Teaching and preaching the Bible is a wonderful blessing and privilege. Doing so in another language is challenging. The problem is teaching and preaching the Bible is what missionaries do. So teaching and preaching the Bible in Spanish is a big part of what I do. In discipleship, I am teaching the Bible. In the church I am also teaching and preaching the Bible. I love every bit of it, but it comes with adjustments that I am learning to make. First I must make clear, I am still learning Spanish and I make mistakes…a lot! That being said, those who are going to the church are people I am also discipling. I have asked them in our times of discipleship to correct me in the language when I am wrong. They do exactly that and it is a great help to me as I grow.
Last Sunday morning we had a great service. We had several families with us. During the message, a few people would speak out and say, “That’s not how you say that” or “You mean to say____”. A few times they just corrected me by saying the right word or the word I was using correctly (of course all of this is done in Spanish). It isn’t very constant, but it is 4-5 times during the message.
So the big adjustment is how I react to this. How should I react? I almost always repeat the word or phrase the right way, and say “Thank you”, if there is more than normal I say something like “We are going to preach this message together!” People laugh and are very gracious toward me. In order to continue in this adjustment, I try to keep in mind two Biblical principles.
- Gratitud – In everything it is important to be thankful. The Bible says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
- Humility – Pride will keep me from continuing to grow in the language. In Proverbs 26:12, we read “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.”
Yet another adjustment we experience. If we are not corrected, we will not know when we are wrong. The only real way for us to continue to grow is to welcome every correction knowing that it is for the better.