Why multilingual accessibility?
Create belonging in your church across cultures, languages, abilities and generations.
Help people worship God in their heart languages, together as one body.
Witness God uniting people of every nation, tribe and language through your church.
Watch this brief video to learn why we built spf.io and see examples of how it works.
Language inclusion in church just got a whole lot better
Adaptable for every use case. Select your church type below to learn how spf.io enables you to sustainably provide translation and captions in your unique situation.
Church plants have a unique opportunity to form a community that reflects the diversity of God’s Kingdom from day one. Instead of being constrained by existing cultural dominance, they are able to create new spaces for multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual worship.
That may sound ambitious, but it isn’t as crazy as you might think.
One Voice Fellowship, a church plant in Virginia, did just that. They provide translation into 12 languages every Sunday so that people from these languages can worship God together with one voice. A diverse congregation of immigrants and refugees, they leverage several spf.io tools to provide a sustainable multilingual worship service.
These tools include:
- Speaker View: Pastor Chris Sicks uploads his sermon manuscript ahead of time, and releases lines of translated text as he speaks.
- Projector View: Translation is displayed in multiple languages on two display screens so that the congregation can participate in worship and the sermon while simultaneously receiving translation.
- Audience View: People who need other languages can read subtitles or listen to translation in real time on their phone or tablet.
- FastSRT: Quickly aligns spf.io subtitles with the correct timestamps on the video recording of the service. This ensures that the service recordings on YouTube have good quality subtitles translated into 12 languages for One Voice’s international audience.
- Document Translation Workflow: Allow One Voice’s volunteers to review automatic translations in advance to ensure good quality.
- And much more…
Learn more about how One Voice Fellowship is using spf.io to create belonging in their multilingual church. Read more.
Multi-site or multi-campus churches care deeply about evangelism and discipleship at scale. Their wide reach often means the people they serve come from very diverse cultures, languages and communities – some churches have 90 languages represented!. Creating belonging in such contexts requires unique leadership skills and powerful tools.
Thankfully, with spf.io you can:
- Create a sustainable translation ministry that can support more than sixty languages at every service without the hassle of recruiting and scheduling interpreters or burning out volunteers.
- Expand any existing translation or accessibility services by streaming audio interpretation and captions to people’s smartphones, without the need for a hearing loop or headset equipment.
- Enhance your online presence with captions and translation for digital and social media content.
- Integrate with your existing technologies and workflows so that captions and translations show up as lower thirds on your public displays, as subtitles on your livestreams, as an embed on your website, or even through your church app.
- Localize your documents and digital signage so that visitors in your physical and digital spaces have an experience that accommodates their language needs.
- Start new campuses that can include every family in your city by being multilingual from day one.
- And much more…
Learn more about how First Alliance Church Calgary (and its other campuses) uses spf.io to connect with immigrants and refugees by offering their worship services in many languages. Read more.
Neighborhood churches are deeply rooted in a place and demonstrate God’s love through their connection, service, and involvement with their local community. As these neighborhoods diversify all around the world, there is an increasing need for these churches to be equipped with tools to effectively reach, serve, and ultimately create belonging for their new neighbors.
Spf.io helps neighborhood churches witness God uniting people of every nation, tribe and language in their local church through various capabilities such as:
- A simple audience view that lets visitors (online and in-person) select their language and get real time subtitles of what is happening during a worship service. Audience members can read the subtitles or listen to it spoken to them.
- A slide translation on-demand feature so that the moment someone shows up needing translation into a new language, they can request it and follow along with slides appearing in their language on their smartphone. They will also start seeing translated subtitles in their language.
- A projector view that shows multiple languages on public displays, all controlled from a single place, so that people know that your church is inclusive of many languages.
- Real time captioning for the Deaf and hard of hearing. People with hearing loss are critical neighbors who can be assisted by captions and spf.io’s assisted listening capabilities which can integrate with hearing aids over Bluetooth. You can also provide accessibility for the blind through audio description.
- And much more…
Translation is the first step towards forming a more multilingual, multiethnic, and multicultural church.
Learn how Union Church, a church “for the neighbor” in the heart of South Lake Union, Seattle, uses accessibility and translation to create a space where every person can feel welcome. Read more.
Learn how Overlake Park Presbyterian Church planned a multilingual Pentecost worship service amidst the pandemic with spf.io and continues to be a “spiritual home where everyone belongs” in its very diverse neighborhood. Read more.
Ethnic churches are a critical community for immigrants and refugees to feel welcome and supported with a taste of their home culture. Inevitably as they grow, a second or third generation of children finds it difficult to find belonging in their parents’ churches. Families often find themselves torn by a desire to provide belonging for their children as well as themselves.
What if there was another way?
Spf.io enables ethnic churches to continue to include future generations by making it possible to seamlessly support multilingual worship and translation. Grandparents and parents can worship together with their children because everyone is included. Children find themselves excited to invite friends to their church instead of feeling isolated because they know there will be something for them.
Ethnic churches are able to retain their identity while welcoming a multiethnic and multilingual community to find belonging in their midst.
No matter the size, spf.io provides affordable tools that empower ethnic churches to create belonging across generations, languages and cultures.
- A manuscript based translation system that makes delivering excellent real time translation a breeze.
- A projector view for showing different languages on screen.
- An audience view where people can get slides and subtitles in their languages.
- Tools for adding subtitles to recordings for distribution
- Document translation to ensure every bulletin, handout, and meeting note is available in the languages needed in your church.
- Much more.
International churches are a wonderful place of fellowship and intercultural connection. They are an especially welcoming place for travelers, international students, expatriate workers, globally connected business people and the culturally curious. As part of their international outreach, they often provide worship services and small groups in English or another “lingua franca”. At the same time, being at the nexus of many cultures means that international churches have unique opportunities to create belonging across languages.
Although many foreigners may use English or another major language as a common language, their ability to comfortably engage and effectively express their ideas and feelings in that dominant language is often more limited. Similarly, hearing a sermon or teaching in that language may be less helpful.
With spf.io, international churches can sustainably offer translation into many languages every week so that they can reach and include everyone who wishes to connect with their community. These tools include:
- An audience view for people to select their language and get subtitles when they join your worship service.
- The ability to show translations and captions in real time on public displays to demonstrate the international identity of your congregation.
- Audio live streaming so people can get interpretation through their phones instead of headsets if you already have a translation ministry.
- Document translation tools to automatically translate sermons and other content in advance along with the ability to have a human review it before it is used during a service. These tools helped one volunteer translator regain her weekends because of how much they sped up her work!
- And more…
Learn more about how Taichung International Fellowship, an international church in Taiwan with an English service provides translation week after week sustainably. Hear how spf.io helps them serve their multilingual congregation and reduce the work for volunteers. Read more.
Church councils are how local churches stay connected to one another and make decisions together. Church polities are diverse and denominations use different names for different levels of councils including: sessions, presbyteries, synods, assemblies, councils, classes, conferences, regions, conventions, associations, etc.
One need all councils share in common is to ensure every constituent is able to exercise their rights to voice, advise, vote, legislate, etc. This also means all participants need to be able to understand the business being conducted, the process for decision making and the dialogue happening in real time.
As demographics change, church councils are becoming increasingly culturally diverse in order to represent an increasingly diverse polity. However, requiring English or another major language to be spoken disenfranchises many minority language speakers who may be leaders in their own congregations and also hinders the ability of minority language churches to participate in the life of the larger denomination.
With spf.io, church councils at every level are able to give people access to information, to decision making power, and to having a voice in the conversation, which ultimately creates a greater sense of belonging for the church at large. Spf.io provides tools and services like:
- Fast document translation so that meeting agendas and minutes and handouts can be available in the languages of every church in a local region in time for meetings.
- Automatic captions and translations in over 60 languages so that people can speak in the language they are most comfortable with.
- Real time text translation so that people chatting in online systems like Zoom can chat with translation.
- Projector views so that subtitles in multiple languages can be publicly displayed in in-person venues.
- Integrations with many online video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more so that people can equally participate whether they attend online or in-person.
- And much more…
Learn more about how spf.io can help denominational bodies like councils and assemblies to stay connected across language barriers through the experience of Presbytery of the Pacific. Read more.
Making multilingual worship seamless and easy.
In the past, it’s been difficult to include multiple languages at church. Maybe you’ve tried with having an interpreter in the front, taking turns with the pastor to translate. Or maybe you’ve purchased wireless headsets, or even considered holding separate services specifically for a language group.
With spf.io, translation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can manage the different languages and versions of prepared content like slides, prayers, and Scripture seamlessly. And for anything that’s unscripted, translation can be as simple as plugging in the microphone audio to a computer and getting automatic translation delivered to mobile devices. For virtual services, it is easy to integrate on your website and can also integrate with popular platforms like Zoom and YouTube.
Ready for Anything
How It Works
Set up the device that will control the display of translations and slides.
Want spf.io for your church?
Contact us to start reaching your multilingual audience better than ever before.
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