|In 2013, we piloted an idea – why not use the Jesus Film not only to call people to follow Jesus Christ, but as a gathering point to link them to a Bible study group where they could meet regularly, discuss the Word of God, and grow deeper in their new faith?
The idea worked!
However, the pilot was done with farmer groups that had been birthed during the time when the Acholi people lived in internally displaced people camps due to the insurgency of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). These groups were being phased out. Some groups continued regardless, but many of them ceased to exist.
Meanwhile, a local pastor, Pastor Donato, kept asking Emmanuel International to come and show the Jesus Film in various villages. Michael met with him and said that we are willing to show the film, but we also see that simply showing the film isn’t enough. Traditional “hit-and-run” evangelism often results in large numbers of decisions for Christ, but the Church doesn’t grow, and the people inevitably fall away for lack of nurturing. Mike then shared the experience from the 2013 pilot, and Pastor Donato got excited.
In 2016, volunteers from 18 village churches were trained in a week-long training co-run by Emmanuel International and the local association of Pentecostal churches. The training included Christian leadership, follow-up with new believers, and how to lead a discussion-based Bible study.