TWR MOTION Brings Video to Longtime Broadcaster’s Expanding Toolkit
By Michael Ireland, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
CARY, NC (ANS, Jan.11, 2017) – As internet video viewing soars, TWR is launching the groundbreaking ministry TWR MOTION to use visual media for sharing the gospel with unreached people.
Backed by TWR’s six decades of cross-cultural ministry and network of international partnerships, MOTION is uniquely equipped to assist the Church in using video not only to lead people to Christ but also to make disciples. With daily video views topping 16 billion per day on YouTube and Facebook combined, visual media have become an essential channel for connecting with audiences – especially the younger people who compose large percentages of many hard-to-reach countries.
On its website, TWR says there are places in our world where people live their whole lives without ever hearing the gospel or meeting a follower of Jesus. Those same people are spending countless hours watching videos online and being influenced by the messages they find. TWR MOTION assists the church to connect this new generation of internet-savvy unreached people groups with the message of Jesus by using visual media.
TWR MOTION focuses on three key areas of ministry: training the local church, producing original content, and developing missiological research and strategies.
The website says: “As a ministry of Trans World Radio (TWR), we have a strong international network of indigenous ministries and local pastors that are hungry for evangelistic media training to reach their own cultures. We are also able come alongside these indigenous ministries to create original video content that shares the story of the gospel with unreached people groups in their heart language. Finally, using the lessons learned from our projects, TWR MOTION helps equip other ministries to communicate the gospel by providing research and strategies for evangelizing cross-culturally using visual media.”
“You go into urban areas and see hundreds of young people crowded around with their devices watching videos and video chatting,” said Tyler Gates, the ministry director of TWR MOTION. “Video is the preferred medium for whatever bandwidth they can get. The truth is it’s cutting across every society.”
Gates has traveled extensively since joining TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) nearly five years ago as the global video coordinator. Since then he has built a small but growing team of visual-media producers who have created multiple promotional videos for TWR and laid the international foundation for the fully fledged new ministry.
TWR CEO Lauren Libby gave the launch a historical context in a news release from the broadcast ministry.
“TWR is a mass-media ministry, and though radio has been our primary platform, our founder, Dr. Paul Freed, recognized the importance of film from day one,” Libby said. “In fact, he produced several short, gospel-centered films that were shown in churches. We’ve seen that radio and video are complementary mediums, so it’s great to have TWR MOTION to bring a fresh, visual context that can build on the foundation TWR has created.”
The ministry says an animated-plus-live-action video series presenting the Bible story in the cultural context of a North African people group is already slated for release in the summer. It will be MOTION’s first major production.
But TWR says production is only one prong of MOTION’s strategy. A conference in Germany later in 2017 will bring together more than 20 of TWR’s national partners to provide training and develop cooperative relationships to encourage the ministries’ surging interest in using visual media to reach more people.
The third prong centers on research, as MOTION develops effective and responsible techniques for translating and contextualizing video productions to be used in other cultures.
TWR has long offered such services to cooperating media partners producing audio content, but MOTION is embarking on relatively uncharted territory when it comes to visual media. Gates and his team look ahead to a time when they, too, will be able to make this information and related services available to cooperating partners wishing to extend their visual-media ministries.
TWR says production will continue to be a key part of what MOTION does – the team already has more project requests than it has capacity to fulfill, Gates stated. But he said the new ministry will be most effective by helping national partners achieve success through their own efforts, because those productions will inherently be geared to the culture of the intended audience.
“Almost 100 percent of people under age 25 are going on social-media platforms and looking outside their own worldviews for first time,” he said. “And right now, the gospel is usually not there to meet them in their heart languages.”
To watch a brief video about TWR MOTION, learn more about the ministry or even get involved, check out twrmotion.org.
Media Contact: David McCreary, 919-460-3778 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo Caption: 1) TWR MOTION team members Andrew Haas and Elizabeth Harrison record TWR missionary Garth Kennedy while making a video in West Africa. 2) TWR Logo. 3) Michael Ireland
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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