Judy and Donovan Mosley left the church.
“In the church, you expect to find friends, but we didn’t,” explains Donovan. “People were so busy with church things, and the only way to connect with anybody was to connect to church projects.”
The Mosleys are a young couple from Milton, Ky. They were raised in Christian homes and wanted to nurture their children in the faith.
“We wanted to do all the ‘right’ things,” says Judy. “I thought following Jesus was a set of rules. We followed all the ABCs.”
In trying to please God, Judy and Donovan served as youth workers and volunteered in many church ministries. They wore Christian T-shirts, read their children Christian books, and put Jesus bumper stickers on their car.
“I carried God in a box for most of my Christian life,” says Donovan. “I had the right lingo. But I observed the ‘lost’ forming bonds and friendships I had never seen through our local church.
“Judy and I prayed about this decision and felt moved by God to remain out of the brick and mortar for a period.”
Judy adds, “We had to figure out where the truth was in all of this.”
“We left the church to discover how to love and take care of people,” says Donovan. “But leaving the church also left a hole in our hearts.”
Searching for spiritual refreshment, Judy reconnected with the Christian community through a web-based program produced by ReFrame Media, the English-language ministry of Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI), the electronic media ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
She discovered Under the Radar, an inspirational music program. Then she told Donovan about a link she found to the Walk the Way video blog. He appreciated its daily challenges to put his faith into action.
Soon the Mosleys joined the ThinkChristian community, another ReFrame Media website sponsored by BTGMI, where they converse with people around the world about faith, culture, and what it means to be a Christian in today’s society.
Under the Radar, Walk the Way, and ThinkChristian are three of ReFrame Media’s newest programs that help people see God’s story in their lives. Reaching out to today’s media-savvy but often skeptical culture, these programs join a family of evangelistic and discipleship resources that include The Back to God Hour, the Today devotional, Kids Corner, and Spotlight. The programs are designed to help nurture the faith of people of all ages.
“The Mosleys are a prime example of how ReFrame Media comes alongside people wherever they are in life,” explains Rev. Steven Koster, director of ReFrame Media. “Each of our eight programs [see “ReFrame Media at a Glance,” p.25] uniquely uses media tools to reach people of all ages, building bridges to our other programs and to the wider Christian community.”
“ReFrame Media holds the capacity to reach different people,” affirms Judy. “I’m more into words and music, so Under the Radar and ThinkChristian feed me. Donovan gets more into Walk the Way and shares what he hears. It’s a place to wake up your mind and your spirit, to get you to start thinking. I found out I was not alone. I heard God speaking again.”
Like many younger adults, the Mosleys wanted more than a brick-and-mortar building with the latest bells and whistles. They have a passion for discipling new believers, and through their experiences God has opened doors for them to talk with others who have left the church. They pray that God will lead them to a new group of believers, and are open to the possibility of starting a new church fellowship in their community.
They do not recommend that everyone leave church as they did, but they pray that people in the church will live lives transformed by the Word of God and reach out to those who are struggling. ReFrame Media is helping the Mosleys to do just that.
Did you know?
More than one-fifth of the world’s population speaks or understands English.
Through media we reach literally every country of the world. In fact, through its outreach ministries in 2008, the ReFrame Media team documented more than 659,000 contacts with people in 201 countries—and our impact is growing. We surpassed that number in the first eight months of 2009!
Every month an average of 79,880 individuals log on to one of BTGMI/ReFrame Media’s eight websites for discipleship and evangelism opportunities.
Clubs Turn Listeners Toward Jesus
Do you know someone for whom English is a second language? Are you or your church looking for a practical way to build relationships and offer assistance? Take a look at how Spotlight Listeners’ Clubs are changing lives worldwide.
Back to God Ministry International’s Spotlight radio program, produced in partnership with ReFrame Media, Feba, and Words of Hope, presents topics of international interest from a Christian perspective. Listeners’ Clubs bring together fans of the program, build relationships with those who wish to learn English, and open the door to introduce them to Jesus Christ.
Augusto Lenin, 38, from Quito, Ecuador, joined a Spotlight Listeners’ Club at a local church. The Quito Listeners’ Club was started in November 2002 by a ministry partner of Back to God Ministries International. Through Spotlight’s specialized English broadcasts (spoken slowly, using a limited vocabulary), Lenin could listen to interesting programs, practice speaking English, and build relationships with English-speaking Christian volunteers.
Over time, he did learn English. But he was also the first person in the Listeners’ Club ministry to come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He recently wrote, “I would like to work for God so that my life can have meaning for the rest of my years.” Following Lenin’s step of faith, many others have come to know Christ through the Quito Spotlight Listeners’ Club.
Clubs have also been started in Ecuador, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States, and inquiries are coming in from Nepal as well as from several countries in South America. Some Spotlight clubs draw up to 150 people who meet weekly to practice English and build relationships.
Robin Basselin, BTGMI’s Spotlight coordinator, hopes that more North American churches will use the free Spotlight Listeners’ Club materials as a tool for helping them reach out to their communities.
“Many churches have implemented ESL [English as a Second Language] courses as outreach programs. They provide a valuable service in order to build relationships with neighbors. But many ESL materials do not have an explicit Christian worldview. This is what sets Spotlight Listeners’ Clubs apart. We can provide free audio programs, written scripts, discussion questions, and other resources for ESL classes.”
If you or your church would like to reach people like Augusto through a Spotlight Listeners’ Club in your own community, contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.SpotlightRadio.net/slc.
—Nancy Vander Meer, Back to God Ministries International
The people of Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, Mich., sponsored a moms’ support group to reach out to the many Japanese women living in their neighborhood. Soon they realized a greater need was to help the women learn English so they could function better in their new community.
Jean Jacquin and her leadership team started a Spotlight Listeners’ Club. Each week around 30 women meet to listen to Spotlight programs, discuss the topics, and practice speaking English.
As they built relationships through conversation, several women began asking questions about the Christian faith. Chikako and Sen meet weekly with Jean for in-depth Bible study. What started as a support program for women has become an important avenue for welcoming them into the family of God.
Seeing God’s Story in Your Life
We minister to a world that is ever more skeptical of Christianity.
David Kinnaman from the Barna Group wrote the popular book unChristian based on research into how young non-Christians view Christianity. Kinnaman’s study finds that many 16- to 29-year-olds see Christianity as negative, opposing more things than it embraces. The study also notes a common perception that “Christianity has changed from what it used to be. Christianity no longer looks like Jesus.”
Although Kinnaman’s study focused primarily on young non-Christians, people who identify themselves as Christian are also becoming disillusioned with the church. A long-time listener to The Back to God Hour and Today reader asked, “What do you have for my grandchildren? How are you reaching them?”
A key challenge for the church is to help the next generation see God’s relevance in their lives. In 2009, Back to God Ministries International renamed its English-language ministry “ReFrame Media” to more effectively reach people of all ages in various stages of their faith journey.
As the ReFrame Media team works to share God’s Word, our goal is to authentically help people see God’s story in their lives. When people see God’s story in their lives, their whole world is “reframed” within the gospel perspective. We are here to walk beside people, wherever they are in life. We want to show them how God is already at work restoring, refreshing, renewing, and reforming their lives.
Whether you are meeting Jesus for the first time, looking for ways to grow in faith, or desiring to disciple others, reframe-media.com will help you find resources to nurture your faith and that of your friends and family.
—Rev. Steven Koster is ReFrame Media director for BTGMI.
Thanks to your support, BTGMI and ReFrame Media are reaching English-speaking people worldwide and providing tools for you to use to disciple people in your own neighborhood.
ReFrame Media at a Glance
ReFrame Media’s eight ministry programs offer a variety of resources delivered in traditional and new ways. Here’s how ReFrame can help you rediscover God’s story in your life or nurture faith in others. Where do you see yourself in these media ministries?
Add BackToGodRadio.net to your website favorites list so you can listen at your convenience. You can also hear The Back to God Hour on one of 106 local radio stations in Canada and the U.S. (and 41 international stations). CDs of the messages are also available.
Sign up to receive your TODAY devotional by e-mail, podcast, or as a print copy at ThisIsToday.net. Every other month 350,000 printed TODAY booklets are distributed worldwide; 3,671 people subscribe to the daily devotional by e-mail.
Introduce your children or grandchildren to the resources at KidsCorner.net to help them become lifelong followers of Jesus. Kids Corner also airs on 392 radio outlets.
Learn how to live out your faith in everyday life at WalkTheWay.net with our daily video blog challenge. Walk the Way airs on 412 outlets and can be accessed on Facebook or delivered via SMS to your phone.
Tune in to RadarRadio.net to hear the best undiscovered music from Christian artists, along with Under the Radar interviews and stories. Under the Radar is also available on 60 stations and through iTunes.
Share your faith at ThinkChristian.net. An average of 25,649 people check out the Think Christian website each month, and hundreds participate in the ongoing blog with those who may be wondering how Christians can impact today’s world. Think Christian is also gaining fans on Facebook.
Start a Spotlight Listeners’ Club to help people learn English as a second language. See SpotlightRadio.net for materials produced from a Christian perspective. The Spotlight radio program airs on the Internet and on 73 stations worldwide.
Check out ChurchJuice.com for resources your church can use for effective local media outreach. Watch for how this developing website will provide tools for energizing your church’s witness.