I’m interested in Bible translation and I want to be part of a team and not just a lone missionary. Which agencies now send teams to do this?

“Consider these organizations.”

The most well-known organization that sends out Bible translators (but many people in other jobs as well) is Wycliffe Bible Translators. Yet they aren’t the only ones. Each of the ministries listed below is involved in Bible translation alongside church planting or other ministries. 

SIM is involved in a wide variety of ministries, but these include Bible translation, especially in African countries like Niger, Benin, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Pioneer Bible Translators, founded in the 1970s, works with missionaries and churches from nondenominational backgrounds (specifically those of the Christian Church/Church of Christ heritage).

Ethnos360 does foundational Bible teaching (systematically introducing the stories and themes of the Bible) with a goal of church planting, and works specifically among tribal people, often in remote settings. Bible translation is part of that mix. (For a fun encouraging read by one of their missionaries, go here.)

World Team is another church-planting agency that incorporates Bible translation and is involved in translation projects in several of their fields. In addition, many of the larger mission agencies include people who are dedicated to translation or literacy projects, often in cooperation with those from specialized agencies. 

If the idea of going out into the wilderness and translating the Bible all alone or with a partner but no larger team is daunting, don’t worry: while Bible translation has often been launched by a pair of translators (often a married couple) and whatever national partners they raise up to help them, today the picture is more diverse. Many translators live and work in a community with others. Whatever value you place on working this way will be taken into account in finding you a place to serve.

Answer from AskaMissionary.com staff.

“Let the people you serve among become part of your team.”

What if you considered the people group you serve among as part of your team? When Jesus came to earth, he didn’t come with a team; he lived in a human society for a while and got to know people, then he communicated the Good News to all who would hear. The Word became flesh. 

Though you may find an agency that will send a team to this particular people group, keep in mind that God’s image is already present among the people group and that God desires to redeem these people. Some of the most effective translators and missionaries are those who have had to rely entirely upon God to supply their social needs through the people they are ministering to.

Remember, you go not only to give, but also to receive. Some of my best memories are of times when those I served served me.

Answer from Mert, who served for nine years in Indonesia, Ukraine, and the US.

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