Using the Arts

A Manual For The African Church
Author: Roberta King
Published by: Evangel Publishing House, Nairobi, 1999

Ever wondered how you can make songs in a more African style? Have you wanted to make songs that are closer to your heart and speak deep to your Christian faith? "A Time to Sing" gives you biblical guidelines for making and singing new songs based on scripture in your church.

Available from Fuller Seminary Bookstore.  [more...]

A guide for narrators and actors
Author: Mark Datson

"Make a big effort to understand the full meaning of the text... Try to put yourself in the shoes of your character. Think of their character, their temperament, their behaviour. What do they like? What don’t they like?"

This is a list of advice for narrators and actors working on audio products for promoting Scripture Engagement. These could be dramatised Bible portions or Scripture relevance dramas.

The advice comes from a drama team with many years of experience in producing radio programmes in West Africa.  [more...]

Helps for Developing Indigenous Hymns
Authors: Brian Schrag, Paul Neely (eds.)
Published by: EthnoDoxology/ACT Publications

This “tool chest” of materials brings together a compilation of documents and research tools, each describing an idea, activity or concept to enable the missionary or Christian worker to encourage some aspect of indigenous hymnody.

Book & CD-ROM, available from Ethnodoxology at $29.00.  [more...]

Author: Michelle Petersen
Published by: Global Forum on Arts and Christian Faith, vol. 5:A58-A86 (2017)

"When local arts call to people at a deep level, they see the relevance of God’s word to their spiritual hunger and are free to commit to Christ while remaining members of their culture."

"The word that gives life rightly lives in all parts of our lives as it is sung, danced, dramatized, drawn, and told in stories and poems, as well as being studied and read."

Article abstract:

Because languages and arts are means of communication, principles from the field of language development that communities apply to strengthen language vitality also strengthen the vitality of local artistic genres. Arts development expands a community’s existing uses of orality and arts to new topics and functions to better meet community goals together.

Status development activities increase the number of domains of use and the level of respect given local artistic genres. Corpus development activities describe genre forms and create new works in them. Acquisition development activities add to the number of people who perform or experience new works, and increase people’s interest in them.

When communities work together to meet their Kingdom goals, arts development activities add to the number of people who encounter God’s word in life-transforming ways.  [more...]

A week of learning, creating, and discovery
Dallas, USA and Ware, Herts., UK
Sponsor: International Council of Ethnodoxologists, SIL, PBT, GIAL and allnations

Arts for a Better Future (ABF) is a one-week workshop that trains participants to spark local, Scripture-infused creativity that moves communities toward the kingdom of God.

The training content follows the 7-step process contained in Creating Local Arts Together: A Manual to Help Communities Reach Their Kingdom Goals (2013, William Carey Library). Participants join in a condensed application of this flexible model to an existing cultural context. They then develop plans to implement principles for encouraging Scripture engagement through the arts to a community in which they work.

ABF focuses on discovering all artistic forms of communication in a community, and then helping local Christians communicate Scripture in these forms by a process of critical contextualization. The workshop is drenched in warm, artistic personal interaction with other people and God. A wide range of people interested in increasing the penetration of Scripture into a group have benefited from ABF: missionaries with artistic gifts, cross-cultural ministry strategic planners, pastors, worship leaders, people interested in developing multicultural worship, artists of all kinds, and others.

Sponsored by the International Council of Ethnodoxologists, SIL International, Pioneer Bible Translators, and the World Arts program at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (and All Nations Christian College for the UK event).

Upcoming ABF workshops:

See the ABF website for details of future workshops.

Videos:

England 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/AiMvideo6
Dallas 2012 - http://tinyurl.com/ABF2012video  [more...]

Author: Andreas Ernst (2018)

Is it possible for rural communities to develop entire radio dramas through oral processes only, without writing a script?

Our dramas have not only been able to reflect the complexity of life and the consequences of sinful attitudes and behaviour, but also the power of God at work and the attitudes and readiness to help that Christians can and should be displaying.

In this article, Andreas Ernst (based in Cameroon) presents a participatory oral approach for producing audio dramas. He argues that "Scripture engagement is all about dialogue, about interactivity", and shows how a wide range of people from a local community can be involved in developing a radio drama, without a written script.

Audio dramas can transmit educational content in an emotionally engaging way, leading to positive social change. For Scripture engagement, a participatory approach to developing such dramas offers a powerful way to let the Holy Spirit work in the hearts and minds of participants and audiences as they discover just how tangible the presence and guidance of God can be in their lives. The author has witnessed the joy and excitement of participants as they were able to share their personal experiences, views and creative ideas in the process of developing the story and while acting out their roles.  [more...]

Choosing Illustrations for Translated Scripture
Author: Michelle Petersen (2016)

Choosing to illustrate interesting events in the text may help build audience interest in the story of Scripture, and this interest may be more foundational to audiences’ relationship with God than knowledge of details about what objects and places looked like.

Illustrations often serve motivational functions for readers, especially reluctant readers, increasing their enjoyment of a text and the amount of time they give it. Various audiences require different kinds of Scripture visuals to care about the message and understand it well. Just as translators need to carefully check the words of Scripture, it is important that they also check Scripture illustrations with members of the intended audience, and if needed, change their choices based on this interview feedback. This paper encourages translation teams to check visual elements of Scripture with members of the intended audience, and helps prepare consultants to check illustrations based on local visual vocabulary, grammar and rhetoric.

This is an edited version of a paper presented at the Bible Translation Conference in October 2015, Dallas, Texas.  [more...]

A Media Tool for Translation and Beyond
Authors: Margaret Doll, Julie Limmer

"Not everybody can wait! Written translation often takes years. What if we could have Bible stories in video form in weeks? What if you had a tool to engage people in the Bible translation process while broadening access to the Scriptures?

"A new media strategy, introduced in a cluster project in Papua New Guinea with initial success, provides hands-on involvement engaging learners cognitively, emotionally, and physically, and generating ownership of the final product. The process, which involves recording Bible stories, can be used at any stage of a translation project. Digital images help convey the story culturally, historically, and geographically leading to learner-driven dialogue. The discussion among the national team can reveal implicit information and key terms, and can facilitate the effectiveness of explicit information. Scripts recorded in the vernacular, along with music and a choice of images for each story, are easily assembled into video. The video-stories can be shared in a number of formats, including cell phones."

This paper was presented at the Bible Translation Conference 2011.  [more...]