It’s a daunting task.
We want to see Bible translation progress so that every one of the roughly 1,900 remaining people groups without God’s Word receives it in a language they understand. But how do we get there?
Investing in Communities to Grow Local Capacity
Seed Company has always prioritized partnering effectively with those closest to their own communities. That’s because investing in local translators, experts, and leaders creates self-sustainable teams embedded in the communities they know best.
Now, more than ever before, we are reimagining the best ways to come alongside these organizations so that heart language Scripture is not only made accessible, but its translation is accelerated.
God has uniquely equipped Seed Company’s Growth Partners team to inspire and assist our global partners toward increasing their capacity for leadership and organizational growth. With a focus on the holistic development of an organization, consulting teams offer practical assistance in areas often found lacking in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—areas such as strategic planning, executive coaching, finance, human resources, board governance, advancement, and dependence on God through prayer. The ultimate goal: organizational transformation. This collaborative approach has helped us encourage both the pace and impact of their efforts.
“We want to help [global partners] build capacity so they can launch and fund projects where we are primarily catalysts, not managers, of the process,” explains Seed Company President and CEO Larry Jones.
And by God’s grace, we are seeing this approach work. Read on to discover how one partner organization in Asia, despite security risks, is accelerating Bible translation efforts by passing along what they have learned to other partners in their local network.
Forging a New Strategy to Bolster Bible Translation in Asia
In 2016, a partner organization in a sensitive region of Asia asked Seed Company’s Growth Partners consultants an interesting question: Can we share what we’ve learned through the Growth Partners model with our local partner organizations?
An expanded agreement in 2019 formed the scaffolding to replicate Growth Partners processes in Bible translation organizations throughout their country. And last year, together with Growth Partners, they embraced a new country-wide strategy to increase church involvement, instill ownership, and raise missional awareness in this largely Muslim nation.
Their Vision? To See God Transform 10 Local Bible Translation Organizations in Their Country within the Next 10 Years.
None of the 10 organizations targeted had reported a single language start in the past five years. But thanks to our partner in Asia, that was about to change.
In 2021, two of these 10 organizations received mentoring in strategic oversight, programs, resource planning, vision, and reliance on the Holy Spirit.
Nine new translations were started in 2021!
Bible translation is also restarting in seven other languages that had previously hit major milestones such as completing the New Testament.
How Did They Do It?
Our partner in Asia connected with local churches that, in turn, recruited more consultants, personnel, and funders for Bible translation. By 2030, this growing network of organizations expects to reach 250 people groups with Scripture.
Maria Vega, senior strategic leadership consultant for Growth Partners and lead consultant for this partner country, describes progress as a key motivator for the organizations involved: “Our partners are passionate to serve and willing to serve Bible translation. They are putting faith before fear, and God is moving. The boundaries are gone, and the results are truly amazing!”
Want to discover more about the Growth Partners team and the movement of God’s Word around the world? Download Seed Company’s 2021 Annual Impact Report.