|Bible Translation as Mission|
Bible translation can incorporate the following mission activities:
Bible translation is not just about giving a people a book. A goal is to work in cooperation with others (local churches, other Christian agencies) to both demonstrate the relevance of the biblical message and to provide people with the best tool they can have to grow as disciples of Christ.
2. Building Churches
There is an implication of community in Christianity and in the Scriptures. People seem to have an in-built desire to meet for Bible study and worship, to encourage each other and share their Christian experiences. This is crucial to growth in Christ. The translated Scriptures give a means of connecting with God's faithful people in the past, reflecting on their stories of faith, and learning from them.
3. Resourcing The Church
The Scriptures in the language of the people become a reference for evangelism, teaching, preaching and devotion.
4. Developing a Truly Indigenous Church
Translated scriptures are a crucial element in a church becoming truly indigenous. The Bible in the local language is available for reflection and growth, removing the dependency that would otherwise limit freedom of development. Scriptures help promote a truly appropriate worship style, teaching style and approach to evangelism.
It is normally completely inappropriate for us merely to 'indigenise' our own Christian structures. Many churches have the so-called 'independent' characteristics but still do not fit within the society where they exist. The development of an indigenous church will always be the living response of people to the life demands of the message. The source of the information may be a person who will never be much more than a catalyst. Alternatively, the source could be the Scriptures themselves, available for personal or community reflection, study and application through the Spirit who inspired them in the first place.
5. Involvement With Unreached People Groups
African theologian Professor Kwame Bediako believes a people group should continue to be considered unreached until the Scriptures are available in the local language. Certainly people can become Christians, and see churches develop without access to the written Scriptures in a local language, but there seems to be a clear lack of ownership, relevance and integration of scriptural truth, all characteristics of a healthy, vital, Christian community.
We are ready to help you make the next step if you believe God is leading you to explore involvement in Bible translation, short-term or as a career. Contact us and have a chat about it sometime...
art of Wycliffe Bible Translators worldwide, we exist to train, motivate, mobilize and assist Christians for the task of making scripture available through Bible Translation to all peoples in the language they know best.