In a recent podcast, reKindle host Jerin Thomas and Pastor Briana Southerland talk about multilingual church services and spf.io. Briana’s church, First Alliance Church Calgary (FAC), was looking for language solutions. At first, their system involved human translators, multiple rooms, and only one language. But when human translators became hard to find, they turned to spf.io to help them reach their goal of offering multilingual services.
Briana directs programs ranging from local outreach to global partnerships and missions. Here, she shares how they connect with immigrants and refugees by offering their worship services in different languages.
Roadblocks and solutions
Originally, FAC used human translators, but system limitations like a small transmission radius and too few translators became a serious problem. Briana started researching, looking for a better alternative.
After considering a number of solutions, Briana decided to go with spf.io. She cited the number of languages, web-based operation, and simple user interface as key factors in her decision. With spf.io, her organization can offer translations in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Portuguese, and more. Additionally, now FAC needs only one volunteer per weekend to make their service available in over 60 languages! Spf.io saved her the time spent looking for and scheduling translators. It provided a reliable, easy platform to reach a bigger audience quickly. And with the pandemic-driven shift to digital, FAC continues to be able to provide translation whether they gather in-person, remotely or in a hybrid mode.
Getting proactive about multilingual church services
Ultimately, a key question is how churches can welcome people in their language. Briana points out that even if a congregation is not already multilingual, they still have a responsibility to be accessible! How wonderful it is for church members to be able to say to friends and neighbors, “Would you like to come to church with me? We have translation on demand in your language!”
And in an increasingly digital world, having a multilingual online presence means churches can extend the reach of their message and community to more people than ever before.
Our team at spf.io is excited to help clients work through the challenges of being multilingual. We want to see every event accessible in any language and we’re delighted spf.io can help Briana’s organization share the Gospel with people of all abilities and languages. As churches figure out new ways to welcome their neighbors in these disruptive times, we’re here to help.