Using Digital Media to Initiate Spiritual Conversations
By Executive Editor John Yoder
Across the Middle East and North Africa are millions of Muslims who are unaware of any churches or Christians near them. They are immersed in a completely Islamic culture with which many are deeply discontented. They cannot be reached by conventional worship services or Bible studies. Despite these obstacles, today Iran has the world’s fastest-growing church, and large numbers of Saudis and Libyans are coming to faith in Christ. How is this happening? Through online digital media.
Native Iranian, Saudi and other believers record Christian videos, podcasts, blogs and more that are shared through websites, social media, radio and television. As Muslims view these resources, mature believers walk them through the process of meeting local believers, hearing the basics of Christianity, coming to faith in Christ and growing to spiritual maturity.
These resources are all available to you online to share with friends of other religious backgrounds. You will probably befriend only a handful of Tunisians or Moroccans, and are unlikely to find a local ministry dedicated exclusively to them. But you can discuss digital media created in their heart language. You can say something like, “Khaled, I’m so glad to have you as my first Tunisian friend! I found an interesting video, but because it’s in Tunisian I can’t understand it. Can you take a look and tell me what you think?”
One of our purposes in launching this website is to make it easy for you to discover these resources. You can find disciple-making videos in thousands of languages on our disciple-making media page. You can find ministry agencies with entire websites focused on one ethnic group on our People Groups page. You will discover dozens of such resources. Let me highlight a few that are especially helpful:
· The Jesus Film app is developed for iPhone and Android, having both short and full-feature videos in hundreds of languages. It’s a great way to begin spiritual conversations with seekers who can view the content in their heart language.
· Sat 7 has 24-hour online Christian TV programming in Arabic, Persian and Turkish
· Iran Alive not only has 24-hour Farsi Christian TV programming, but a call center and online worship services
· God Speaks My Language is a division of Cru allowing seekers to post questions to disciple-makers in 200 languages
This is just a sampling of the amazing digital resources created by global Christians. If you are befriending a follower of another world religion, it’s wise to take advantage of resources created by such national Christians. The development of so many high-caliber disciple-making resources is a cause for joy on the part of all believers!