Reaching people with the gospel and sharing Jesus has never been more critical than it is now. Global Media Outreach (GMO) is working to become the bridge so many need by utilizing technology to introduce people to Jesus and to God’s word. Their newest campaign, called “Something Better,” is extraordinary.
GMO collaborated with internationally renowned fashion photographer Michael Belk, creator of the photo series Journeys with the Messiah — showcasing a first-century Jesus interacting with 21st-century people through the following: multiple topical web sites, cell phone networks, the internet, social media, and will be available in English and Spanish.
The Christian News Journal interviewed GMO’s Founder and Chairman Walt Wilson, who had a 45-year career in Silicon Valley. He shared about the latest campaign, his former life in Silicon Valley, and reaching people today with the gospel through technology’s power.
We thank him for this.
Tell us more about the Something Better campaign.
No matter where we are in our walks of life, we all can struggle with purpose, identity, and meaning. Global Media Outreach wants to share with everyone in the United States that something better is waiting for you. The Something Better campaign was created to meet people at their point of need and help them learn about the hope and peace that only Jesus can offer you in this very moment – truly something better. By creating a strategic alliance with Journeys with the Messiah, Global Media Outreach plans to extend their outreach by using fashion photographer Michael Belk’s, compelling images. Through this alliance, Global Media Outreach believes that people will see Jesus for who He is: loving, caring, strong and confident. The goal is to present Jesus to millions in the United States in a compelling, memorable way.
How will the Journeys with the Messiah photographs integrate with Global Media Outreach’s digital expertise?
Global Media Outreach is integrating Michael Belk’s creative and unique vision for sharing Jesus through photography into an online venue giving millions of more people the opportunity to know how to have a personal relationship with Jesus than might otherwise have. By carefully selecting keywords that align with the Journeys with the Messiah images, we will present both word and picture solutions to the very felt needs of those in the United States. For example, if someone is searching for, “I feel overwhelmed,” they could see an ad from Global Media Outreach that says, “Feeling tired and overwhelmed? Jesus has something better for you.” When they click that ad, they would be taking to a website that shows the image from Journeys with the Messiah called, “Rest for the Weary.” This combination of matching the felt needs of people in the US to relevant gospel presentations and images is a highly effective way to share the love of Jesus with millions.
What’s unique about reaching Americans and the unique challenges?
Here in America, it is said that there, “is a church on every corner.” We seem to be headed toward a post-Christian society. Something isn’t right and something needs to change. Our hope here at Global Media Outreach is that together with what the Church in America is already doing, we can increase awareness of who Jesus is not only among believers but of course to non-believers as well. Ultimately, our hope is that people will connect with a local church. So we see this effort as supportive of the local church in America. Also, as our country is becoming more and more divided, Jesus truly is the only answer to everything we are facing as a nation and as a Church. God does have “Something Better” for everyone. That’s Jesus. The unique challenge we face, however, is a shifting culture away from Christianity, toward even becoming hostile toward Christianity. Our goal is to present Jesus in a way that will cause people to stop and re-think who Jesus is and hopefully see them respond to the images. From there, our prayer is that people will say “YES” to Jesus and begin a life as a disciple of Christ. And for believers in the United States, our prayer is that this will reawaken their love for Jesus and ignite a desire to grow closer to Him and be disciples in His ways.
What opportunities do the challenges of 2020 present for digital evangelism–particularly in the U.S.?
The biggest opportunity in 2020 has been the impact of Covid giving us more opportunities to serve – we have seen more openness to spiritual issues while dealing with isolation, loneliness, and anxiety and searching for identity especially for those who have lost family, jobs and social interaction. Because we have quite a bit of data and can track – and pivot if needed – all that we do online, we are able to see what people are responding to. The past several months have seen an uptick in searches for the words mentioned above. Interestingly, a study just came out by the American Psychological Association that states that they believe there is a growing mental health crisis brewing in this country. We MUST be there for people with the fact that Jesus has answers, healing, peace, joy, and purpose, something everyone is looking for these days. So as we head further and further into the pandemic, our prayer is that people will continue to search for help and that we will be there with a gospel presentation that will literally change their lives forever.
What have you learned presenting the Gospel 2 billion times over 15 years in every country on earth that will help the Something Better campaign?
In testing multiple approaches, styles, technologies, and platforms, a direct sharing of Jesus’ love and the gift of salvation still resonates most strongly with seekers. Culture, communication, and technology shifts and evolves but the need for salvation and identity through Christ never changes.
How has your experience in Silicon Valley helped in Global Media Outreach?
As a ministry that began in Silicon Valley with leadership initially from software and hardware executives, we have been able to realize the potential of technology in sharing the gospel – beginning with the new “Romans Road” of the internet and now increasing investment into social media and other channels so we can meet someone at their point of need, communicating through the channel they prefer. Also, the technological experience many of us have at Global Media Outreach certainly helps us to be able to reach people and track effectiveness so we can therefore be as relevant to the felt needs of everyone in the United States and around the world.