What I Learned at the Mobile Ministry Forum
I’m on my final leg of my trip home and I’m somewhere over Texas looking at a crimson Texas-earth-inspired sunset. I’ve spent the last five days in Orlando at the MMF (Mobile Ministry Forum) where I learned about how God is using his people to create tools for all types of cellphones that advance the Gospel in some form or function.
By the end of 2013 there will be a cellphone plan for every man, woman, and child on earth. Never before has the poorest of poor or remotest of remote had access to so much modern technology. There are cellphones in just about every nook and cranny of the world. I know you’re asking, “Yes, but how do they recharge them?” It is relatively inexpensive to set up a solar-powered recharging business. Today, nomadic people in the Middle East no longer pitch their tents near water, but rather where they can get cellphone reception. We Americans can’t see it, but the world has dramatically changed!
We serve a God who relates. He is in relationship with Himself in the Trinity and He created humans for relationship. In fact, He values relationship so much that when our ancestors became orchard thieves God launched His rescue mission to restore the sin-broken relationship. Now we have technology circling the globe that makes communication available in the remotest of areas for prices that continue to fall dramatically. Let’s use this phenomenon to tell people about Jesus!
Everyone at the MMF was either already involved in using cellphones for missions or were investigating how their ministry might benefit from such involvement. For example, one ministry has put together something like a radio soap opera in Hindi, the main language of India. Each episode tells the next part of a story about the relationships between a Muslim, a Hindu, and a Christian family. When the Muslim teen daughter falls in love with the Christian boy, her father blows a gasket. At the end of the episode, the narrator asks, “If you would like to hear more about what the Bible has to say about Anger, press 8”. Through each episode there’s an opportunity for someone to learn more about Jesus, give their lives to Him, and meet others that have made the same commitment. All this through a serial soap opera on their phones (by the way, in most parts of the world it is free to receive a call).
I also met two women from a ministry in Africa that seeks to instruct people how to prevent AIDS and other diseases through education. They’re realizing that all of their clientele already have cell phones and these women spent the week learning what it might look like to put their material on them.
At eDOT in Europe, we’ve already begun to create smartphone apps that help with evangelism (www.c2cstory.com) and we’re looking for ways to encourage and foster discipleship through carefully designed apps. We’re involved in many other ministries that span from helping to build computer labs to helping to set up secure SMS text messaging systems that are needed in creative access countries. At all times we’re looking to partner with existing European ministries in ways that technology will help them accomplish their mission and vision. These are exciting times with new and more effective ways to communicate the Good News to a lost and searching people. What a great time to be a follower of Jesus in Europe indeed!