LifePoint Brussels is a unique community of faith in the city. We are choosing a road less traveled in our city.
We have people in our community who speak English and French. Some of the people in our gatherings are bi-lingual and some are not. Many of the people who attend are English speakers only or French speakers only in their communication. So, living in a city that is multi-lingual we decide to utilize both languages in our gatherings on Sunday. We sing in English and French. We pray in English and French. We teach in English and French. We have discussion groups in English and French. You get the picture I think.
When words are projected on the screen they are in both languages. We have Bibles in both languages. We will sing a song or two in English and then sing a song in French. Each of the songs are translated so everyone knows what we are singing about and who we are singing to.
We do not translate prayers typically. We let the person who is praying speak in their heart language and then we join them by agreeing our heart language.
The only thing today we directly translate is the teaching time. We attempt to have “dynamic translation.” We will give the teaching material to the translator early in the week so they will have time to read and understand the path we will walk on Sunday. We follow the path pretty closely but take the opportunity to stray from the notes when needed. So, we do not speak or read from a manuscript.
So far things have gone smoothly. We are seeking to reach people who speak French as their “mother tongue” through those who are bi-lingual. These people will tell their friends what they are learning and experiencing and then invite their French-speaking family and friends to join them in the exploration of community and faith.
The reason I commented that we are taking a road less traveled is because most churches in the city I am aware of utilize only one language. They will typically chose French, Dutch, the language of their home country or the international expat language, English. We are attempting to utilize 2 of these languages, English and French, in our gathers. It’s challenging at times, but we know we are led by the Spirit today to move in this direction.