Can Media Actually Spark a Disciple Making Movement?
Could a gospel film start a multi-generation Disciple-Making Movement (DMM)? For many years, a partner ministry of YWAM Frontier Missions called Create International has brought the gospel to the unreached by making top quality films in the local language and culture of people groups that have little witness.
One of the Create International leaders shared her story with us.
“In 2017 we attended a gathering to share our resources. Free gospel films and mobile media tools were made available, and distributed during the conference. Our resources were created to help workers from North Africa, the Middle East, and Indonesia. Over 1,000 workers gathered at the event, of which, 400 were Muslim background believers.
Focused on Loving Muslims
“The theme of the conference was from John 15. They focused on loving Muslims, abiding in Christ, learning together, and practical ways to ‘bear fruit’. Amidst a sea of people, we recognized one of the cultural advisors from a film we had produced more than 15 years ago. His name was Ahmed.”
Although Ahmed was now a bit older and had greying hair, they recognized him by his contagious love for Jesus and memorable smile. He was glowing with excitement as he and another advisor came by their resource table.
He shared a recent report of the ongoing impact the Create International film was having on his people group. Ahmed wanted to learn how to make the film available on his mobile phone, so he could blue-tooth it and share with more youth in his nation. “They want to watch this film on their mobile phones!” he said.
How Create Works
When Create teams go to an unreached people group to make a new film, they work with their local partners to find actors to play the parts. In many situations, there are not enough Christians to act for the roles needed. They often need to use people who haven’t yet believed in Jesus to play these roles. It can be an interesting experience to use actors who don’t yet believe in Jesus for these parts. However, very often acting in the film and the gospel, which comes through in each film, has a strong impact on them.
Grandparents of the Movement
Ahmed told the Create leaders that after the film had been produced, each one of the actors had come to Christ. This was among a very unreached Muslim people group!
When the film was made in his home, only a few of the cast were believers. “After the filming, we kept witnessing to them,” he said. “Through various evangelistic encounters, all twelve of the actors became believers in Isa (Jesus).” Then he added, “They are actually the grandparents of the movement that has begun in our area.”
The Create International leaders were curious to hear more. “A movement?” they asked. “What do you mean?” Ahmed excitedly responded.
“The movie sparked a large movement among my people” he shared. “Many people are now followers of Jesus in my area!” He explained further. “The actors in the movie were the first generation of believers. Then many of their children became believers of Jesus. Now the grandchildren of the original actors are all Jesus followers too.”
He told another story to them as well.
One of the actors passed away. Before he died, he breathed his last breath and said a prayer to the Jesus who covered his shame. This had been part of the message of the film!
Ahmed’s report was an enormous encouragement.
He also shared that the film had helped his people keep their cultural identity. “It helped us understand how to follow Christ and keep our own cultural traditions too.” By being able to stay engaged with their own culture, they were able to remain in their own community. This gave them more relationships with people who they could share the story of Jesus (Isa) with. The gospel was able to spread internally and naturally from within.
You’ll See Them in Heaven
“It is really happening now!” he exclaimed. Ahmed joyfully thanked the Create International team for their hard work making the film so he could reach his people.
As Ahmed walked away, he looked back and said loudly, “You are going to see some of those actors in Heaven. Thank you again.” For a moment they were stunned. They looked at each other and took it all in.
It had happened. A Disciple-Making Movement was been launched as a result of a Create film! God had done more than they had dreamed or imagined. Recent reports estimate there are at least 10,000 followers of Christ in this movement and the multiplication of fellowships is growing beyond the fourth generation.
Bearing Fruit through Innovative Resources
God continues to use Create International to make culturally appropriate (contextual) gospel-films, art and animation resources to serve unreached peoples. Do you have creative gifts and talents you’d like to use for the Lord? Why not consider joining one of the ten global Create International teams or get trained in media production through their seminars and schools?
You too could play a significant role, using your gifts and interest in media to help in launching a multiplying movement of disciples among those who have never heard of Jesus before.