Joseph* doesn’t care for desk work. He would much rather grow fruit than immerse himself in Hebrew. Instead of laboring over the translation of biblical terms, you are more likely to find him rounding up a swarm of bees with native friends.
How does Joseph fit on a Bible translation team?
Not just Bible translators
Bible translators play a key role on every team, but community development is also crucial. That’s where Joseph comes in. While others focus on translation, he focuses on helping the community develop their resources.
Both roles provide plenty of opportunities for evangelism and discipleship. And that’s ultimately why the team is there in the first place—to plant a local church.
So they’re not just a Bible translation team. They are a church-planting team.
What kind of people?
Rounding out a church-planting team takes more than the booky kind. It takes the hands-on kind too. Introverts and extroverts both have a place. Men and women. Singles and families. All-Nations teams include all of the above.
It’s not so much about having smarts as about having a heart for people. That includes, of course, love for the unreached, but it also means committed love for the brothers and sisters on the team. Nothing wears down a team faster than discord.
Serving on a team requires the humility to be a learner. Willingness to learn matters more than natural talent. A willing person can benefit from training to fill their role on the team effectively. Once on the field, there’s much more to learn, such as the language and culture of the people. Humbling oneself is crucial for effective learning.
Bible translators are church planters. People like Joseph are also church planters. Together they make a strong church-planting team.
*Not his real name