The JESUS Film Project
A Special Report to Ministry Partners
NEW RESEARCH SHOWS THE IMPACT OF "JESUS"
Good news! Recently, two foundations generously
funded a rigorous independent field assessment of the impact of the "JESUS"
film and the follow-up process. A premier Christian researcher led the
project. Most of the people who were studied had seen the film at least
a year prior.
His conclusions are so encouraging we wanted you to read them as well.
Many aspects were covered. These comments are highlights only.
Know that your partnership is counting, for the glory of God!
Although people who watched the film don't remember details about
stories in the film, they are profoundly affected by, and remember the
person of Jesus. What stood out in their memory, even many months later,
was His life, miracles, love and message. Its strength is that it presents
the person and divinity of Jesus.
Changed lives were evident, even many months later. Outside observers,
Christian and non-Christian alike, gave this testimony that people were
different. Communities were changed. People were growing in their faith
and knowledge of Him. Clearly the "JESUS" film leaves a witness wherever
it is shown.
Ministries, churches and denominations who work in partnership with the
"JESUS" film ministry are profoundly changed at all levels. The film serves
as a catalyst for cooperation that is amazing.
On the whole, the follow-up process is thorough, intensive, effective,
and lays a foundation for growth. The work of follow-up begins even before
the film is shown. Those who followed up learn the fundamentals of the
gospel and put them to use in their daily lives. People are still going
to church a year later.
More than anything else, these findings are a testimony to the
glory of God and the miraculous hand of Jesus. His authority and His message
The film has made a difference in our world. This film may be the most
important contribution to multiplication of the gospel among the unreached.
Dr. James F. Engel, Senior Researcher Founder, President Emeritus Development
Associates International Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University Wheaton
College, Eastern College
Together in Unity...
ADVANCING THE GREAT COMMISSION
Three years ago The JESUS Film Project and
Church of the Nazarene, a denomination representing more than 12,578 Nazarene
churches worldwide, entered into partnership to advance the fulfillment
of the Great Commission. The Nazarenes would provide the film teams and
do the follow-up. Our role, enabled by your generosity, was to provide
the projection equipment, films and training.
We traveled to Church of the Nazarene headquarters in Olathe, Kansas and
met with two key leaders of this partnership, Dr. Louie Bustle and Brian
Helstrom. We thought you would enjoy "sitting in" on the interview. For
simplicity, we have edited their comments together into a single question
and answer format.
TJFP (The JESUS Film Project): How did this partnership come about?
"Campus Crusade for Christ, through Paul Eshleman, came to us with the
idea of partnering. He offered to provide the projection equipment, films
and training. We would provide the teams, keeping them going financially
as well as organizationally. We agreed that those teams would show the
"JESUS" film 100 times a year, give an invitation at the end of each showing,
and follow up the new believers. Follow-up is something in which the Church
of the Nazarene has always been strong. But we wanted to see larger numbers
of people coming to Christ. So we said "yes." We all came out of our meeting
with tears streaming down our faces."
TJFP: Has the "JESUS" film changed the way you do ministry?
"We started slowly by training 15 Nazarene "JESUS" film teams for South
Africa. They got off to a blinding start. Hundreds, then thousands, began
coming to Christ. Word spread to other nations who wanted to join the
partnership as well. And, we've not been able to stop since! There are
now 250 teams and 50 more teams will be serving soon. What this has created
is a bunch of baby Christians. They have many questions and want to know
how to take the next steps: 'What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ?'
'What does it mean to be His discip[e?' 'I want to know the Bible.' Right
now, we're scrambling!
"This has been a huge challenge because, in the Church of the Nazarene,
we don't just make 'converts.' We make 'disciples,' which is a process.
Our goal is to move every new believer into a local body of Christ, where
they can grow as Christians, be built up, and then win others."
TJFP: What goals have you set for the teams? Are you reaching them?
"The first year was incredible. The teams quickly realized that within
three or four hours they could go into a village, set up the equipment,
show the 'JESUS' film in a language the people understood and reap an
immediate harvest the Lord had prepared.
"Soon, we set a goal for 100 million viewers by the end of the year 2010
with 10 million decisions and 3 million disciples to be placed into thousands
of churches. Instead of a 10 percent response rate, we found that 15 percent
were responding and 32 percent of the new believers were entering into
follow-up. It didn't take long to realize that we would need at least
10,000 new pastors for churches that were now exploding and being planted!
"We then recognized that most of those 10,000 new pastors didn't even
know Jesus yet, and would come directly from the new believers themselves.
So we revamped our pastor and Christian leader development strategies,
added a pastor extension education system and more. As we've always done,
we are training these new leaders in what Nazarenes call 'compassion evangelism,'
preaching, reaching and healing. It's the model the Lord gave us. In many
cases the film teams themselves become pastors and elders, and we are
TJFP: How would you sum up this whole experience?
"This partnership has absolutely changed the Church of the Nazarene. It
has been an incredible three-year journey for us. The huge growth we are
seeing today has just 'broken open the box.' Often, we feel out of breath
trying to just keep up with the pace. We can't 'do business' as before,
even with out tradition of making disciples and bringing them in as effective
members of a local church. Yet, our goals and methods are unchanged. We're
just doing more, A LOT MORE, thanks to the 'JESUS' film partnership which
is stretching us at every end. Even our churches in the United States
have come alive with this vision. Missions giving, sending, praying--they
are at all-time highs. It's wonderful."
TJFP: What would you say to other denominations or mission organizations
who might want to partner in a similar way?
"Partnership with The JESUS Film Project has been one of the best things
that has ever happened to us. We truly recommend it for every denomination.
In fact, if we would all band together, if we would pool our resources
and work as one, think of the great impact all of us could make! Campus
Crusade for Christ is willing to come alongside others, just as they have
come across our path. They have shared their resources and knowledge.
We will never be the same. The fruit speaks for itself."
With a grateful heart, I want to acknowledge the commitment of Church
of the Nazarene to the fulfillment of the Great Commission--proclaiming
the gospel and making disciples. I want to also acknowledge other wonderful
denominations and mission groups who have partnered with the same commitment.
Among them are The Southern Baptists, Christian and Missionary Alliance
Church, Child Evangelism Fellowship and World Vision. Working together,
the gospel is advancing!
Jesus said that one of the evidences for the world of His supernatural
presence in our lives was that it would see us unified in His love. The
"JESUS" film belongs to the church, worldwide. As God enables, we are
ready to work in that unity, in love. We desire to help, advise, train
and equip any organization, denomination or church that genuinely desires
to fulfill His great command. If we can help you, please let us know."
Paul Eshleman Director,
The JESUS Film Project "A Special Report to Ministry Partners" is published
by: The JESUS Film Project,
P.O. Box 72007, San Clemente, CA 92674-2007. Phone: (949) 361-7575