Tools and Methods

An integrated strategy for the total team
Author: Rick Brown

In the total team, the various agencies exercise complementary roles, as the Lord uses them to build up His local church.

A common strategy that is emerging to advance the Kingdom of God is culturally appropriate church planting movements. Rick Brown describes how different strategies have been used through missionary history (e.g. literature production, personal evangelism, church planting), but that these fail to reach full effectiveness if carried out in isolation. Now Great Commission organizations are working more towards a shared vision, a unified strategy. Using a farming analogy, he outlines key roles in the process of fostering church planting movements among unevangelized people groups. He goes on to summarize the benefits and obstacles to forming effective partnerships and lists core values held by many Great Commission agencies.  [more...]

A case study from the Paez of Columbia
Author: Marianna Slocum

We have found that these three factors—the credibility factor, the comprehension factor, and the prestige factor—are all-important components in promoting the use of a newly introduced vernacular translation in a newly written language.

This case history of the Paez, a minority language group in the Andean highlands of Colombia, South America, shows how the credibility and comprehension of the mother-tongue Scriptures and the prestige of the mother tongue affect the acceptance of the Scriptures. It considers how these factors can be addressed, noting the importance of using translators that are respected by the community, the production of high quality linguistic materials (e.g. dictionary and grammar books) and the value of producing a diglot glossary of key terms.  [more...]

A report of a seminar for Ejagham pastors from Cameroon and Nigeria
Author: Chris Jackson

One pastor reported, 'I never understood grace like that before. I think I can learn a great deal using the Ejagham New Testament in my Bible study. And my people need to hear this so that they will understand better as well.'

This brief article describes a two-day multi-denominational seminar for Ejagham pastors from Cameroon and Nigeria. It mentions some aspects of the workshop, including learning to read Ejagham, translating key terms, and the use of the Ejagham song book. It quotes several success stories recounted at the workshop that resulted from people using the Ejagham New Testament.  [more...]

Author: David L Payne

One of the major obstacles for the acceptance of an idiomatic translation of the Scriptures into a vernacular language where there is some form of established church is that often there is a strong veneration of a translation of the Scriptures in the national language.

In the translation project for the Asheninka language of Peru, the team was faced with resistance to the idiomatic translation in the vernacular because of a strong attachment to an old Spanish translation. To assuage this resistance, they attempted to teach translation principles to the Asheninka lay pastors and to discuss with them the benefits of idiomatic translation, but both activities met with little success. However, a change of attitude came through a series of seminars that educated them about the source of the venerated Spanish version and the kinds of adjustments that were made in translating it from Greek to Spanish.  [more...]

Author: Warren Glover

Arguments against a diglot version focus on matters of cost, production time, and difficulty, and bulkiness versus ease of handling. Arguments for the diglot are mostly in the area of factors which will promote the use of the publication.

The author discusses the benefits and problems of publishing local language translations alongside national language in a diglot format. Taking the example of the language he worked with, Glover explains the reason they decided to publish the New Testament as a diglot edition: to increase the acceptability and usefulness of the translation. He also mentions several disadvantages, such as increased costs and publication time, which in this specific situation were thought to be outweighed by the benefits.  [more...]

Author: Margaret Hill

Common factors emerge that affect Scripture use: level of literacy, prestige of the language, and attitude of church leaders.

A wide variety of reasons account for published Scriptures not being used. They include a lack of literacy, a language that is dying or has low status, a translation rejected by church leaders, an inappropriate published format, a lack of distribution, a lack of contextualization when using Scriptures, and others. A summary of the conditions necessary for seeing Scripture used is also offered.  [more...]

Author: Mary Crickmore, CRWRC

Remember that interventions with low external inputs and high local ownership have a good chance at promoting lasting change.

This article starts with a brief history of change in Africa and Europe, looking at the attitudes to and reasons for change, personal motivation for change and a Christian perspective. It continues by examining the three different levels at which change takes place – worldview/values/morality, informal cultural customs and technical. Change also affects power relationships, so the need to discuss potential changes with all the players and avoid loss of face for each is vital, as well as being aware of people’s motivation, peer pressure and the need to take things slowly.  [more...]

Author: Glenn Stallsmith

The changes necessary for worldview transformation can only be undertaken in culturally appropriate ways if the Christian community itself is in charge of the change process.

This article reports on a Worldview Scripture Use Workshop held in the Philippines which aimed to work out real-life problems found in the cultures of the participants. The workshop followed an approach of discovering rather than telling, in which participants evaluated their own culture in light of biblical truth.

The report briefly describes the teaching methods used and their strengths, the factors discovered during the workshop, and the results of the workshop. This included a change of attitudes; the production of new media, namely songs; and synergy.  [more...]

Promoting Scripture use in difficult environments
Author: Mary Beavon

“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”

Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible.  [more...]

Author: Harriet Hill

Not only do we not know about the state of Scripture Use in our projects, we often don’t even know how many New Testaments or Bibles have been sold.

In an effort to define progress and success in Scripture Use, Hill proposes both national and project level goals. She then addresses the specifics on how to carry them out in an effective and sensitive manner. An appendix containing a survey of questions to the point is offered.  [more...]