6 Kinds of Multilingual Churches

Nov 10, 2016 | Case Studies, Religious Organizations

When it comes to churches there are several different motivations for multilinguality. Each church may have a combination, but you will likely find a dominant motivation–which one could yours be?

Visionary

Adaptive

Necessity

Identity

Equality

Service

Visionary

They are captivated & driven by a vision of community and society that includes people from every language and that is unified around a common central value, hope and purpose. To pursue this vision they actively invest in and innovate ways to include more and more people from diverse languages into the mission and life of their community.

Adaptive

They see an opportunity to engage with new language groups and want to adapt their existing content, community and models to be able to serve this new audience. This is where they see a growth opportunity, new markets and want to make the most of it by maximizing communication effectiveness with these new constituencies.

Necessity

They already believe multi-linguality is essential to their community and are feeling the pain, expense, and difficulty of alternative solutions to upholding this value for both pragmatic and principled reasons. If they were to lose multi-linguality, they would lose something essential, but are seeking new and better ways to create an amazing multi-lingual experience for everyone.They want to preserve their cultural identity and affirm people’s various backgrounds while remaining a unified body. The context around them is changing and they feel the pressure to be pragmatic, but have a strong sense of community and need multi-linguality to preserve that community.

Equality

They believe in equality in their community and giving people equal access to their content and relationships. They may even believe in giving people equal voice and power in their community regardless of language preference. There may even be legal mandates for multiple languages (e.g. English & French in Canada) or accessibility (e.g. interpretation services for the deaf). They are driven by a strong sense of justice and fairness.

Service

They see a big need in a community that is difficult to serve and reach without better language localization. They are driven by compassion and empathy. They want to meet these felt needs and are looking for communication solutions that empower them to effectively meet these needs, engaging with and empowering with the people they want to serve.

Whatever drives your church’s desire to be multilingual, the challenges of acting on those motivations are many. We built SPF.IO to make it as easy as possible to create the multilingual community you believe God is calling you to become.

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A Real-Life Kingdom Foretaste

On February 25, 2017, over 300 people in the Seattle area came together and attended the Cascadia Worship & the Arts conference, exploring diversity, design, and multiethnic worship.

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