Author: Kyria B. (2019)

"Almost all of the Christians interviewed reported a preference for reading print Scriptures. This preference was in contrast specifically to 1) individualized listening to audio recordings of Scripture or 2) listening to someone else reading Scripture aloud."

This article is a reflection on research into the motivations for literacy in Senegal. Among the Christians interviewed, the overwhelming majority expressed a preference for reading the Scriptures rather than listening to audio Scriptures or hearing someone else read to them. This was accompanied by a general opinion that reading Scripture is necessary for a Christian to mature and to grow spiritually. They also reported ten main inconveniences or inadequacies regarding audio recordings or listening to someone else reading.

The author was surprised by these findings since many Christians in Senegal are unable to read the Bible. She proposes two possible interpretations, recognizing the importance of literacy and also seeing the need for a more nuanced understanding of the value of oral communication of the Scriptures for spiritual growth.

The article is available to download in both English and French.  [more...]

Evaluating the conditions for Scripture Engagement
Author: David Gray (2019)

This questionnaire takes you through each of Wayne Dye's Eight Conditions of Scripture Engagement, asking questions to help you evaluate a particular context.

It is available to download as Word documents in both English and French.

The process of filling in the questionnaire will help Bible translation teams, local organisations and Scripture Engagement specialists to identify the areas on which to concentrate in order to facilitate the use of the Scriptures.  [more...]

United Kingdom
Sponsor: Moorlands College and Wycliffe Bible Translators

The School of Language and Scripture (SLS) is a collaboration between Moorlands College and Wycliffe Bible Translators, training people to work with marginalised communities, to see lives transformed through a relationship with God and his life-changing Word. At the heart of the School’s activities is the MA in Language, Community and Development, a programme providing and enhancing the essential tools for community-based development, linguistics, literacy, Bible translation and Scripture engagement.

As part of the MA we offer a Postgraduate Certificate with a focus on Scripture Engagement:

Having completed Foundations for Living and Working Cross-culturally, you would take options L33 Introduction to Scripture Engagement followed by L42 Patterns and Approaches in Community Engagement, with an option to carry on later and complete an MA in Language, Community and Development. Please see our website for more info.  [more...]

Authors: David Ford, Joshua Mann, Peter Phillips
Published by: Routledge (2019)

From the book description:

The Bible and Digital Millennials explores the place of the Bible in the lives of 18 to 35 year-olds who have been born into the digital age. As the use of digital media becomes increasingly pervasive, it should follow that it will have a significant effect on people’s engagement with religion and the sacred texts associated with it. Drawing on contemporary in-depth surveys, this study unpacks digital millennials’ stance towards, use of and engagement with the Bible in both offline and online settings.

The book features results from a nationally representative survey of 2,000 young British people specifically commissioned for this project. The data is also compared with the findings of others, including a poll of 850 British Bible-centric Christians and recent Bible engagement surveys from the USA.

This book investigates the relevance of the Bible to the lives of those who have grown up in the digital age. It will, therefore, offer fresh insight to any scholar of biblical studies, religion and digital media, and religious studies.  [more...]

Communicating the Christian Message to People Who Don’t Read
Author: Harry Box
Published by: William Carey Library (2014)

From the book's description:

Don’t Throw the Book at Them addresses one of the most vital issues in contemporary missions. It is a manual for cross-cultural missionaries and national church leaders ministering in societies based on oral rather than written communication. Harry Box, former missionary and researcher in Papua New Guinea and among the Aborigines of Central Australia, explains the distinct characteristics of oral societies, how they differ from literacy-oriented societies, Jesus’ ministry to oral communicators, and why effective presentation of the Christian message demands that Western Christians change their approach to orality. The book goes beyond case studies and analysis, allowing the reader to develop a detailed plan for communication.  [more...]

Dallas International University, Texas, USA
Sponsor: Center for Excellence in World Arts

The MA with a major in World Arts prepares students to work cross-culturally alongside singers, musicians, actors, dancers, storytellers, and visual artists, researching the arts of their community. Using these insights, the student will be able to spark artistic creations with artists to respond to their community’s needs in community development, health education, justice issues, language and arts preservation, literacy, Scripture engagement and translation, worship expressions, and other areas.

This program will be of interest to people with artistic skills and sensibilities, curiosity about culture, a commitment to serious research, and a drive to see others create. Depending on prior background and training, as well as the specialization and application courses chosen, graduates will be prepared for careers such as the following:

  • Arts journalist
  • Community development worker
  • Ethnodramatologist
  • Ethnomusicologist
  • Orality consultant
  • Trauma healing consultant
  • Arts consultant for Bible translation projects, Schools in cross-cultural contexts, Non-governmental organizations, Multi-ethnic churches, Literacy projects, and sending agencies
  [more...]
Research conducted among U.S. adults
Author: Barna Group
Published by: American Bible Society (2019)

This report contains the findings from a nationwide study in the United States, commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group.

Here are some of the findings:

  • One in six adults (16%) reports using the Bible every day, while another 14% use it several times a week. Another 9% of the population use the Bible once a week, 7% use it once a month, compared to 6% who use it three to four times a year, and 18% who use it less often. Roughly one in three (31%) say they never use the Bible.
  • The most commonly cited top frustration when it comes to reading the Bible is not having enough time to use it (19%). Less than half as many cite language that is difficult to relate to (8%). Other frustrations mentioned include not knowing where to start (6%), not feeling excited to use it (6%), and a lack of understanding for the background or history of the Bible (4%).
  • Overall, 59% of Americans agree that the Bible has transformed their life, including 26% of adults who agree strongly. Roughly two in five adults (42%) say the Bible has not transformed their lives.
  • The use of a physical copy of the Bible remains strong at 91%. More than half of Bible users have also used the Internet on a computer to read Bible content (55%) or searched for Bible verses or Bible content on their phone (56%), and another 44% have downloaded or used a Bible app on their smartphone.
  • All Bible users, regardless of age, prefer a print version of the Bible. However, one in four Millennials (27%) and Gen X adults (26%) prefers to use their phone or tablet, compared to 9% of Boomers and 2% of Elders who prefer a hand-held electronic device.
  • Bible ownership corresponds with age: the older a person is, the more likely they are to own a Bible in a language they can understand. More than nine in 10 Elders (92%) own an understandable Bible, while 85% of Boomers, 82% of Gen X, and 75% of Millennial households do.

Download the full report from the American Bible Society website.  [more...]

A Tale of Two Sons
Published by: GemStone Media (2017)

"Fatmir, a pampered vineyard owner’s son, hopes to make a name for himself. Sponsoring a smooth-talking artist, he’s swindled and loses everything. Haunted by his brother’s words of failure, Fatmir is determined to prove him wrong. Yet things go from bad to worse. Destitute and hungry, rejected and without hope, will Fatmir find the courage and strength to return home?"

The Kingdom, based on a well-known story in the Scriptures, is an 82-minute film set in the vineyards of Kosovo and beaches of Montenegro. It has won 23 film festival awards and has been dubbed or subtitled in ten languages.

The film is free to download at thekingdomfilm.com.

There is a discussion guide to encourage conversations, asking questions on the themes of 'Finding Identity', 'What is life about?', 'Money, money, fun, fun' and 'The father's faithful heart'.  [more...]

An Introductory Guide
Published by: Mobile Ministry Forum (2018)

Social media can be a forum for engaging with the Scriptures, as well as being a place for promoting Scripture products and Scripture engagement resources.

The Mobile Ministry Forum (MMF) has assembled a guide that takes you through what you need to get caught up with social media. The 95-page guide, in PDF format, is a free resource and can be downloaded here.

It contains:

  • Stories and recommendations that help with those details that you usually have to learn from trial and error.
  • Power tips that summarize the material in the guide into easy to reference tasks.
  • Best ways to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, What’s App, and then how to determine if apps like SlideShare are a good fit for your ministry.
  • Arguments for whether or not you should pay to boost your social media reach and engagement.
  • Comprehensive coverage of security issues with social media.
  [more...]