Middle East (MNN) – SAT-7, a satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, puts a primary focus on what it means to be an indigenous Church and how they can help it grow by keeping a local mindset.
“SAT-7’s vision is to see that local Church across the Middle East growing and thriving. How can we come alongside and empower, strengthen, and encourage that local Church?” SAT-7’s Dennis Wiens says.
“SAT-7’s vision is also to make the Gospel available to the Middle East and North Africa and to look intently at how we can make that happen and so that would help in that local Church.”
One of the key ways SAT-7 helps the Church grow in the Middle East and North Africa is by remaining both physically and culturally indigenous so they’re more applicable and effective throughout the region.
Wiens points out that there are major differences between what the Church in the West has been through and what the Church in the east has been through.
“We don’t understand persecution. We don’t understand the struggle that the Church has had across the Middle East and so we really can’t speak into that reality, but they can and their pastors can,” Wiens says.
“We’re a blessed country in the West and we’re affluent and we have materialism, and we have so many choices, and that has infiltrated our theology on so many levels. When we try to speak into their reality, we do it from a very Western context… And so, as we explain from our cultural worldview, our cultural context is very different than their cultural paradigms.”
This affects how believers in the Middle East and North Africa perceive and understand Christianity in their daily lives. So, it is imperative that SAT-7, which is an indigenous ministry, be informed and careful of how they share the Gospel in a culturally appropriate and applicable way.
SAT-7 has made strategic efforts in helping the local Church grow through their different television broadcasts. Their broadcasts have shared theological studies and trainings, church services, and programs for people of all ages that is applicable in the Middle East and North Africa.
“We’re helping people better understand what authentic, biblical Christianity is.”
Wiens says people in the region get a view of what Christianity looks like from social media, Western influences, and other sources. Many times, these views are incorrect.
Demystifying Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa
SAT-7, however, is “demystifying” these views and showing what it truly looks like to be a follower of Christ in the indigenous Church.
“SAT-7 is explaining and showing onscreen what it is to be a Christian in their context of the Middle East and North Africa. So, I think that’s a great advantage in how SAT-7 offers the Church a great resource,” Wiens says.
In their resources, they provide programming on social issues and how believers should interact.
For instance, Wiens says SAT-7 has programming on the Christian perspective of the plight of women in the Middle East and North Africa and also physical and mental disabilities.
They invite indigenous believers onscreen to share about their realities on these subjects throughout the region.
Further, SAT-7 includes worship music in their programs.
Wiens says when SAT-7 first began, music would simply be put in the show to fill a gap. However, the ministry realized that people were moved by these worship songs and even sang along.
SAT-7 began embracing this.
“So, it’s not about a three-minute gap, but what song really speaks to what that program is about and how we can be very intent on helping develop discipleship and theological education through hymnology and through song.”
Each of these resources and programs is intent and tailored to helping the local Church grow in this region.
Many times, SAT-7 is the only resource believers have to further their understanding of Christ.
“Some will never meet another Christian and so, they still have the right to be discipled, to grow in their faith, and to understand what it is to be a Christian. And we can provide that resource to the Church who may not have access to that viewer,” Wiens says.
Join SAT-7 as an advocate by sharing their stories of what God is doing throughout the region.
“Wherever the Gospel is, wherever God’s working, there’s hope and so, it’s not hopeless and yet, so many Christians have bought into this secular worldview of hopelessness to realize God hasn’t lost control of the Middle East and North Africa. He is working. God movements are taking place.”
Pray also for the Church in the Middle East and North Africa and for SAT-7’s work to make an impact.
Finally, support SAT-7 as a financial partner. One dollar can provide SAT-7 programming to a family for an entire year.
Header photo courtesy of SAT-7.