If you speak English, culling websites, articles, and blogs for Christian growth and church leadership advice is like searching for a Italian food in Naples: it’s not the lack of options but the time and discernment it takes to choose the best.
But if Italian is your primary language, leadership training resources for your church are scarce. Less than one percent of the population in Italy identifies as evangelical, and Italian is not spoken widely elsewhere.
This might sound like a bad thing, but it can also be seen as an opportunity. Think of a sponge: if it’s dry, it quickly soaks up any liquid that touches it. But if it’s saturated already, it won’t absorb much more until you first wring it out. Yes, evangelicals in Italy lack training resources for their churches—but we can help these churches adopt a biblical model of church eldership before they are saturated with resources that further the widespread but unbiblical single-pastor model.
The Translation Team in Italy
When Alex Strauch spoke at a conference in Italy in 2017, he met Rod Jones, who has been serving in Naples, Italy, since 1986, planting churches, teaching, and training. Rod and his wife, Debora, are committed to developing the next generation of church leaders.
Alex connected Rod with the BER team and the wealth of resources for elders. The only problem? All the resources were in English—which fewer than three in ten Italians speak.
So Rod became the BER rep for Italy and began to translate BER’s videos and other training materials into Italian. Now he is leading the effort to complete the work. He has identified Christians in Italy who are trained in translation and video production and eager to serve the Lord by working for a greatly reduced rate.
“The BER resources—being very biblical, practical, and accessible—would be of considerable assistance to church leaders as they seek to train up the next generation,” Rod said. “We pray that the Lord will provide the resources to move ahead.”
The estimated cost for translating all of the resources on BiblicalEldership.com into Italian is about $50,000.
This cost will cover translating the transcripts and outlines into Italian, recording and editing a new audio track with the Italian speaker’s voice-over, and synchronizing all the visual aspects of the videos, for each of the 190-plus training videos on BiblicalEldership.com.
Please pray with us, and if the Lord leads, consider directing some of your year-end giving to this effort. The ripple effect in Italy will be great!
You can learn more on how to give on the Donate page at BiblicalEldership.com.