Wednesday, November 4, 2009

language learning, the final chapter

If you are reading this and you are a pastor or worship leader then I want to ask your forgiveness on the front end. Seriously. I am not a pastor nor a worship leader though I have been a pastor before. I have never tried this nor even thought of it til now. I know that Sunday comes around every 7 days and your weeks can become quite full. The last thing you want is for someone who is currently not doing this to try to suggest some new ideas for worship. Thus, this is my asking forgiveness on the front end. Maybe some day I will pastor again. If I do I think I would possibly try these out.

Our idea is how do we help our church learn a foreign language?

Here are my "what if''s"

What about getting a translator and have your sermon translated into another language one Sunday? Warning: If you typically speak for 30 minutes you would need to cut down how long your sermon would be since the translator repeats every word you say. smile.

What if the worship leader could teach the church a worship song in the desired language? This would take several weeks but I bet after a few weeks you would be surprised how well the people do. I have heard "Shout to the Lord" in at least 8 different languages so it the words are out there. Be sure to have the slides done correctly in the other language.

Read the scripture in another language. Print it out in English and the other language.

Have the prayer in a different language. (I am not talking about tongues. smile)

If you have a printed worship bulletin what about identifying some key words in another language?

Hola - Hello
Guten Tag- Good Day
Oracion - Prayer
Amistad - Friendship

Find ways you can introduce vocabulary words to your church. Perhaps with having bi-lingual posters or banners.

Play background music from another language or culture in the foyer or community areas of the church.

What if you did a little of this each week? In other words don't just do this on a mission emphasis Sunday but do this for an entire series or make it a part of who you are as a church.

The BIG thing that we must realize in language learning is that most often it is a life long journey. We have to be learners!

Do you have other ideas that we could try?
Have you tried any of these?

more soon!


me said...

I like the theme. While I think the message translation could be a bit taxing on the listeners, I would propose that a word, phrase, or idea study be done in the foreign language. Much like is often done with Greek, it is fascinating how language affects thought generation and processes. The words used in another language at times cause people to view a topic with different perspectives. This can be a huge enrichment to the person that can grasp the topic from a different cultural perspective that comes out of the vocabulary, grammatical construct or other.

Anonymous said...

As a follower of Jesus in Europe I am always struggling to find ways for North American followers to engage people here but the road block is always language.

I can't tell you the dream it would be to have a group even TRY to learn the language. Even if a translator is still needed the attempt changes the dynamic of the situation.

Americans are generally seen here as nice people, but nice people who think really highly of themselves. That is deduced in large part by the lack of ATTEMPT to speak the language. Walking around town you hear nice American tourists yelling "do you speak English" without even trying a couple phrases in the local tongue.

Imagine what it would be like if you went from a perceived position of arrogant, self righteousness to the perceived position of humble and considerate...

I will take that any day! Hit the books!

Larry said...

I know it could be a stretch to do an entire sermon but I still may try it some day. It might better to have a guy who we would partner with from that country to speak and we translate him.

Thanks for your ideas on word, phrase or idea study. I know just in living in Europe the idea of "daily bread" in the Lord's prayer has come alive for we often go to the bread store daily to buy bread. We do not buy too much but just enough for the day. You can still go to the store here and buy your loaf of white bread in a plastic bag. I like the fresh daily break myself. smile. Thanks for the comment.

Larry said...

I think you are on track on the "ATTEMPT" idea. Just yesterday I went to a store and bought a bi-lingual bible in German and English. I was able to order the bible and do my best in German. The lady (which was a believer) was very complimenting about me "Attempting" to learn her language. I did not get all of my words or grammar correct. I think it can go a long way when a church group comes over to attempt to speak the language. Thanks for your comment.