Signs of Unity Popping up Everywhere
With society taking a downward slide morally as church membership dips, it is easy to get discouraged over the state of things in America.
However, instead of getting depressed over the headlines that distract so many of us, it helps to pay close attention to the signs of God at work. I saw three distinct ones in recent weeks.
Translating the Word
- Unprecedented unity among Bible translators.
I read about this startling development in the April issue of Christianity Today.
After years of operating in a silo-like manner, this fall 10 translation agencies will invite donors to a single website to see how their work is progressing around the world.
What’s more, instead of competing against each other for donors, the agencies on the collaborative site will allow visitors to connect to the initiatives and organizations that best fit their interests.
According to CT’s story, that kind of others-centered collaboration is unprecedented in the Bible translation sector.
“Those of us working in the Bible translation world know how big of a miracle that is,” says Dal Anderson, former chief operator officer of the Seed Company, an offshoot of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Notes David Willis, president emeritus of the National Christian Foundation, “If you add collaboration to the mix, the attraction and potential for growth becomes exponential.”
Actually, the past competition for donors in Bible translation mirrors the competitiveness that has existed for far too long between denominations, parachurch ministries, and other parts of the body of Christ.
God designed us to be a cooperative, grassroots-like body where church affiliation, place of residence, and doctrinal positions take a back seat to worshiping the King.
- Grassroots endeavors
The same day I read the CT story, my wife and I attended the opening service of a weekend worship event sponsored by a grassroots, inter-denominational, inter-racial ministry.
It was launched by a pastor who felt a burden because of the lack of unity within the body of Christ.
This was the seventh service sponsored by God Factor Ministries since late 2013.
It’s not that the service attracted a standing-room-only audience, or that anything happened that night that would generate nation-shaking headlines.
But the fact that a man in a small community in southern Ohio reached out to others around the region—including West Virginia and Kentucky—tells me the same Spirit bringing Bible translators together is at work in largely-unnoticed highways and byways.
I suspect other efforts are going on outside public purview, or will in the months to come.
Spotlight on the Bible
- The National Museum of the Bible
After years in the making, this November the 430,000-square-foot, $500 million museum will open just three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
A glimpse of some of the photos and video clips on the museum’s website will give you an idea of the breathtaking scope of this effort to invite people to engage with the Bible.
Personalized, running commentaries in 10 languages will be available for visitors on the eight floors of the museum.
It will include a 472-seat performing arts hall and a ballroom with seating for dinners of 500, or lecture-style crowds of 1,000.
The designers read like a “Who’s Who” of exhibit attractions. They have worked on such projects as Disney’s Hollywood Studio Orlando, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Universal Studios Japan, and The Holy Land Experience.
The museum will have the potential to reach U.S. political decision makers and leaders from around the world, while showcasing history’s most amazing Book.
Be encouraged, Church. God is at work.