When Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) had a training simulation last May, I was blessed to have a chainsaw crew composed of volunteers mainly from Lebanon visit my home. They practiced by removing two dead trees. As they were getting ready to leave, they prayed for me and then presented me with a “gift” version of a New Testament with all their signatures. It really amazed me to think that each DR crew carried Bibles, that they cared enough to share with those that they had just helped.
In 2014, Missouri Baptists are being challenged to distribute one million Bibles. Sowing down the gospel begins with God’s Word.
There are 6,900 languages in our world. There are an additional 4,000 dialects. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, the entire Bible has been translated into 518 languages and viable New Testaments are in 1,275 languages. 1,500 translation projects are underway. Faith Comes by Hearing records verbatim dramatized audio versions. Audio Bibles are available in 715 languages for a free download to MP3 players (like iPods). (www.faithcomesbyhearing.com).
New Testament: Keep a copy on you at all times. This may be carried in a computer bag, purse, or shirt pocket. I recommend not putting NT’s in a pants pocket because they may get bent or soiled. Let me recommend the FinditHere New Testament. It is marked with the plan of salvation and published jointly by the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christians Resources. Order the New Testaments for major distribution strategies in a number of translations from the www.NAMBstore.com.
Bible: Full Bibles can range from paperbacks to huge “family” Bible editions that stay on the coffee table. For mass distribution, a full Bible is typically more expensive and may be presented as a follow-up used in personal evangelistic visits.
Audio: The New Testament dramatized audio versions that I most recommend are produced by Faith Comes By Hearing (Hosanna). This trusted evangelical organization based in New Mexico has the rights from the major Scripture translation. These files can be downloaded for free: www.bible.is/audiodownloader or contact them at FCBH, 2421 Aztec Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107.
Oral: A collection of Bible stories is sometimes called an “oral Bible.” It doesn’t replace the printed versions, but can be shared orally to witness and disciple. If you need a Bible story set for evangelizing or discipling for a specific people, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for postmodern Americans and for story sets for immigrant groups, visit the IMB’s site www.oralstrategies.org.
Electronic: Yes, there’s an app for that! On my smartphone, I carry free versions of YouVersion and Bible Gateway, but there are many others. Multiple translations in English are available.
Providers List: Bibles exist in many formats. A free five-page “Bible Providers” guide can be downloaded in PDF format online at www.mobaptist.org/evangelism_resources. It lists all the Bible providers that I could locate. Their contact information is provided in the document.
Mark Snowden serves Missouri Baptists as Evangelism/Discipleship Strategist (573) 556-0319 or email@example.com.