International (MNN) – Christmas is coming. You know what that means; it’s the time of year we all gather together to complain about consumerism. Thanks to ever-present ads and social media pressure, the downsides seem clear. But according to Denise Godwin of International Media Ministries (IMM), so are the benefits.
Global access to technology increases each year as millions join the Internet, get their first smartphones, or join social media. Read more about that increase here. That technology is a powerful force for connections. While advertisers are using that power to sell, Christians are using it to share the gospel.
Media for the Gospel
For IMM, media drives outreach.
“I think, sometimes we hear a lot of negativity about consumerism and I doubt many of us need more stuff, but we’ve taken the idea of media and made it an opportunity to connect to people and connect them to Christ…People really all over the world are searching for connection,” Godwin says.
IMM uses social media, video, and film to reach Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia. The content is created in almost 70 languages.
Focusing on the Good
Outside of the Gospel impact, Godwin says new opportunities and access to information grow with media access.
“There’s a lot of places in the world where they don’t have opportunities to be connected to media that has more of the truth mixed into it. Or, perhaps even their own government isn’t telling them the truth about what’s going on their culture, and they are hungry for connectivity.”
One of IMM’s most recent projects is a telling of the story of Ruth. Created for Farsi speakers, the story will be accessible online and distributed on a popular Iranian social media website. This story relates to marginalized and abused women and has the potential to go viral via an app, on YouTube, or even phone-to-phone, she says.
Without the same media that bombards us with ads, many would never see that story.
“It’s a great time of year to connect [with] our own loved ones through media, [and] to be connecting the truth of Jesus Christ to people all over the world through media.”
Making an Effort to Connect
Godwin asks believers around the world to pause and pray during their busy Christmas shopping. Start by praying for the loved ones you’re shopping for. Remember the persecuted believers who are not able to celebrate the holiday due to restrictions on their freedom and ask for their safety and comfort. Pray for missionaries who are away from their families.
For those in the giving spirit, consider donating to help support a ministry you’re passionate about. It’s thanks to December donations that organizations are able to make up starting year budget shortfalls and continue to carry out their missions.