Music and Worship

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...]

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...]

A Manual to Help Communities Reach their Kingdom Goals
Author: Brian Schrag
Published by: William Carey Library (2013)

Brian Schrag’s Creating Local Arts Together manual has both a stirring and exhilarating effect as the reader envisions the possibility of a community’s arts used for the purposes of God’s kingdom and, at the same time, is thorough and informative with respect to the research process involved in getting to know the arts and worldview of a community.

The manual contains seven sections which correspond to the seven steps of Creating Local Arts Together. They are:

  1. Meet a community and its arts
  2. Specify kingdom goals
  3. Select effects, content, genre, and events
  4. Analyze an event containing the chosen genre
  5. Spark creativity
  6. Improve new works
  7. Integrate and celebrate for continuity

Gunnhild Bremer has written a review of the book (downloadable below) which includes reasons why it is useful for Scripture Engagement practitioners.  [more...]

Historical and hermeneutical study of ordinary "readers" transactions with the Bible.
Author: Mote Paulo Magomba
Published by: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg - MTh thesis (2004)

Abstract:
This study falls within the area of the Bible in African Christianity, particularly ordinary readers' appropriation of and interpretation of the Bible. It seeks to explore, firstly, the processes of the encounter between the Bible and the indigenous people of Tanzania, specifically the Gogo in central region. Secondly, this thesis seeks to identify some interpretative resources and emerging interpretative practices that have continued into the present of ordinary readers of the Bible.

This exploration is done by tracing the mission activities of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in Tanzania, which began in 1844. The work of the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) is also examined, particularly the role it has played in making the Book "open" to the indigenous, through translation.

Although there is continuity between past and present readings, this thesis demonstrates that ordinary readings are not static, they are dynamic; and over the years neo-indigenous interpretative moves have emerged which are a combination of both missionary and indigenous interpretative resources and methods. This reality is evident in the contemporary phenomenon of women and youths' songs in central Tanzania. These songs are creative interpretations of the Bible from an ordinary readers' perspective.  [more...]

Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.4 Winter 2004)

In seeking to free ourselves from the biases of a print-oriented culture, we need to consider, not only the kinds of media and discourse genre (e.g. narrative) that are most appropriate for oral cultures, but also the most effective ways to use those genres and media. What do non-readers like to see and hear? What do they enjoy listening to? Their choices will not necessarily be the same as those of print communicators. If the styles of presentation are ones which oral communicators prefer, then they will be more likely to listen, to understand, and to remember what they hear.

In this paper, Rick Brown argues that oral cultures have their own preferences for ways to communicate truth, and that these are often different from what print-oriented people prefer. In order to share the message most effectively, we need to find out what media and methods work best for them. In most cases this will include a multi-media approach with an emphasis on memorizing the Scriptures with the aid of high-quality recordings from skilled actors or voicers.  [more...]