Digital Media to Launch Movements
New media help us find people seeking Jesus
By Marti Wade
“Everywhere I look on the internet I keep seeing things about Jesus. Could that be God reaching out to me?” – Mustafa in West Asia
Sharing the Good News
Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. And whoever responds to the gospel? Whoever believes in Him? They would have eternal, abundant life. Like the first disciples, all of us who follow Christ are to be ambassadors of that good news, encouraging people to be reconciled to God.
Usually, however, only a small percentage of those who don’t already follow Jesus are open to considering the gospel—typically, about 2%. If you are working among the unreached, you could spend a lifetime sharing the gospel and find very few of people who don’t already follow Jesus and open to considering it. Should we continue to faithfully share the gospel with neighbors, coworkers, and others within our natural networks? Definitely! The problem is there’s a limit to how many people any one of us can reach through these personal encounters. And most of those we meet are not ready to respond. Ordinary methods may not find those who are.
Digital Media Strategies
Over the last decade, missionaries in the Arab World and other places have been learning to use websites and social media to connect with people looking for hope or truth. “We used to go out trying to do friendship evangelism, trying to find people of peace, but with media, they reach out to us. That’s what’s so amazing,” one explains. “Seekers are contacting Christian workers, saying, ‘Can you tell me more? Can you pray with me?’”
Media to Movements
The “media to movements” strategy begins with the end in mind: reproducing disciples. Research-informed, creative and culturally sensitive media content—videos, social media posts, combined with strategic marketing, invites people to explore and respond to scripture.
This allows gospel messengers to share the love of God with many more people than they could reach face to face. It also brings the message to people who might never meet a Christian who could share Jesus with them.
But personal contact is still key. Those who respond are invited into a discipleship process intentionally designed to lead toward personal contact with a local believer. Along the way, the process can identify people who are spiritually open and willing to introduce the gospel into their community—often referred to people of peace (Luke 10:5-7). When a person of peace starts following Jesus, others will follow. Ultimately, this process can help birth a growing gospel movement in that person’s community.
“How did I not think of this?” said a cross-cultural worker now using such methods. “You know, I’m a millennial. I see my friends spending five, six, seven hours a day on social media. This was obvious … it was [a] strategic and scalable approach to gospel sharing and searching for persons of peace.”
We’re recruiting digital natives* to champion and manage digital media strategies. And we’d love to start a conversation with you about joining one of our teams.
Learn More about Digital Outreach
- What Is a Digital Native? (Technopedia definition).
- Want to learn media outreach works? Check out the Media to Movements website for stories, reports, and articles as well as training opportunities.
- We have a goal to see 25% of our 300+ teams leveraging digital media strategies to enhance their efforts by 2025. Give to help make this happen.
- College-aged, technically minded and free this summer? You could spend eight weeks with us designing apps to help share the gospel.
Stories from the pursuit
Christmas Comes to the Kronkel
Until the Richardsons came, the five Sawi villages and surrounding tribes were often at odds with one another over past wrongs. Would their acceptance of Jesus as God’s reconciling “Peace Child” be enough to overcome their ancient animosity?
Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Preparing to Serve on the Field
Got questions? Here's how Pioneers answers five commonly asked questions about preparing for effective cross-cultural ministry.
Going to the Ends of the Earth? Bring Your Church Along!
We see the process of sending out field workers as a partnership between the mission agency and the local church. Your church may feel the same way.
From Social Media to Social Ministry
Need answers? Seeking truth? Where do you start? Probably by looking online. Recent months have only accelerated this trend, worldwide. We rejoice to see doors open for the gospel to reach those who seek it.