The French-Speaking Church
What Is the Opportunity?
The rich legacy of John Calvin and the Huguenots is largely forgotten in the French-speaking world. Few know the truth of the gospel. France and Quebec are very secular today, with fewer than one percent of people identifying as evangelicals in either place.1 In evangelical churches, laypeople often lack theological training, but there is a growing hunger for a deeper Christianity. Reliable gospel resources are desperately needed.
We are thankful that faithful, gospel-preaching churches are scattered across French-speaking Africa, but the prosperity gospel still afflicts many in those African countries. There is also a great need for trustworthy discipleship resources in Haiti. Historically, there has been a strong Roman Catholic influence in Haiti, along with the traditional practice of Voodoo. However, the number of evangelical churches there is growing.
French is a global language, which makes translation efforts strategic. In fact, with over 270 million people speaking French, it is the seventh most-spoken language on earth.2 French is an official language in twenty-nine countries, including France, Quebec (Canada), Haiti, and several African countries. Population growth in Africa could mean there will be as many as seven hundred million French-speaking people by 2050.3
We believe that a greater awareness of the holiness of God is central to any lasting renewal and change in the French-speaking and global church. Now is a key time as a growing number of French-speaking people around the world are hungering for true biblical and theological knowledge. This is a Great Commission opportunity to disciple many French-speaking people and to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our goal is to make trustworthy resources readily available so that as many people as possible can grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.
How Is Ligonier Meeting These Needs?
We strive to reach French-speaking pastors, laypeople, and unbelievers from all walks of life through the following outreach efforts:
The Reformation Study Bible
The Reformation Study Bible helps to deepen Christians’ study of God’s Word. We have now identified a highly qualified translation team to make this trusted resource available in French. The Reformation Study Bible would be one of the most significant works translated into French since the time of the Reformation itself, and this resource is much anticipated by French-speaking people.
As with the English edition, the French Reformation Study Bible will have more than 1.1 million words of verse-by-verse commentary and topical explanations, award-winning maps and visual aids, trusted contributions from seventy-five distinguished scholars, theological summaries from R.C. Sproul, and nearly two thousand years of creeds, confessions, and catechisms. As R.C. Sproul said, “The light of the Reformation was the light of the Bible.” The same is true today.
The Ligonier Statement on Christology
Confusion abounds regarding Christology—the doctrine of Christ—around the French-speaking world. As the church continues to grow, it is imperative that believers learn the truths of Scripture as summarized in the great confessions of faith. We produced The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology to help Christians know what the church has historically taught and regain clarity regarding the person and work of Christ. Our goal is to distribute this statement worldwide, and it has already been translated into numerous languages, including French.
Web and Social Media
Ligonier’s French website and social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ensure that French-speaking people around the world have continual access to trustworthy teaching. These online resources build up Christians in the knowledge of God and help them defend their faith.
Growing interest in Reformed theology has sparked an eagerness for more resources from R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. Work is underway on publishing The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul in French. Our plans also include translating, printing, and distributing the following Reformation Trust titles:
- The Crucial Questions series by R.C. Sproul
- Final Word: Why We Need the Bible by John MacArthur
- Stand Firm: Living in a Post-Christian Culture by John MacArthur
What Is Needed?
- Translation, design, first print-run (20,000 copies), and distribution of the French Reformation Study Bible — $626,400 USD
- Publication of the Crucial Questions series (one booklet per month) — $55,100 USD
- Digital outreach — $18,500 USD (annually)
Funding needs reflect quoted estimates based on October 2019 foreign exchange rates and current translation fees.
How Do Your Gifts Help?
These are just a few of our many international outreach projects underway. We ask you to prayerfully consider supporting our efforts through your financial gifts and prayers for the French-speaking and global church. Your generosity helps us translate, print, and distribute trustworthy resources, providing countless opportunities to reach people with the truth of God’s Word.
Our policy is to apply gifts given toward a specific program. If we receive more contributions than can be wisely used for a given project, we apply these funds to meet other pressing needs in our outreach efforts. We are committed to stewarding all gifts wisely toward the goal of proclaiming the holiness of God to as many people as possible. Ligonier Ministries is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
1See https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/may/quebec-prodigal-province.html as at May 22, 2012; see also https://impactfrance.org/evangelical-france/ as at Oct 25, 2019
2See https://www.rocketlanguages.com/blog/the-15-most-spoken-languages-in-the-world/ as at Oct 25, 2019
3See https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/how-many-people-speak-french-and-where-is-french-spoken/ as at Oct 25, 2019