MISSIONS EVENT 2021: “OUR DIGITAL FUTURE”
The disciples and Paul put in an enormous effort to spread Jesus’ life and teaching. Nevertheless, they were limited by time, place, and a lack of technology. Today, it is possible to spread the gospel at the touch of a button, and BCC is going to make use of these possibilities.
By: Ulrikke Andresen/Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by: Øystein Vårdal
This was how the missions event during BCC’s Pentecost Conference was introduced, and the theme of the broadcast was “Our Digital Future”. All people must be given the opportunity to hear the gospel that Jesus preached, and the physical, and technical limitations are completely different today than they were a few generations ago.
There will therefore be a lot of focus going forward on conveying the gospel digitally, and the viewers heard more about this in the online missions event that concluded an inspiring Pentecost conference.
The digital development continues
With help of a green screen studio, built in the weeks leading up to the missions event, the event took place in a virtual universe depicting Jerusalem in the year 33 AD. Jerusalem was the place where Jesus’ disciples received The Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which enabled them to carry out the great commission Jesus gave them – to go out and make disciples of all nations.
This was the backdrop for several inspiring items presenting plans for future missions work in BCC Media, and the studio clearly showcased the possibilities in modern technology.
A large collaboration project will open up many possibilities in the future
“Producing this broadcast has been an exciting process in which we have worked across the disciplines of different professions,” says Elise Schöll, director for the event.
“Everything, from the carpentry to the directing and production of the film and music, to the setup of the 3D universe, took place in a short time. Now we have a studio that can be used in a number of new productions going forward, and we managed it due to such good teamwork.”
This new presentation technique will help reach new and younger target groups with the gospel. It will be used in the Sunday school project in the time ahead and to reach young people with the message of the Bible in new ways.
The studio showed several of the possibilities we have in technology. Swipe to see more pictures. Photos: BCC Media
Experience the Bible in 3D
How do we get the young people of today interested in the message of the Bible, and how do we help them understand it? Why not just read the Bible like before? The program host asked these questions when he introduced the exciting innovations that BCC Media is working on.
One thing we do know for sure: to reach young people you have to be on the same platforms that they are. That way it’s possible to bring young people the message in the Bible in new ways.
One arena that is growing over the whole world today is gaming. According to American studies, 70% of young people play computer games.* Looking at all age groups, the number of gamers is increasing all over the world, and it is estimated that 40% of the world’s population will be playing video games by 2023.
Against this background, BCC Media has been working over the past year to create a 3D depiction of Jerusalem as it was 2000 years ago. With help from gaming technology, the message of the Bible can be conveyed right on the screen, independent of location or time zone. You can play alone, or together with others, and meet the people from the Bible. In this way, Jesus’ gospel is conveyed directly to the player.
A 3D replication of Jerusalem 2000 years ago, where young people can explore and experience the time Jesus lived in, and learn more about the gospel. (Swipe to see more). Photo: BCC Media
“It’s going to be really cool to learn more about the stories in the Bible”
Live pictures from the demo version of the game were shown for the first time on Sunday, and in a film we saw a group of young people from Norway and Canada test it out. They could solve tasks and experience Jesus’ time and the people He met, as well as see and hear what He Himself thought in different situations He encountered.
The young people were excited about what they saw, and said that they were impressed by effects in the game and that they were looking forward to learning more about the history and importance of Jesus’ life.
“I feel lucky. It is going to be cool to learn more about the Bible stories. It was fun to play, and I look forward to when the game is available.” (Thomas)
The production is currently in the starting phase, and there is a planned test version launch in 2022. The target group for the release of this game is young Christians over the whole world – everyone who wants a good quality product for Christian education and entertainment purposes.
Watch the young people test the game here:
Sunday school is blossoming
At the same time as there is a big focus on youth in BCC Media, a project is underway to improve the local Sunday school work. Going forward, this will be an important cooperation project between local churches and BCC Media.
During the past year, BCC Media has already made a lot of progress with this work, with several animated series, Sunday school broadcasts, and content for teenagers being published on their YouTube channel. This project is now continuing with the goal of improving the presentation of the gospel in local Sunday schools worldwide. As part of this project, a Sunday school coordinator will be employed, who will be the link between the local churches and the central media production.
During the missions event, Kåre J. Smith underlined the importance of the work with the children and of taking care of those growing up in the church. One of the central aims is that everyone should experience warmth and goodness, so that they can look back on a good experience in the church, no matter what they choose later. Caring mentors, activities, and inspiring ways of sharing Bible stories are a good combination to give faith, security, and love for Jesus a good foundation, so that the children can have Jesus as their friend.
Inspired fellow believers
The missions event was very inspiring for the viewers, both to be personally faithful to Jesus’ words in everyday life, and to share the gospel with others in their surroundings. The donations that came in during the event reflected the enthusiasm for this work, with over 20 million NOK being donated to further the work of the gospel.
“It is inspiring to experience what we achieve together when vision and technology are combined,” says Elise Schöll.
“This will be a major focus going forward, which we hope will be of great benefit for children and youth in the church, but also for Christians all over the world.”