How Online Ministries Can Help Reach the Unreached - Radical

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How Online Ministries Can Help Reach the Unreached

We know God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but what can Christians do when those nations seem closed to the gospel? Missionaries can try to gain access to closed countries, but sometimes they’re denied a visa and no doors are available to go into the country. In these complex situations, ministries and churches have turned to online resources and social media to sow gospel seeds and build up disciples. Here are some examples.

Christians have turned to online resources and social media to sow gospel seeds and build up disciples in hard-to-reach places.

Using Social Media to Reach People in Iran

The vast majority of those in Iran will be born, live and die without ever meeting a follower of Jesus. In this difficult place to reach, Christians are using social media to evangelize and disciple Iranians, helping people hear the gospel and come to faith. Recently, over 200 Iranian believers have completed one of these discipleship programs, studying discipleship and biblical theology. 

One Christian in Iran reflected by saying, “There are many encouraging testimonies of changed behaviors, but mainly the whole group can testify that every session we grow a bit more in our faith and our understanding of the Bible and God.” She spoke about how God has used this program to help her understand God’s grace toward her. Pray for more people in Iran to hear the gospel and come to faith through these efforts.

Leveraging Paid Advertising to Start Evangelistic Conversations in North Africa

In 2021, a team from a local church in North Africa began to utilize digital advertising to initiate gospel conversations in the region, to miraculous fruit. Today, the majority of their church membership is made up of people who first connected with them online. This type of online interaction allows them to be more open and talk more honestly one-to-one, leading to eventual in-person meetings and more direct sharing.

Take time to pray that the team would see people seeking and trusting God through his Spirit’s work of drawing unbelievers to himself. Ask the Lord to save more people to make Jesus’ name known in North Africa and among the nations.

Building a Mobile App to Provide Theological Resources for Central Asians

In Central Asia, developers are working to create a mobile app to provide local believers with hundreds of biblical resources. The team is currently building the app and curating content on pastoral ministry, theology, church history, and hermeneutics.

Take time to pray that God would use this mobile app to strengthen Christians in the region. Pray that it would enhance the work that local churches are doing and help them to disciple more Christians.

Translating Content to Provide Trusted Resources for Arabs and Persians

The Gospel Coalition is working to strengthen its online presence among Arab and Persian Christians. In 2023, TGC Farsi published over 50 articles in the Persian context. They translated 8 books and over 100 articles from English into Farsi. TGC Arabic has been working on publishing 28 theological essays and 13 free eBooks. 

TGC Arabic lead, Mina Yousef, told us that his motivation for translating these resources is because “he loves his people and loves to cooperate with other ministries to provide Arabic-speaking Christians with sound biblical and theological resources that are accurately translated.”  Pray for the work that TGC is doing to reach Arabs and Persians. Ask the Lord to strengthen their efforts and help Christians to find their content.

Utilizing the Internet to Provide Theological Training in East Asia

In East Asia, many missionaries have been forced to leave the country, leaving a need for online theological training in the region. To give house church pastors in this region an opportunity to study the Scriptures, some of these pastors are being given access to Logos Bible Software in their native language, which provides various biblical commentaries and theological resources. Take time to pray for these Christians who are experiencing persecution. Pray that this training would help them to serve their churches faithfully and grow in their love for the Lord.

Online efforts can be helpful in meeting needs in hard-to-reach places, yet God’s design is for believers to gather regularly in local churches.

The Centrality of the Local Church

Online efforts can be helpful in meeting needs in hard-to-reach places, yet God’s design is for believers to gather regularly and covenant together through membership in local churches. These churches, whether they meet publicly or secretly, visibly represent the global church across the world. 

As thankful as we are to witness and partner online with Christians and Churches, we long for the day that every follower of Jesus can gather to hear God’s Word preached, grow in the likeness of Christ, and express the love of Christ to each other and the world around them. 

Cole Shiflet is the content manager at Radical. He is a member of Redeemer Community Church and an M.Div. student at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.

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