Jesus Film and WhatsApp

A WhatsApp message prevents suicide

Baako wasn’t searching for God when he received a WhatsApp message that would change his life. Along with 4,000 other college students in Ghana, he received a WhatsApp message that included a scene from the Jesus Film.

The WhatsApp message blast was part of a campaign by a student ministry in Ghana to reach students using clips from the Jesus Film and the Walking with Jesus series. After the video clip was broadcast, many students messaged back saying they had made a decision to start following Christ. Baako was one of them, but his situation was a bit more dramatic than most.

During follow-up discussions with a missionary, Baako asked if there are any videos on suicide. “For the past four years, I have been contemplating suicide,” he said. The missionary and others on the ministry team continued to exchange messages with Baako. “He only stopped from committing suicide because he got the video that we sent him through WhatsApp,” says Kumah, a digital strategist leading the ministry.

Eventually, they called Baako and were able to visit him. Ministry volunteers went through the Walking with Jesus series with Baako, answering his questions and helping him grow in his new faith. Feeling more assured of his salvation in Christ, Baako joined Kumah’s church and plans to get baptized. “He has started sharing his faith,” Kumah says. “And every day we speak on the phone and chat, he says that God is changing his life one day at a time.”

The WhatsApp outreach was part of the Ghana team’s digital discipleship, or as Kumah calls it, “digiship.” Even at a distance, discipleship is something that we can and must do as followers of Christ, but what if you have never done any digital discipleship and don’t know how to get started? Here are some ideas.

Getting started

The communication part is easy. You can use whatever platform you prefer for messaging, whether it’s WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or whatever.

If you need some material to go through together, like how Baako went through the Walking with Jesus series, there are a lot of great options. 

  • For video content, really anything on the Jesus Film app can work or you can choose an Adventure on Voke.
  • For written content, EveryStudent.com has a lot of great resources.  

If you would like more guided help and a bit more structure with your discipleship, there are a couple ways to do that:

  • The Mentor Ministry is a great way to do evangelism and discipleship via email and all online mentors go through thorough training before they write their first message.
  • Discipleship.Space is a great platform that offers online discipleship lessons to help new believers grow in their new life with Christ. Those who sign up for the courses are matched with an e-coach to guide them through their ministry.

With so many ways to take part in digital discipleship, you should be able to find a way that suits you, so take a step of faith and get started. The resulting life change for people like Baako is worth it.

Run

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

  • Use one of the tools listed in this article to do “digiship.”

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