A Whole New Approach to Reaching the World

Somehow I contracted ADHD even though they didn’t even have it when I was a kid. I guess I was ahead of my time. Miss Hunter, my 4’7” 7th Grade English teacher had the cure. One kid got out of line, and she grabbed him by the hair and banged his head against the blackboard a few times. Wasn’t me, but it sure did help me deal with my hyperactivity.

All that to say that my attention span is still not that long (Miss Hunter is in heaven and my hyperactivity is back). Therefore, when someone sends a link to a video longer than about three minutes it goes into the trash.

So I even surprised myself when yesterday I watched a video 30 (that’s three zero) minutes long. What possessed me I do not know, but I am really glad that I did. Let me tell you why.

The video is about the use of technology (cell phones and Internet) for missions, approaches that could be used in the US as well. At some level it is obvious that these tools can be used and are being used to reach people, so that general fact comes as no big surprise.

Nonetheless, by the time this video was over I was totally blown away with the strategy it explained and the possibilities it presented. I was so hyped that I watched it again with Connie over supper last night, and I sent the link to my kids and urged them to watch it.

The video begins by explaining how cell phones can be used to reach people in ways and places out of reach of traditional methods. I just finished reading a great missions book entitled Ascent to the Tribes (on Kindle) by Isobel Kuhn, which describes how China Inland Mission missionaries who were run out of China by the Communists moved to Thailand and reached the tribal people in that country. When they entered a tribe, they had to develop an alphabet for the language, translate Scripture and other materials, teach the people to read, and then produce books for them. In today’s digital world they still have to translate the language, but many of the other steps can be omitted, giving them access to Scripture and other biblical input very quickly. This represents just one of the many ways in which cell phones can advance the gospel.

Of course, the Internet has even greater capacities. One of the factors that amazed me was the huge segment of the globe that already has Internet access and how quickly providers plan to reach the part of the world currently without service.

I was also taken back by the effectiveness of groups already using the Internet for evangelism, especially in otherwise difficult-to-reach places.

The video also explained a strategy that makes all the sense in the world. It emphasized that the missionary on the ground is still needed, but that the Internet is not just a new tool to be added to his toolbox, but rather a core capability around which a whole new missions’ strategy can be built.

When I finished the video I wished that I were 17 again so I could get involved in IT, and participate in this new strategy. In fact, I even pondered (briefly) if I could take some courses and jump in at this late date. Not likely. However, some of you can, and this opens up whole new vistas for ministries for your kids. I concluded that a Bible college today should have a major in IT as one of its primary focuses.

So, I hope I have convinced you to commit half an hour to watch this video. I am convinced that you will be glad you did. Here is the link. http://vimeo.com/93400359 If you don’t watch it, I may have to send Miss Hunter after you.

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