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Tech, Media, and a New Move of God

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Box office hit films spotlighting faith. Super Bowl commercials about Jesus. Ads inviting viewers to take a moment to pray. These are just some of the cultural moments in recent years that are turning people's eyes toward faith.

As leaders of organizations that seek to serve the big C Church, it's humbling to see how God can move through technology, media and cutural trends to make himself known. Even more encouraging is to see diverse ministry partners coming together to contribute to that goal, but not in uniformity. Rather, they're using their unique strengths to collectively introduce the world to Jesus in the most innovative ways.

One way we're seeing this take shape is through the transformative power of storytelling. In a recent study on faith in TV, 80% of global audiences say it is important for the entertainment industry to improve their portrayals of faith and make them more accurate. People want to experience God by knowing more about his story.

In response to that desire, we are seeing a new caliber of media emerging through vivid and beautiful stories of faith told through TV, film and even social media. Incredibly talented artists and creators, inspired by the gospel — God's good news — are capturing people's attention and engaging the masses in fresh, relatable and authentic ways.

The Chosen stands out as an example of how people are eager to hear the story of Jesus in an imaginative, relatable way. Having surpassed two hundred million views, the show has become a worldwide phenomenon — putting it on par with the viewership of Game of Thrones. And to make it possible for the entire world to experience the authentic portrayal of Jesus, all seven seasons of the show are being translated into 600 languages.

The cultural longing is there. In response, scores of talented, mission-inspired creatives are stepping into this space. But what's really incredible is how technology and cooperative collaboration can make it scale. 

For instance, Come and See and Gloo are collaborating with The Chosen to help churches and faith ministries do what they do best — serve their communities through evangelism and discipleship.

Because of the tools readily available at no cost, church leaders can create a safe space through conversations for people to explore faith and ultimately their own relationship with Jesus. In addition, many organizations are joining the collaboration to connect with those outside the church walls with the show too, as campus ministries host small group watch parties and prison ministries use it to share Jesus with incarcerated individuals. 

As each ministry does this in its own way, serving the unique needs of their community, we start to see the beautiful mosaic of the big C Church fitting together, forming a more cohesive picture of its collective might. Each participating partner brings their unique strengths — whether creative or technological or both — to community and relationships, inviting people to know Jesus in a deeper way and ultimately helping them flourish.

As encouraging as the results of these collaborations have been so far, we can only expect to see this trend accelerate. There is rising spiritual openness in our country. Barna data indicates the majority of Americans believe in a higher power, and most are curious and interested in spiritual matters. People are hungry for something to fill the void, and they are searching their phones, computers and streaming services for answers. The time is now for churches and ministries to bring their unique gifts and missions forward, joining together to invite more people into a personal relationship with Jesus.  

The Church's work to make Jesus known has never changed. And the opportunity for the Church to thrive and help people flourish is greater than it has ever been. This new movement toward God — fueled by technology, media and storytelling and fed by many diverse churches and ministries — will continue to expand as people contribute their unique strengths and callings toward one shared goal: to take the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth. 

Scott Beck is co-founder and CEO of Gloo, the trusted platform that releases the collective might of the faith ecosystem.

Stan Jantz is the CEO of Come and See, which ensures that "The Chosen" remains free for all while translating the series into 600 languages. 

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Beck & Stan Jantz