Middle East (MNN) – Dozens of ministries are working in the Middle East and North Africa to bring the Word of God and to impact people’s lives.
SAT-7, a satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, focuses on several approaches to their work that make them unique and an ‘innovative paradigm’.
An Innovative Paradigm
“SAT-7 is unique in that it’s [an] indigenous broadcast media ministry based in the Middle East. It’s not American. It’s not western. It started in the Middle East. It has a Middle Eastern Board,” SAT-7’s Dennis Wiens says.
In this indigenous ministry, 80 percent of the content created is produced in the Middle East by local Christians.
Another way SAT-7 approaches ministry in the Middle East and North Africa uniquely is through their partnerships.
Wiens shares that their partnerships consist of different denominations that focus their attention “around the core message of the Gospel, which is the center focus to see a growing Church.”
The ministry is further made unique in its efforts by the content it produces. Wiens shares that the ministry’s television programs never compare with other religions.
“Our Christian faith can stand on its own. It doesn’t need a comparison. We’re non-confrontational.”
Rather, SAT-7 wants viewers to see how people in their drama enactments, worship services, and programs interact with one another so they can see examples of what it looks like to live out a Christian life and how they should interact with their neighbors in a loving way.
Wiens says viewers, whether they’re believers or not, have all heard of Christianity from different sources.
“But to actually see what takes place inside the four walls of a church and a church service, to see Christians live out their Christian worldview, their Christian value, to live their Christian faith onscreen so everybody can see what is authentic biblical Christianity in the context of the Middle East to have the Church speaking into their realities,” moves viewers and helps them to understand what following Jesus truly means. This not only sets examples for believers, but also for nonbelievers and for kids.
Wiens says SAT-7’s biggest impact is in their kids program, SAT-7 Kids.
In this program, children produce programs for their peers or kids like them. While expressing themselves onscreen, kids are able to be an example of Jesus, and children their age can relate to the situations they dramatize.
“When children express the hope of the Gospel that’s in them from the sincerity of the heart of a child, it’s just amazing,” Wiens says.
A Future of Growth
From all the unique approaches SAT-7 has taken, the ministry has grown.
Wiens shares the ministry started 23 years ago with only two-hour broadcasts a week and, “the second week, they couldn’t produce another two hours, so they had to repeat the first week’s broadcast.”
Today, the ministry has five channels and they’re broadcasting 1,000 hours of content a week.
However, SAT-7 is far from done. They are still looking for ways to continue growing and broadening their ministry reach in the Middle East and North Africa.
“I know the team in Turkey with SAT-7 Turk, they want to be one of the top ten channels in all of Turkey in the next three years. That takes a lot of creative production, takes a lot of dramas, takes a lot of resources, [and] growth that’s going to take place there.”
In recent years, SAT-7 has grown their reach through social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
“We want to harness the emerging technologies for greater distribution of this message of God’s unconditional love that’s so attractive as people search for hope, and meaning, and life, and we can respond to that.”
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