God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve was “Be fruitful and multiply...” (Gen 1:28). God gave the same command to Noah and Abraham. As nearly 8 billion people on this earth proves, we’ve been incredibly successful at multiplying.
In Revelation 7 we see the results of multiplication too: ‘A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.’
That’s the past - and the future, but what about now? In all the gospels Jesus is recorded sending out his disciples to the nations. That didn’t happen right away. The church grew in Jerusalem - but it was only when persecution came the church began multiplying across the nations and that was enabled by something we take for granted: ease of travel.
A key to the Roman empire’s success was their famous road network. It helped their armies travel quickly to where they needed to be. God used those highways to speed his message across the world. He accelerated it again in the 15th century when the printing press provided greater access to the Bible - a foundation for the Reformation. In the last 100 years air travel, radio and TV have enabled us to engage with the unreached at an unprecedented rate.
Today we have advanced means of connecting with others: the internet, social media, video calls. The church is finding exciting new ways to use these digital media to bring God’s kingdom to the needy.
We’ve recently been hearing about Frontiers teams using Facebook ‘bots’ to connect with seekers in various parts of the Muslim world. Forced online by Covid-19, they’re reporting hundreds of leads.Another example of innovative use of digital media comes from a young British couple in the Middle East. They encountered the same questions and objections to the gospel again and again from the Muslims they were meeting. Frustrated by the slowness of answering one by one, they brought together a team who wrote and produced eight excellent YouTube animations that, with humour and cultural insight, addressed those key objections promoted via Facebook advertisements, there were more than 1.7 MILLION viewers of the animations in just two months! Now in 12 languages they’re being used by local believers, expat gospel workers, digital ministries, and satellite broadcasters across the Muslim world to initiate fruitful discussions about Jesus. See them for yourself (with English subtitles) by searching www.journeytotruth.tv
Digital media’s ability to reach individuals and communities online is a powerful feature. Another is its potential to ‘go viral’. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are built with multiplication in mind. Every post and video has the option to show that you like it and can be easily shared with others. If the message is presented in the right way, it can travel far and wide.
We are only scratching the surface of the opportunities digital media brings to sharing the gospel. While there will never be a substitute for lives invested in understanding and blessing communities we go to, emerging technology gives us exciting new ways to introduce Muslims to the love of Jesus.
We invite you to explore tools such as www.kingdom.training that offer understanding on how you could be using these amazing technologies to bring the kingdom of God to others.
If you’ve a love for social media - and reaching others through it, we hope you’ll be challenged about how your passion can be used missionally. There’s a pressing need for those with communication skills to get involved on our teams. Contact us and we can help you discover how to take your next steps along this ‘New Roman Road’.