Audio

Author: Margaret Hill

Today we are in a very different position from when Bible agencies and churches first started running literacy classes. There are alternatives! We now have many methods of producing, distributing and copying oral Scriptures of many different types. In almost every case where a literacy programme is going nowhere, people will accept oral Scriptures and listen to them.

Several years ago, Margaret Hill wrote an article provocatively titled "How Literacy can Harm Scripture Use". Her thesis was that too many literacy programmes were starting with classes for beginners rather than focusing on transition literacy for the leaders and change agents in society. Such an approach, she argued, is harmful to Scripture engagement.

This article is a follow-up, emphasising the same message and going further to take into account the observation that "increasingly here in Africa we are seeing that many language groups are very interested in using their languages orally, but very uninterested in reading or writing in them".

Rather than "hitting your head against a wall" with struggling literacy programmes, the author calls for a refocusing of strategies and reminds us that audio Scriptures often work very well in such contexts.

Download the article as a PDF document.  [more...]

Communicating the Gospel
Author: Viggo Søgaard
Published by: William Carey Library Publishers, 1993

Pilot programs have clearly shown that extensive word and concept explanations are often needed if a non-Christian is to understand the written text as read on a cassette. The explanations will need to be provided in a format that is appropriate to both the medium and the listening context. It may be... a dramatic series of daily readings, presented in the context of a village family, and a narrator who will provide the necessary help with background information so that the listeners can place the text in its geographical and cultural context.

Although written before much of the revolution in digital media, this book provides a lot of useful strategic input for those involved in media and Scripture Engagement.

It is divided into three sections:

  1. Foundational principles for use of media in church and mission – Biblical principles, communication models, research methods.
  2. Selected media descriptions – chapters on television, radio, video, audio cassettes, print, film, music, painting & dance-drama, computers
  3. Practical guidelines for media in church and mission – strategy, planning, production, testing, distribution, evaluation.
  [more...]
Pump Up Your Mobile Media Ministry
Author: Keith Williams
Published by: Mobile Advance (2013)

What’s the weak link when it comes to mobile media ministry? When it comes to actually showing mobile media, the weak link is your mobile device’s speaker. Unfortunately, most phone speakers are very weak and far too many tablets have underpowered speakers that, even worse, are positioned facing away from the viewer.

For audio and video on mobile phones or tablets to be heard by groups of people, it can help to connect your mobile device to external speakers. This can be via a cable from the phone's 3.5mm headphone socket, or wireless using a Bluetooth connection.

This review on the Mobile Advance website compares 13 speakers available for under $100, and makes recommendations on which might be the best to choose. Even if these specific models are unavailable where you are, there might be something similar available locally. The article will get you thinking on how a mobile device connected to an external speaker can help to make audiovisual Scripture engagement products accessible in group contexts.  [more...]

The Most Common Avenue to Increased Scripture Engagement
Author: T. Wayne Dye
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (26.3 Fall 2009)

The choice of medium can make a difference, and better artistic quality enhances any communication. However, the most important quality is how relevant the message seems to be to the lives of its hearers. If a hearer (or reader or viewer) thinks the message can make an important difference in his life, he will make an effort to listen, even if the quality is poor. Conversely, if he thinks it says nothing personally relevant, he will ignore even the best presented message. This principle of personal relevance is critical to communication.

Wayne Dye expands upon his third condition for Scripture Engagement:

Accessible forms: People are able to read the Scriptures or hear them from others or by listening to electronic media.

The article describes different ways of making the Scriptures more accessible: storying, literacy, local performing and visual arts, audio recordings, cell phones and video.  [more...]