Tools and Methods

Author: Margaret Hill

What kinds of resources and activities would be good for promoting Scripture Engagement in language communities around the world? This checklist was put together at a seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2011.

I hope it will be useful as you work on planning and strategy issues in Scripture Engagement. Most communities would not expect to have all the items listed here but it is likely that they should be working on some in each category, with the aim of seeing people engage with God’s Word in their local language and culture.

The checklist includes 19 categories of activities and resources.  [more...]

Author: Margaret Hill

"It has been proved over and over again that people do not learn by sitting and listening to long lectures! The more the participants are involved in the learning process, the more they will remember. As much as possible, help the participants to put into practice what they are learning during the workshop. Use of drama, role play, music, small group discussions are all helpful ways of getting the message across."

Drawing on years of experience in running workshops around the world, Margaret Hill cites some of the problems encountered, for example: lack of mentoring and follow-up, wrong choice of participants, lack of political/social support for the participants, people sometimes like coming on workshops in order to get certificates without any expectation of using the new knowledge, lack of local funding.

After describing several possible solutions to these problems, Margaret concludes that "workshops and courses can indeed be very useful, but they can also be a waste of time and money. Planning is needed to make the best possible use of the time when people come together".  [more...]

Author: John Ommani

"Pastors have taken on the 'lecture' method to display the 'big man' syndrome which does not allow the people to engage. They are expected to sit and listen and remain silent. They feel this is how the church has to operate. The pastor simply tells them what the Bible says and what they need to do. They are not able to live out what they are told because they still have unanswered questions."

The model of the pastor as 'big man' who knows it all means that people have to sit and listen, and often this does not lead to engagement with Scripture in life-transforming ways. In many traditional cultures, leaders taught through stories, questions, and riddles, allowing people to interact and discover. Can pastors today learn to use discovery methods in the church that allow people to interact with Scripture and discover lessons for themselves? This article says yes, with field experience from Africa to demonstrate it.  [more...]

9 ideas for using digital audio players in Scripture Engagement
Author: Richard Margetts

"We know that just because someone has a printed Bible doesn’t mean they will use it. After the novelty has worn off, how can we encourage people to go on listening and engaging with God’s Word with their audio player?"

In recent years we’ve seen the launch of a number of multi-purpose digital audio players, designed for contexts without easy access to electricity: such as the MegaVoice Ambassador, the Saber, the Papyrus and the Audibible. They can contain hours of audio Scripture, songs, teaching, Bible stories, or whatever audio content you choose.

Suppose you had 10 of them, or 100, or 1,000? What would you do with them? Not only would you need to decide what to put on them, but you would also need to think about how people will get hold of them and put them to use.

This brief article describes 9 ideas for putting audio players to use, including listening groups, audio libraries, tools for pastors and evangelists, new communities and translation testing.  [more...]

August 29th – September 3rd 2010
Author: Edna Headland

"Praise God for this event where so many people from what Brazil calls the three waves of missions worked together. As one person reported, he heard expatriates, Portuguese MT Brazilians and indigenous people calling the event 'their forum'."

This is a report from the first Brazil Forum for the Use of the Scriptures in Indigenous Languages, which brought together 200 people, representing 59 ethnic groups and 32 organizations.

There were plenary sessions in the morning with group discussions following. In the afternoon there were workshops on topics such as Scripture Memorization, Use of Indigenous Scriptures in the family and eight other diverse topics. The evenings were for enjoying different ethnic music, hearing testimonies, and in general, having good fellowship.  [more...]

A Bible Engagement Tool designed to assist people to grasp the big picture of Scripture; the story of the King and His Kingdom, and their place in it!
Author: Clayton Fergie (Scripture Union International)

"The pattern of a fundamentally fragmented and disconnected understanding of Scripture still remains a major issue for those within Christendom, in both the majority and minority world."

Timelining Scripture is an innovative, yet simple Bible engagement tool that helps people to grasp Scripture as the single great coherent story of God’s purposes for the world. It reinforces a strong notion of the Kingdom of God and is particularly useful for helping people to find themselves, their community and their cultural context as actors within the biblical story. It is adaptable across age and cultural contexts and is highly visual, interactive and flexible.  [more...]

Author: Harriet Hill

"In 2001, a small group of concerned people met in Nairobi to discuss how to help people traumatized by war. By 2009, this discussion had yielded much fruit, both in Africa and around the world. As violence increases in the world, so does the need for ministry to traumatized people through Scripture, mental health principles, and the healing power of the Holy Spirit."

Harriet Hill tells the story of how the 'Healing the Wounds of Trauma' workshops began and developed. She shares personal insights and lessons she has learned in her own life, hearing people testify both that "God is good" and yet "This is not easy."

A key component of the trauma healing workshops is the use of the mother tongue Scriptures: using the heart language to address heart issues.  [more...]

Some implications of mobile phone technology for Scripture distribution
Author: Richard Margetts

"When it comes to audio and video products, the mobile phone can be an effective method of getting the Scriptures to people... who then pass them on to other people... who then pass them on to other people..."

This article discusses some of the implications of mobile phone technology for encouraging the sharing of audio/video Scripture products. Questions raised include:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What are the best Scripture products for the phone?
  3. How will people get their first copy of the media files which they can then share with their friends?
  4. Are there any copyright issues involved?
  5. How could mobile phone technology become an obstacle to people engaging seriously with God’s Word?
  6. What are the most positive aspects of using mobile phones for Scripture distribution?
  [more...]
Huit conditions pour l’utilisation des Écritures
Author: Wayne Dye

This is a 7-page summary in French of Wayne Dye's "Eight Conditions of Scripture Engagement". The awareness of the contribution of each of these eight factors can help in developing strategies to promote the use of God's Word.

For a more in-depth discussion of the Eight Conditions (in English), see the author's article in the IJFM journal.  [more...]

Authors: Amy West, Jo Shetler

"Tensions naturally are high in a crisis, but when a person becomes a follower of Christ, some of those practices clash with Scripture, creating new and sometimes intense tensions."

This workshop focused on equipping believers to resist those pressures toward practices that conflict with their allegiance to God, and to overcome the internal tensions created so they might respond in ways that are scripturally grounded while still being culturally meaningful.  [more...]