VAST technique underscores effectiveness of ‘JESUS’ film

By September 27, 2013

International (MNN) — After listing a few descriptions of what the world will look like as Christ's return draws near, Matthew 24:14 states, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

A new technique is quickening the pace of Gospel growth and, perhaps, the return of our Savior King.

Joe Class partners with The JESUS Film Project. He says the VAST technique, created by The Seed Company, is helping them quicken the pace of translation projects.

"Even if you go in simply to translate the film,  JESUS,' you're forced to take maybe upwards of 2 years or so, given processes that were used traditionally," Class explains.

"The VAST program…allows that period of time to be greatly compressed. We're taking the number of hours that are spent over a couple of years and compressing them into six weeks."

VAST stands for Video Audio Strategy for Translation, and it began as a Seed Project pilot program in South Asia. Its utility and potential quickly caught on as multiple groups, including The JESUS Film Project, worked on the pilot program.

Here's how the technique works. Three translation teams–each of which has two or three members–listen, translate, and record the oral script of the "JESUS" film. Team members work together to reach consensus on the best expression for each scene, and repetition reinforces collective memory.

Film is a natural medium for oral cultures, and the film itself validates the importance of the language. The film and its message–based on the Gospel of Luke–in turn spread rapidly.

As the "JESUS" film is translated into more languages, its global impact can grow exponentially. So far, "it's been seen individually more than 6 billion times; over 200 million people have made a decision for Christ after seeing the film," Class states.

Placing this story into everyday context helps drive the reality home. Imagine wanting to share the Gospel with someone who doesn't speak English. By sharing the JESUS Film app with them, they can hear about Christ in their heart language.

You can put the JESUS Film app on your phone or device here.

Thanks to the VAST technique, more interactions like this can take place. Pray that more Gospel opportunities will arise as a result of this new technique.

Pray also for the protection of translation teams.

"This is a spiritual warfare aspect, and we recognize that we don't win by our strategies. We win by God's grace," Class states.

"We don't do this alone," he adds. "We need a lot of folks supporting us in prayer and involvement, at whatever level they're able."

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