United States (MNN) – We just finished up the Grammys and the Golden Globes award ceremonies and are headed towards the Oscars. Awards are a huge part of our society, not just when it comes to celebrities. Car manufacturers, restaurants, movie theaters, and more strive to receive recognition for being the best of the best. But how do awards and recognition fit into the Great Commission?
Christians know that our ultimate award awaits us in heaven. But on earth, recognition can serves as a means of accountability, transparency, and the pursuit of excellence. Recognition also motivates and refocuses ministries. Wycliffe Bible Translators USA recently received the GuideStar Platinum Seal recognition. This means that Wycliffe has been diligent in measuring progress, has improved their impact, and continues to look for ways to be more effective.
Chris Winkler of Wycliffe explains, “We’ve been really blessed to be honored with the GuideStar Platinum Seal and status with Guidestar. Guidestar is one of the largest independent evaluators of nonprofits in the country. And one of the things we’ve been striving for is to be fully transparent with the public, with our donors, those that are wanting to pray with us, those that are wanting to serve with us.”
Financial transparency is important in building trust with donors and volunteers in both secular organizations and Christians organizations. But for the latter, the transparency has to do with honoring God.
“We do feel that we should be doing everything as unto the Lord, whether that’s translating God’s Word or whether it’s working with our finances. In our culture, we tend to demand excellence from our sports teams, from our retails stores.
“But in my thinking, we need to be striving for excellence when dealing with some of the most important things that God has called us to, like the translation of God’s Word, church planting. The souls of men and women are at stake and they deserve nothing less than our absolute best.”
Winkler says they’ve been blessed by the thousands of people in the United States praying and supporting their work financially. He understands that this group of supporters cares about transparency and knowing that the resources they give are going to good use.
It comes down to this: In their work as Bible translators, Wycliffe is a steward of the people, prayers, and funds that God has given them.
“They’re not Wycliffe’s—those are God’s that we’ve been entrusted to steward for this season.”
If you’d like to get involved with Wycliffe, Winkler says now is the time:
“The work of Bible translation is at a really exciting point where we’ve never seen translation starts happening as quickly as they’re happening now. There’s great movements all over the world. And we invite those listeners to be a part of that—you can go to Wycliffe.org and find out how you can pray for this work. You can adopt a Bible-less people group to be praying for. You can give to the work, you can serve.”