Technological advances are opening new doors for the gospel
There are an estimated
5.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions around the world, 4.5 billion of which are in the developing world. (2011 stats from ITU.)
Mobile phone penetration is especially noticeable in emerging countries without extensive landline infrastructure, but where there is mobile signal coverage. In poorer rural communities, owning a mobile phone represents good value for money, combining features of PCs, media players and even torches.
Texts are shared in minority languages. Money is transferred using phones. But new media functionality means that even communities without mobile signal are using these devices to share MP4 video files, music and information, often via Bluetooth. In some restricted places it can be extremely hard to obtain or keep printed Scriptures, but downloading Scripture video, audio or text and sharing it on mobile phones is much easier. God's word can spread like wildfire; literacy and health materials can be shared to the benefit of whole communities!
One worker from a partner organisation in Asia shares:
"I saw mobile ministry revolutionize my team's ministry. It [...] gave us greater freedom and boldness in sharing the gospel as our fears about our own ability to share were replaced with joy in being able to share beautiful fluent audio and video portrayals of Jesus and His gospel. Mobile ministry pushed the gospel out beyond our limited circle of relations as these mobile videos were shared with others we would never meet." (Full story here).
What does it take to make this happen? Initiatives like Mobile Advance explore how this can be done appropriately and effectively, whilst other ministries like The JESUS Film and Global Recordings press on with the production of video and audio media in minority languages. Experts in Non-Roman Scripts are advising global IT companies about how to get words and letters to display correctly across multiple platforms. Personnel in Wycliffe Bible Translators and many other partner agencies are working hard to ensure God's word is available in the form and the language that communicates best.
In This Section:
- First Steps
- The Next Step
- Two Week Stint
- One-to-One (6wks-1yr)
- Medium/Long Term (2+yrs)
- Specific Roles