Int’l (MNN) – Since 1979, the JESUS Film has been used to share the Gospel in over 1600 languages. People have seen and understood the Gospel through this video for years. And the work isn’t slowing down. The Jesus Film Project continues to extend their reach even more through a partnership with the Issachar Initiative.
The Issachar Initiative was started through discussions between a group of ministry leaders in 2000. As more and more tools have become available to show believers where the Gospel is not, they recognized that Christians must become serious about going to those places with God’s word. The Issachar Initiative was born out of the realization that the most effective way to bring the Gospel to unreached peoples was to work together.
The Issachar Initiative brings together organizations already seeking out unreached peoples. It links them with each other and with the global Church body in order to mobilize their efforts.
Bill Wolfe, the head of Global Partnership with the Jesus Film Project, explained that while this is not the first partnership of its kind, it is important. For many years, organizations operated more or less independently of each other. Then as the world became more connected and numbers of unreached people surfaced, organizations realized they couldn’t meet the goal of the Great Commission alone. “So people started to learn how to work together, how to lay down their logo and their ego and say what’s the task that has to be done? How can we be a part of that?”
And that willingness to work together is being expressed again through the Jesus Film Project and the Issachar Initiative.
A Building Burden for the Unreached
Wolfe continues, “What excites us most is to think that in this time period God is giving acceleration in all kinds of parts of the Body of Christ, beyond what we’ve ever seen before. If you were to describe, just take one part, Bible translation, over the last 2000 years. If you were to graph it, the progress of Bible translation, the graph would look like a hockey stick. It would go along the same way for hundreds of years and then all of a sudden a huge spike in Bible translation. If you were to look at engagement with people groups it would be the same kind of thing.”
As we learn more about how many unreached people there are, the technology to reach them is growing. Suddenly, organizations can reach many more people around the world much faster than they could previously.
New Technology to Reach New People Groups
Wolfe explains, “Now with the JESUS Film, what we used to use on 16 mm, we have an app that can be used on people’s phones in every country of the world. So they can download the same tool that it used to take three men and a donkey to take equipment around the world with 16 mm projectors. So at the same time there is this burden to go, God is giving us breakthroughs in technology and how to use it to get to everyone in the world.”
But sensing a burden to go and the technology to reach people is not enough to finish the task. The fulfillment of the Great Commission requires workers. People need to go out to the whole world. They must be willing to leave what is comfortable and what is home in order to reach the peoples God so desperately loves.
No People Unreached
The ask is not small, but Jesus did not promise that it would be. The Bible makes it clear though, that the reward is great: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29 ESV)
The world needs to know the truth of the Gospel.
Wolfe asks the Church to pray. “Pray that He would send forth workers into His harvest. It’s His harvest. The part that’s not there are the workers. Others can come alongside and assist the workers, resource providers, tool providers, language providers. But the prayer is still for workers, that God would raise up people willing to go to some of these most remote, most difficult, most unreached, never-had-a-missionary-before places in the world, as workers.”
Please also seek the Lord’s will for your own life. Is He calling you to foreign missions work? The need is great but the workers few. Consider today how God might call you to join in the call of the Great Commission.
Also consider joining the work of the Jesus Film Project. Learn all the different ways you can help here.