“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.” 1 Chronicles 12.32
This scripture reminds me of the importance of having a plan for what’s next. Late last year, GNPI completed a new strategic plan. Over the next several weeks, I want to walk you through the major points of that plan, so you’ll know exactly where the ministry is headed.
Our first stop: continuing GNPI’s rich heritage of utilizing technology tools to spread the Gospel. GNPI is no stranger to using innovative technology to share the Good News. Remember our significant use of satellite uplink technology in the past?
Understanding the times means knowing how to use relevant technology to advance God’s Kingdom.
Because of the realities above I’ve shared with you, GNPI is looking at the next “new thing” as delivery of content over mobile devices. Mobile Apps allow for the viral spread of Christian media content.
We’re going to explore new ways to use mobile Apps to deliver the message of Christ to a world that needs him more than anything else.
Why mobile Apps? Mobile Apps have now spread across almost every culture. Look at these facts:
This year, the total number of mobile phones ever produced will exceed the world’s population, which is slightly over 7 billion. The number of mobile accounts in existence is around 6.7 billion. While every minute there are 71 births, 406 people get a new mobile phone account.
In 2004, there were 100 million cameras of any type sold worldwide. In 2012, there were 1.5 billion phones with cameras inside.
There are more mobile phones in the world than toilets, and more people use a mobile phone than use a toothbrush. Additionally, by the end of 2014, the majority of Internet usage will be through mobile devices.
Is your head spinning yet?
While it can be overwhelming to think of the proliferation of mobile technology, look at some of the opportunities and reasons we must act now.
- The percentage of Internet users accessing the Internet through mobile devices is greatest in developing countries. In developing countries, early adoption of mobile Apps is available to the Church, but those opportunities are disappearing quickly as commercial usage and government control increase.
- Mobile Apps provide one of the most economically viable means for creation and distribution of Christian content.
- Many times, mobile devices are present when believers come in contact with the lost, and these devices can be leveraged in those encounters.
- Mobile devices provide a powerful way to reach vast numbers of those who are most difficult to reach (hidden, oral learners, women, and children).
- Mobile devices provide one of the most powerful media platforms for 2-way communication and for the development of face-to-face relationships.
- The mobile App is an individual’s most personal/intimate media device. When the Gospel is shared via this device, it is shared in one of the person’s most personal/intimate spaces. As a grandpa, I FaceTime with my grandchildren. When we say goodbye, we sometimes kiss each other goodbye on the phone. What other devices are we willing to kiss?
Jesus came “at just the right time” when language was common, and Roman roads were working to spread culture, education, and commerce. Today, the Gospel has yet another chance to spread like never before, because “at just the right time” the church seized the opportunity of technology – a new Roman road through Apps!