Capturing Imagination: Media as a Tool for Evangelism
Update: this program launched October 2011 with 5 students.
“It’s fascinating how video captures the imaginations of young people, serving as a channel for ideas. Now there are opportunities to use it as a channel for the gospel, and I believe it would be a mistake not to do so,” says Igor Yailyan, a student in the new Digital Media for Evangelism program at North Caucasus Bible Institute (NCBI), one of the nine Learning Centers of Moscow Theological Seminary.
NCBI is excited about using this new program to respond to the challenge of reaching the multi-ethnic region of the North Caucasus. Students learn to produce high quality, culturally sensitive audio, video and web material. Not only is media increasingly relevant to younger generations, it can be shared discretely without large gatherings that attract attention. “You can’t just go to a Muslim village and talk about Jesus,” explains NCBI director Andrey Kravtsev, “but if you bring gospel videos in the local language, people will take them home and watch.”
The seven republics of the North Caucuses in southern Russia are home to more than 50 ethnic groups speaking 48 languages. Distributing Christian materials online and on DVD will make the Good News accessible in every home—an effective means for gospel communication and discipleship.
Students in the program learn to write, produce and translate video and audio material for distribution on the web and on DVD. In addition to media courses, they study the Bible, intercultural communication and evangelism.
“By virtue of the new department, new opportunities for sharing the gospel in the Caucasus have become a reality,” reflects student Inna Zharik, “Classes require creative thinking and hard work but seeing people come closer to God is worthwhile.”
One of their first projects has been to produce an audio version of the New Testament for distribution among the Balkars, an unreached Muslim people group. “I pray that our materials will initiate insider movements of Christian discipleship among the Caucasus people,” says Alexey Tsiruliov, who coordinates the program. Students use the biblical training and practical skills they receive at NCBI to impact their communities for Christ, transforming Russia from the inside out.
“It’s been my prayer for a long time to serve God through digital media,” says Igor. God is answering prayer through this program and NCBI. Please pray for and support the efforts of these dedicated students.