The Story Behind Translating the Gospel

According to John Piper, “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” The goal of missions is to share the unspeakable riches of Christ’s love with every person on the planet so that worship would arise from every corner of the earth. A global missions movement is a global invitation to worship the One who is worthy of all of His creation’s love! 

The picture God gives us, both in the Old Testament (Daniel 7:14) and the New Testament (Revelation 7), of this global worship gathering’s culmination is a celebration of diverse, redeemed cultures and languages. Every tribe and tongue is seen using their unique facets to adore and exalt Jesus. Just as God created not just one flower but thousands to display His beauty and creativity, so too do thousands of languages and cultures show the depth of His redemptive work worldwide. The sheer expanse of His love and greatness doesn’t find full expression without every culture coming to the table to tell their testimony, within the context of their language, history, and people group. 

This makes our assignment clear as believers inviting others to know and experience Jesus’s glory. A people group’s language and culture are not negated in the process of evangelism and discipleship. Actually, they become the instruments used to make a new song proclaiming Jesus’s goodness! 

This is why we must translate the good news of who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He offers us into every language on the planet. At Guidelines, our process of translating biblical resources into a new language typically starts with a request from Christians working to reach their own unreached people group using media. These Christians usually live in a part of the world where Jesus is not known, and if the church does exist, it is small and persecuted with a great need for discipleship.

Our team begins the process by researching the language and its reach, local culture, and community needs. We then budget costs and explore partnership dynamics. We are almost always working with local believers asking for resources that will empower the work they are already doing!

Once we have a plan with projected costs, it’s time to pray for the funding, the people group represented, and the translators needed! Always, prayer is the work. Not only does it release God’s provision, but it also gives us God’s heart for each people group. Your prayers pave the way for the work ahead! We then invite people to share financially in the project, waiting on God’s provision for funds needed to deliver resources and cover production costs.

Once funds are raised, our international broadcast partner translates and produces the programs. The completed devotionals are then broadcast or distributed in the country’s local language. Our partners engage with listeners as they encounter the presence and truth of Jesus. They can invite them to a saving knowledge of Jesus and a growing community of believers. As Jesus encounters people in their own language, we see testimonies and worship arise.

This is all working towards Revelations 7:9-10: ‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”‘

Your partnership in reaching every tribe and tongue with the Gospel starts here. Click here to support a translation project. You can champion a group of people who are discovering Jesus’s beauty! We believe we will one day hear each of these people groups singing their own song proclaiming God’s saving work in their lives. We can’t wait to be a part of that chorus. 

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