Multilingual churches have been around since the beginning of the Church. The early followers of Jesus were composed originally of Jews, but quickly grew to include people from many nations and many languages. In the book of Acts, one of the first conflicts the church leaders addressed is the unfairness in the distribution of food to poor widows–Greek-speaking Jews were being overlooked. The church appointed trustworthy men as deacons so that leaders could continue to preach and pray while servants could faithfully administer the food.
Over time, the church grew and of course has undergone many evolutions, splits and reformations. But the church today has reached people from many nations around the world speaking a multitude of different languages. Although segregation persists for both practical, spiritual and philosophical reasons, on the whole the Church of Jesus Christ is more diverse than ever.
But we believe there is so much more room to grow. Not only numerically, but also qualitatively in the gathering of believers every Sunday. As Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Sunday is the most segregated day of the week.” This is true in America and around the world. Many churches are mono-cultural and mono-lingual even though their surrounding communities are becoming increasingly diverse.
Imagine if you’re a foreigner who doesn’t speak the native language of the land well–how could you ever participate in the life of a community that cannot communicate with you?
Enter spf.io. We built it with the conviction that God wants churches to reflect the multilingual diversity of the Kingdom as expressed in Revelation 7. When people gather in many languages to worship Jesus together, they bear witness to the reality that it is not race, culture, socioeconomic status, politics, families, tribes, or other ties that bind them together, but the Lord Jesus Christ. When the marginalized are welcomed, included, and uplifted and given a voice in a community, it bears witness to the expansive grace of the Kingdom of God.
By using technology to lower the barrier on creating a great multilingual experience, we believe more and more churches will begin to reflect the Kingdom more closely in their weekly gatherings and community life. And we believe that this outcome is something God deeply desires.