Indonesian Churches Step Up to Increase Local Ownership and Sustainability

Indonesian Churches Step Up to Increase Local Ownership and Sustainability

September 6, 2022


Bible translation needs in Indonesia are some of the highest in the world. In 1989, Kartidaya launched with a vision to recruit Indonesians to serve their country’s Bible translation needs and reduce reliance on western Bible translation organizations.

Although growth was slow during the first 20 years, collaboration and passion for God’s Word and his people remained consistent. By 2009, Kartidaya began a cluster project strategy to reach those without God’s Word. Then, in 2016, they began a 3-year partnership with Seed Company’s Growth Partners unit to strengthen operations, strategic leadership, fundraising, and field programs.

From 30% to 59% Local Funding in 10 Months

In 2016, Kartidaya received 30% of funding from within Indonesia. Growth Partners consultants challenged Kartidaya to reduce dependency on external sources and increase national ownership for Bible translation. Kartidaya crafted a strategy to double local funding within Indonesia and connect with churches and individuals to cast vision for Bible translation.

Within 10 months, Kartidaya reported a significant change in its funding model. They shifted to 59% of funding from inside Indonesia—a 98% increase over their 2016 approach. This monumental shift demonstrated their vision and commitment. In addition to changing funding structures, the organization transformed its strategy, systems, and infrastructure.

Finishing the Task, Implementing God’s Mission

The result broadened the perspective of the staff and the local church. Kartidaya’s director, Marnix Riupassa, said:

“We see that most of Kartidaya’s staff realize that their function is not only finishing the task of Bible translation—but more than that—to implement God’s mission.”

Marnix began to dream. What if we could do more? How could we more fully commit to God’s mission? What if Kartidaya took more responsibility for Bible translation? What if we began 75 new language projects by 2020?

Daring to Dream Big Dreams

When Marnix conferred with the Growth Partners unit, they said he’d need a larger staff, sound financial and reporting processes, and additional leadership to accomplish such an ambitious objective in 3 short years.

Marnix listened.

He imagined how Kartidaya might grow to sustain the work. He contacted pastors and began holding conferences about the Missio Dei (The Mission of God) in local churches around Indonesia.

As the Indonesian church reflected on their role in God’s mission, they were convicted that Bible translation is foundational to all Christian ministry—evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. They were compelled to join in God’s mission to bring his Word to Indonesians in a language they understand best. The churches stepped up with funding, people, and prayer.

Church leaders from multiple denominations collaborated. In 2018, churches provided 11 candidates to work as Bible translation facilitators and committed to working in 13 new language groups. To this point, they haven’t required any external funding; the Indonesian church is funding the projects. Kartidaya is seeing how an interdependent relationship with the national church accelerates Bible translation.

Partnership with Local Churches Is Blossoming

With God’s help, Kartidaya is accomplishing the essence of partnership, cooperation, teamwork, unity, and life-giving purpose. The organization is better aligned to serve the local church and now has a greater capacity to accomplish the work of Bible translation for every people group in Indonesia.

In addition, they’ve cast vision for a 3-phase strategy to champion the strength of the local church, build into other Bible translation organizations, empower visionary leaders, and expand capacity for discipleship. This sustainable model increases ownership, and God is multiplying the vision and impact of the Indonesian church.

Seed Company’s Growth Partners unit believes the national church and her partners have the vision and capacity to lead Scripture translation for sustainable transformational ministry within their own countries. These global initiatives serve as multipliers to boost the capacity of national Bible translation organizations serving the global Church.

Growth Partners is currently engaged with organizations in Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Mexico, India, Russia, and Nigeria.

Learn more about Growth Partners’ work in Asia

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Help Reach People Waiting for God’s Word

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