How on earth do we get Bible translation onto the agenda of the church in the UK? There are still 300,000,000 people without a word of Scripture available to them – but it’s ever so hard to make people in the UK aware of this.
Let me give you an example. Gordon Kennedy, who is a very nice chap, blogged on Monday evening’s meeting at Kingdom Come in Belfast. He gives a brief overview of the evening, including a summary of the amazing message from Gordon MacDonald. However, he failed to mention the short Wycliffe presentation that I gave that evening.
Kingdom Come is a big conference for church leaders and I knew that the main speaker would be excellent. It was always going to be difficult to make a mission presentation stand out, so I thought long and hard about what I should do. I avoided doing a traditional missionary talk and tried to capture people’s imagination for God’s mission. My mention of Wycliffe was almost a throwaway line at the end. I hoped that by doing something unexpected, my message would be memorable – judge for yourself how well I succeeded.
My talk was part of the opening section; the bulk of the evening was given over to Gordon MacDonald. His talk was excellent and inspiring. It was just what the leaders there needed – it certainly did me a lot of good. But, sadly from my point of view, I’m pretty sure that by the end of his talk everyone had more or less forgotten what I had said. Of course, I was pleased that the main message was so good, but boy was I frustrated that the short presentation I had worked on was so overwhelmed.
Just how do we get to promote the need for people around the world to hear God’s word in their own language? Most weekends, I end up speaking about Bible translation in a church somewhere around the country, but there must be a way to speak to larger groups (though church invites are always welcome).