With 7.5 billion people spread out across the world in 195 nations speaking and more than 7,000 languages spoken, it can be daunting thinking about reaching the world for Christ. However, resources like Jesus Film Project are making it more accessible to share the Gospel with the world. The JESUS film was envisioned by Bill Bright, co-founder of Cru and is the most watched film according to ‘Guinness Book of World Records’. It will soon be available in 1500 languages. Jesus Film Project recently announced a study that reveals the film “JESUS,” along with other titles provided by the ministry, have been proven as some of the most powerful tools available in the evangelical world in effectively spreading the Gospel.
The study, conducted in conjunction with Masterworks, an independent third-party research firm, quantified the total global impact of Jesus Film Project entities. The research focused on three measures of impact: viewership, indicated decisions to follow Jesus and multiplying communities formed. Using 2015 as a basis for calculation, research included all mediums in which Jesus Film Project entities can be viewed: television, live showings, online viewings and physical media such as DVDs and SD cards. The results indicated Jesus Film Project tools have been used to initiate more than an estimated 7.5 billion gospel presentations cumulatively since 1979, and has resulted in 490 million people indicating decisions to accept Christ and 2.1 million churches/multiplying communities being launched.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Josh Newell, Director of Marketing and Communications for Jesus Film Project shares how the film is helping fulfill the Great Commission.
“This new research reflects Jesus Film Project’s faithful dedication to completing the Great Commission, not only through direct outreach but also via partnerships with hundreds of ministries and churches that have utilized our ministry’s tools and initiatives. While we often hear stories about how our films are impacting people’s lives, this study solidifies that our efforts are not in vain and God is using Jesus Film Project to spread the Gospel worldwide.”
With current technological advances, the research shows that in the last 10 years, the way that people view “JESUS” and other Jesus Film Project entities has drastically changed. Television accounted for most of “JESUS” film viewership prior to 2006, because TV stations would often show the film – in some cases multiple times – during holidays. Television viewership is now on the decline as people around the world are turning to streaming media such as Apple TV, YouTube and Amazon. Additionally, today’s audiences view and interact with media differently than in prior generations, modifying it and reposting it to their social media profiles.
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:34-36
Share the Gospel. You don’t need to wait to go on a mission trip to share the gospel. There are people all around us that need to hear about the love of Jesus Christ. Resources like the Jesus film can be great as it brings the Gospel to life. Take time this week to write out your story of how you came to Christ. Share it with a close friend or someone in your small group and ask them to give you feedback. Then pray and ask God to show you who you can share your story with. It could be a friend, family member, classmate or neighbor. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your conversation and open up opportunities to share.
Go! Or support others. Pray about going on a missions trip with your church or another organization. You can start out with a short-term trip and then go longer the next time. Pray that God would direct you where to go. If you aren’t able to go on a mission trip, consider supporting others to go or missionaries on the mission field. Support can be in a variety of forms including finances, prayer and other materials they might need to support their efforts. Many churches support missionaries. Start with the missionaries that they support. Email the missionaries and ask how you can pray for them. Sometimes when groups go over for short term mission projects, people can send supplies and resources along with the team. Ask the missionaries what they need.
Pray for missionaries in closed countries. There are missionaries all over the world that live in danger in order to share the Gospel. Pray for their safety and wisdom as they bring God’s word to people who might never have heard about Him. Pray that the hearts of those that they share with would be open. Pray that God would open doors and direct their efforts. Pray for the hearts of the leaders and people in positions of authority that they would give their lives to Christ.
For more information on Jesus Film Project, go to http://www.jesusfilm.org. To see the complete study, go to http://www.jesusfilm.org/about/learn-more/masterworks-executive-summary.html.