Simplicity Gone Astray

RadiAid, a spoof campaign with a serious point

In 2012 I took a media team to a country in central Africa to get stories about Bible translation projects in the country. We stayed in a guesthouse at an educational institution, and nearby was a school for the students’ children.

“Put away your cameras!” a man shouted to one of the photographers traveling with me. “We don’t want you showing our children as poor and hungry on the internet.”

We had obtained advanced permission to photograph on the campus, but we took this parent’s concerns seriously. The cameras went away, and the matter was discussed with the parent and the educational institution president. We came to a mutual understanding of our purpose and received permission once more to take photos.

This parent expressed a widely held view in many parts of Africa: Western nonprofit organizations want to show people across Africa in the worst light in order to raise money. People feel exploited.Read More »Simplicity Gone Astray

Priorities of product development

What are the key topics to consider in planning and developing a new Christian product for discipleship, evangelism, education,  or other kind of engagement? What are the questions we should be asking ourselves as we consider ?

An initial thought about three P’s of product, protection, and promotion quickly expanded. Alliteration may have got the better of me or provided a framework for some valid thinking. Other p’s could be partnership, professionalism, pride (the good and bad kinds) , patience, perseverance, perspiration (effort and hard work), perspicacity (deep insight and discernment) , politeness (cultural sensitivity), pushiness, possessiveness (releasing organisational hold and letting community emotionally own products and process).

Read More »Priorities of product development

How to Tell a Dangerous Story


“I know how you can tell this story,” I said to a colleague with a smile. “Someone did something that made a positive change among some group of people in some country, and it’s so amazing everyone needs to know about it!”

We were talking about how to tell stories from “sensitive” or high-risk contexts, and I said this jokingly as we considered what could and could not be said in stories. We had a good laugh and proceeded to find a solution.

While I said this in jest, this is a basic formula for telling impact stories. Of course, usually when applied, it includes real information—not just “something” or “someone.” Yet, what do you do if putting these key details into your story threatens the project you want to write about or risks the lives of your subjects? Should these stories be left untold?

Read More »How to Tell a Dangerous Story

Mobiles, Media, and Ministry: Lessons for Trainers and Learners

The Mobiles, Media & Ministry: Lessons for Learners & Trainers curriculum contains 41 lessons, 360 pages of trainer guide materials, 70 pages of student handouts, and over 1,000 presenter slides.

The lessons are divided into four topic areas:

  1. Foundations of Media MinistryPrinciples and practices for developing media materials and strategy that lead to follow-up and discipleship.
  2. Mobile MinistryThe mobile phone is the device through which most media ministry efforts will be experiencedThese lessons teach the capabilities and limitations mobile technology provides and how to adapt your media ministry efforts.
  3. Social MediaThese lessons teach you to connect with the lost via social media so you expand your reach among almost any people you want to reach.
  4. Do-it-Yourself Media: These lessons teach anyone to create authentic, contextually-relevant media that can reach thousands.

Read More »Mobiles, Media, and Ministry: Lessons for Trainers and Learners