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Cell Phone Ministry . . .

July 23, 2015


Note: The following article was edited on 03-21-2017 for the purpose

of providing the most “up-to-date” information and resources.


Cell phones have proven to be a great resources for ministry outreach. It used to be that we would have to carry around heavy equipment or lots of printed Bibles if we were going to show the Jesus film and distribute Bibles to people.


We also got into the distribution of Proclaimers and other solar powered audio Bibles . . . the concept of the audio Bible for the oral cultures was a great idea, but to try and distribute these audio devices just turned out to be too expensive.


Now we have switched to using cell phones. Modern technology has opened the doors for effective distribution of the Gospel.


















Cell phones are everywhere now. Regardless of where you go in the world there are people who have cell phones. We have found that even in the most remote locations where there is no electricity and hardly any cell phone service, still, there is at least one person who owns a cell phone in that location.


TYPES OF CELL PHONES


Most international phones use SIM cards to connect to a network. These same phones will often have an additional slot for a micro SD card.


Other phones (like smartphone, iPhones, etc) do not have this option, but they have the ability to connect to WiFi and download material directly from the internet.


Either type of phone can work for the purpose of “Mobile Ministry”. If the phone takes the micro SD cards, you can purchase these cards on Ebay, Amazon, or even at a local shop, and use your computer to copy files onto the memory card. We have found that the 2GB memory cards are really good. They are very affordable and have enough memory space for two versions (or languages) of the audio Bible.


If you purchase 4GB memory cards they are cost a bit more but they give plenty space for the audio Bible, the Jesus film, and additional music or sermons . . . whatever else you want to add.


Be careful about going much bigger than the 4GB since not all phones can accept larger memory cards. Most can take up to 4GB, but a lot of phones have trouble reading the 8GB or larger memory cards.


WHERE TO FIND MOBILE MEDIA


* Faith Comes by Hearing has the audio New Testament available for FREE download in over 720 languages. All their audio files are in MP3 format (which means they work great on cell phones!).


* Jesus Film Media has the JESUS film available for FREE download in 1,200 different languages. Many of these languages also have other films available for FREE download. Simply search for the language you are needing and your search will show what films they have available in that language. All their videos are available for download. They average about 350mb in size, which fit on the memory cards and play very well on mobile phones.


* Global Recording Network has lots of Bible stories in over 6,000 different languages. Their stories include Creation, the Flood, Joshua, Gideon, and more! These stories can be especially valuable for language groups that do not yet have the Old Testament translation.


* Renew Outreach has a mobile ministry program and lots of mobile phone apps and media resources.


* YouTube is another great place to find resources for cell phone ministry. Check out the article I wrote on using YouTube for Ministry Outreach.


NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?


* Bible TransMission gives very specific instructions on how to transfer media to the micro SD cards. Read their article: Offline Distribution Sharing Instructions.


* Renew Outreach gives an online Quick Start Tutorial Course to help you get started in using mobile media tools in ministry.



CONVERT VIDEO TO 3GP FORMAT


Most of the videos being distributed online are in the MP4 format, which is a format that can work on a great many devices. However, when working with media for cell phones, it is often best to have your videos in a 3GP format, as this particular format can work on the cheaper, low cost phones that would not otherwise be able to play MP4 files.


You can download a FREE 3PG Converter program to convert videos into the 3PG format. Here is the link to the free converter program:


>> Free ABC 3GP/MP4 Converter (from Softonic)