USA (MNN) — When we thought of "evangelism tools" in the not-so-distant past, images of small, pocket-sized Bibles and pamphlets came to mind.
Now, evangelism tools consist of a conglomerate of smartphone apps, video clips, and podcasts.
"It's spiritual multiplication using technology, and it's very exciting," says Tom Cannavino with The JESUS Film Project.
In recent days, Cannavino met a bus driver from Kenya and asked him what language he spoke. "Luo," the man answered.
"So I went to the new JESUS Film app on my phone and selected Maps, and I went to the country of Kenya and saw that there were 37…JESUS Film translations there," recalls Cannavino. "I scrolled down and found Luo, his language, and I e-mailed it to him from my phone, at that moment."
The next day, he received an e-mail from the bus driver.
"That video is great. I had watched the English version before, but I was really fascinated watching the Luo version," the man said in his e-mail.
Cannavino adds, "He watched the film, but the exciting part is that he sent the link to the film to friends and relatives here in the U.S., and then back at his home in Kenya.
"Through technology, God is allowing us to share the Gospel and to connect with people."
It's also helping to embolden the most timid among us.
"Some people may not feel comfortable approaching someone to share the Gospel, but this is a really exciting way to do it," Cannavino says. "It's just a real easy way to share your faith in a non-confrontational way, just to say, 'Hey, can I send this to you?'"
The app also serves to keep believers in fellowship, he adds.
"If you don't hear from somebody, you can follow up with them and say, 'Hey how did you like that film that I sent?'" says Cannavino. "So it gives you a connection with the person."
Released three months ago, the JESUS Film app gives access to over 64,000 evangelism videos in 1,000 languages. This means tens of millions of people in closed countries can now hear and see the Gospel.
If you own a smartphone, search for "JESUS Film Media" in the App Store, or in Google Play on Android devices.
"You can share it on social media, you can e-mail it to someone, or you can download it for your own use," says Cannavino. "The map feature, to me, is…really cool because you can go anywhere in the world on the map and just touch the country, and see what languages are available."
Since 1979, The JESUS Film Project's library has grown to include two feature films, a Japanese anime film, and a series of short discipleship videos. Click here to see more media tools.
"It's one thing to have the technology, but we want to pray that God uses that technology for His purpose and for His Kingdom," Cannavino says.
Pray that believers in restricted nations would use technology to proclaim Christ in a safe way. Pray that this new app would open more doors for the Gospel.