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The JESUS Film Project
A Special Report to Ministry Partners


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 were evident.

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

Working Together in Unity...

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 training accordingly."

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

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