Helping Scripture Change Lives
Whenever a New Testament is completed in a language there is much celebration. But the work doesn't end there. Beyond getting the Word in print is promoting the newly translated Scriptures and assisting people to learn how to read and use them.
Scripture Use specialists help people see that God's Word is relevant to their everyday life. They must be flexible and able to work in creative ways. Their job involves working with people and building or strengthening partnerships with Christians from a wide variety of church backgrounds. They also work closely with literacy specialists.
Encouraging individuals and churches to make full use of the translated Scriptures can be challenging, as needs of each people group vary. But seeing the impact in people’s lives as they engage with the Scriptures is immensely rewarding. Some approaches to encourage Scripture use are:
- Facilitating Bible studies
- Training pastors
- Offering Bible classes
- Conducting music workshops
- Recording Scripture for use on CDs, mobile phones and digital media
A high percentage of the peoples with whom language teams work live in societies where information is passed on orally rather than in written form, such as music, storytelling, poetry, chants, drama or dance. Most of the older members may never learn to read in their own mother tongue. Therefore, vernacular media provides ways for people to understand the content of translated vernacular materials, in particular the Scriptures. Vernacular Media Specialists work together with local Christians to consider what media options are suited for the people they are trying to reach. Some of them include:
- Audio and video-cassettes
- Radio and television
- Mobile pone Apps
- Live drama
The overall purpose of using vernacular media is to assist in getting the translated Scripture accepted and used by the various groups for whom they have been prepared. Vernacular media can encourage new literates who find it difficult to read in the vernacular. It can share information with illiterate people who are important figures in the acceptance of the Scriptures and their use in the religious community.
Motivation: Stimulates interest in reading, singing, using the printed Word, learning to read, and improving reading skills.
Promotion: Creates interest in making known the availability of printed materials and enhancing distribution.
Education: Provides a teaching tool for literacy, health, community development, and spiritual growth.
A Vernacula Media Specialist is responsible for encouraging the use of nonprint media in language programs and assisting in the technical aspects of production. He or she advises language teams and local sponsors on how to select the appropriate media, prepare it for production (especially recording with nonreaders), and package it for maximum effectiveness.
- Records and edits audio programs for cassettes, radio, and video and duplicates distribution copies.
- Trains others in aspects of vernacular media work.
- Establishes a vernacular media resource library for samples and archiving.
- Cooperates with other consultants in advising teams on vernacular media use.
- May present seminars/or workshops to promote relevant use of vernacular media in language programs.
- May advise administrators on suitable production options for servicing language programs and assist in developing strategies for the implementation of vernacular non-print media project goals.