The JESUS Film
Jesus said: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19–20a)
Why do we show the JESUS Film?
Jesus commissioned his followers to go and make disciples of all nations before he returned to his Father. For two millennia, Christians from all over the world have dedicated their lives to fulfilling this Great Commission. Today, the JESUS Film makes it possible for us to reach more people with the good news of Christ than ever before. And in our modern, technology-based life, media is increasingly becoming the primary tool for mass evangelism. Particularly in villages where people might never have seen a film, the JESUS Film touches the hearts of hundreds of thousands.
Where do we show the JESUS Film?
In South Asia, we have been showing the JESUS Film for almost a decade: in Pakistan and Bangladesh since 1998, in Sri Lanka and Nepal since 1999. Approximately 60 teams are currently sharing the gospel in these countries (between 7–30 per country). While these teams cannot cover entire countries, the areas where the JESUS Film is being shown have been expanding continually, and in many regions church work first started through the JF teams.
When and how often do we show the JESUS Film?
On average, one JF team shows the film about 8–10 times per month. Most showings take place in the evenings after dark, both for lighting purposes and to include those who work during daylight. Often the area is so remote that the teams need to carry a generator with them.
What is the step-by-step procedure for showing the JESUS Film?
The normal procedure for showing the JESUS Film in a village starts with the JF team members visiting the village chief to build rapport and ask for his permission to show the film. When permission is granted, they arrange a showing, invite people, and show the film at a convenient location in the village. About 24–48 hours later, the JF team revisits the village and meets for a first follow-up with those who made a decision or any who want to learn more. In the following weeks, they keep on visiting the new Christians, establish a preaching point, and continue to nurture the group until it develops into a church-type mission with a lay leader, and is finally organized as a church with a pastor.
As the ministry is expanding so rapidly, there are not enough resources to meet the demands for JF team support and equipment. But the ministry expands nonetheless: A variety of "Ministry Tools" such as Evangecubes, Bible Story Cloths and Bible Soccer Balls allow teams to share the gospel with minimal equipment, but with the same eagerness to tell the Good News.
What is "follow-up" and why is it important?
The Church of the Nazarene believes that being a Christian means more than making a decision; it means leading a transformed life. Thus, merely showing the JESUS Film and asking for decisions is like giving birth and then abandoning the newborn to survive alone. Follow-up means that JF team members continue to visit new Christians, teach them what it means to follow Christ, help them become involved in a local church or start a new group, and nurture them in their early Christian life. Follow-up intends to produce fruit that remains: “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
Who is our partner in the ministry?
The JESUS Film version we are showing was produced by Campus Crusade for Christ in 1979. The Church of the Nazarene partners in its JF ministry with JESUS Film Harvest Partners, a Kansas-based organization that was organized by Nazarene laypeople who have a heart for missions and want to see people born again and transformed by the power of God. Within South Asian countries, ministry is integrated: JESUS Film teams, leadership development trainees, Compassionate Ministries, theological training, local churches, and the district work closely together in their goal to develop strong and healthy holiness churches.
What is the impact of the JESUS Film ministry on church growth?
In South Asia, the impact of the JESUS Film ministry on church growth has been tremendous. The most recent strategy aims at organizing 10 new churches per team per year. In 2009 alone, almost 10,000 new members were added to the church. The Church of the Nazarene in South Asian nations now includes almost 70,000 members, compared to less than 1,000 in 1998 when the JESUS Film ministry started. Thousands more are attending the churches, but members are usually added slowly, after they show some spiritual development and maturity.
"Listen to their stories" by selecting one of the links below:
NEW! Read the story of a rainy answer to prayer during a JESUS Film showing in Sri Lanka (published through Eurasia Snapshots).
Read the story of an unexpected occurrence at a JESUS Film showing in Bangladesh.
Read the story of an amazing baptism resulting out of the JESUS Film ministry.
Read the fascinating story of a church's birthday in Sri Lanka started as the result of the JESUS Film ministry.
If you would like to see more of what God is doing through the
JESUS Film in South Asia, watch or download this two-minute PowerPoint Slideshow (PPS;
size: 745KB). You can also use this presentation in your local
church or small group.