According to Trans World Radio, 80 percent of those unreached with the Gospel live in a country where YouTube is the first or second most visited website? For ministries, that’s something to think about. and for TWR, it means diversification in their outreach.
Up until now, TWR has mostly focused on radio and audio methods to share Christ, particularly in hard-to-reach countries and regions, where radio is sometimes the only way people can hear uncensored messages about God’s Word. In fact, this radio ministry has had a powerful impact for the Gospel in places like Central Asia, North Korea, and the Middle East.
However, as TWR’s Tyler Gates recently said, “in 2017, we’re finding ourselves in a situation where more and more completely unreached people groups are going online and watching visual media. They’re watching YouTube, they’re watching satellite television. They can go online, they can watch cat videos, they can watch extremist recruitment videos, they can watch soccer videos – but they’re not going to be introduced to the Gospel because the Gospel doesn’t exist in their language on these media platforms, for the vast majority.”
Because of this emerging reality, Trans World Radio is starting a new project called TWR Motion, and with it comes some exciting implications for evangelism.
A prevalent millennial generation, the population demographic hat is under the age of 30, is a big reason why visual technology is becoming more critical to new ministry approaches among the unreached.
Gates explains, “ … When you think about Western Africa, when you think about the Middle East, when you think about much of South Asia, those are predominantly very young populations. In fact, I just read somewhere that almost … 70 percent of the population of Western Africa and the Middle East is under the age of 32.”
This new technology and approach may not be cheap, but there is a silver lining. “Visual media has a much higher price tag than audio; however, it has never been more affordable today to produce compelling visual stories and visual media.”
Gates asks for our prayers: “We are completely dependent on a gracious God for every step of this ministry…. We really need prayer for a lot of wisdom as we take these steps. As soon as you portray the Gospel in a visual format, you are, by definition, in extra-biblical territory. It is the written Word of God we want to proclaim, and so it’s very easy, especially cross-culturally, to communicate something visually that could be either irrelevant or, at worst, an obstacle to the Gospel. So wisdom is critical.”
- Give thanks for the work of TWR in reaching the unreached with the Gospel, and for this new vision to use visual technology to reach the hearts of even more people.
- Pray for this ministry, and many others also moving into visual media to share the Gospel. Pray for wisdom as they seek to proclaim the truth of Jesus in Lagrange that people will relate to.
- Pray for the financial and personnel needs of this and other ministries specifically working amongst the most unreached people groups of the world.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move through visual media, radio and other media platforms, to reveal Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour to many hearts, and for this younger generation to respond to that call to follow Him.
Isaiah 52 vs 7: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’”