International (MNN) — In the past 10 years, digital media has changed the way we communicate. Smartphones, apps, and social media connect us to the Internet and each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
According to Nielsen, there were 15 million smartphone subscribers worldwide in 2008. Today, that number has climbed to 3 billion. While initially found only on smart phones and iPods, mobile apps now make connectedness possible across a variety of devices: tablets, smart TVs, smartwatches, etc.
Digital media is also changing the way World Missionary Press does ministry. For more than 50 years, they’ve been printing and shipping Scripture booklets, Bible study booklets, and New Testaments in hundreds of languages all over the world.
Now, “we are also working to digitize as much of our material as we can,” shares WMP’s Helen Williams.
“The idea is to get the booklets into their hand however and whatever vehicle is the most useful in their situation.”
Globalization, digital media, and ministry
In this 2007 blog, U.S. Representative John B. Larson wrote, “Globalization is not a monolithic force but an evolving set of consequences — some good, some bad and some unintended. It is the new reality.” Some of those so-called “consequences” are Gospel opportunities.
“Distributors are telling us that — even in countries where, perhaps, the written Word is not easily accessible — the opportunity to have [Scripture booklets] available on smart phones, et cetera, is just overwhelming,” says Williams.
World Missionary Press is taking advantage of these opportunities to further the Great Commission through their new app. You can check it out here.
On the WMP app, Williams explains, you can “read a booklet in your language, and we have…527 different titles available in 249 languages.”
They’ve also recorded some of their materials to resource oral learners.
“There are places where that technology is of the Lord, in terms of opening doors.”
This shift to digital media doesn’t mean World Missionary Press is doing away with Scripture booklets. Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at how print and digital technologies are working together for God’s glory.