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Multilingual Church

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Table of Contents

Introduction: When Church Can Reach Anyone

Part I: The Basics

Chapter 1: Why Multilingual Church Matters

Chapter 2: Multilingual Church Is Biblical

Part II: Common Ways to Do Multilingual Church

Chapter 3: They’ll All Learn Our Language Anyway

Chapter 4: Add in Some Services in Difference Languages

Chapter 5: Different Languages, One Service

Chapter 6: Artificial Intelligence to the Rescue?

Chapter 7: Interpreting in the Corner

Chapter 8: We Have a Vision for Languages—One Day We’ll Need Them

Chapter 9: Languages Are Who We Are

Part III: Vision, Strategy, and Implementation

Chapter 10: A Vision for Languages

Chapter 11: Strategy—The When and Where

Chapter 12: ImplementationThe Who and How

Chapter 13: Maintenance—The Future

Part IV: Sunday Is Just the Start

Chapter 14: Excluding the Locals?

Chapter 15: Sunday Is Just the Start

Chapter 16: Getting Help

Multilingual Church
Strategies for Making Disciples in All Languages
Jonathan Downie

Your community is multilingual. What about your church?

In a world where communities thrive with diverse languages, why should our churches lag behind? As migration increases and technology, like livestreaming, becomes commonplace, the need for multilingual churches is more pressing than ever. Still, many churches and mission organizations struggle with one-size-fits-all language solutions, while others desperately seek guidance to embrace multilingualism.

This is why we need Jonathan Downie’s pioneering work Multilingual Church. It dives into forty years of studies on interpreting, theological wisdom, and practical insights from multiethnic churches. Why settle for one language when the gospel speaks to all? Downie masterfully illustrates the motivation and method for creating a truly multilingual church. From recognizing this urgent need, to uncovering our biblical mandate and choosing the right tools, he provides a comprehensive roadmap for the journey.

Multilingual Church is more than a guide; it's a groundbreaking invitation to reflect Christ's universal love. Downie equips church leaders with the resources they need to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing, multilingual landscape. Are you ready to transform your congregation? The path starts here, united in faith across languages.


  • Many of us have experienced being in a situation where another language is being spoken. This can be an exciting adventure, but also hard work! Through his book, Jonathan leads us to reflect on the importance of languages used in church. He encourages us to see that a vision for a multilingual church is founded in biblical principles. He recognizes the challenges this presents and takes his reader on a journey through different options a church might use, the pros and cons, and questions to reflect on. Jonathan writes in an engaging and accessible way, helping us to see how we might ensure our churches reflect our local communities in the fullest sense, in a way that honors God and all his people.
    Emma BillingtonHead of National Development, Welcome Churches
  • Jonathan Downie has written an honest easy-to-read guide for churches and Christian communities who desire to become a place of belonging, where people of all backgrounds feel welcome. Jonathan acknowledges that every church has different challenges to becoming multilingual and rather than being prescriptive, he provides research-based tools and suggestions. I appreciate that Jonathan’s approach is not just to church leadership but to individuals wanting to apply this approach in their everyday life. While this book is about the power of being welcome and belonging, it also presents a challenge and an invitation.
    I appreciate Jonathan’s anecdotal writing style backed by serious research. You will be able to read it swiftly, but the questions it raises will linger. Are we willing to be those who truly serve those who we say we want to reach? After reading this book you’ll be ready to roll up your proverbial sleeves and respond "yes" as you think through how to make the church look more like our multiethnic communities and most importantly like Heaven!
    Rev. Teresa Parish, PhDFounder KITE Ministries
  • At Pentecost, we’re told the people heard about the mighty power of the Holy Spirit in their native language. In Revelation, every tribe and language will stand before the Lamb. It’s here, in the in between, Jonathan Downie speaks a prophetic word to the Church—a calling to create spaces where a diverse group can gather together as a multicultural tapestry and find our full identity in Christ. We’re at a unique time in history to do this, and do it well.
    Traci RhoadesAuthor, Shaky Ground: What to Do After the Bottom Drops Out
  • Multilingual Church by Jonathan Downie is an answer to prayer! It is a well-founded theological and biblical workbook for all of us serving in multicultural, multilingual contexts. As Jonathan so eloquently explains in this book, a multilingual church is more than a strategy to reach other people, it is a revelation, a vision from God. If the ultimate goal is to bring every nation, culture, and language in unity in front of the eternal throne of grace, shouldn’t we make every effort today to bring multiple cultures and languages together to worship God? Downie’s book answers this question by affirming that multicultural church necessarily needs to reflect the multilingual reality of its people. The clear vision, thorough analysis, and clear step-by-step approach Jonathan adopts in this book are a great help for every pastor and church leadership team who wants to become an inclusive multilingual church.
    Furthermore this book is a great tool for church planters in North America and Europe where a diversity of languages and cultures are intermingling in our cities and nations. As the Lead Pastor of a multilingual church in America, I encourage my fellow co-workers in the kingdom to read and take to heart the vision presented in this book. After all, we are called as the church of the living Christ to celebrate, include and bring to the table in a dignified manner every culture and language represented in our context. 
    Fikri Youssef, DMinSenior Pastor, La Casa Church, Nashville, TN

Additional Details

  • Pages: 180
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2024
  • ISBN: 9781645085362
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing