Global Media Outreach

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How Digital Technology is Changing Missions

CGO Jamie Radtke discusses with Encounter podcast host Judy Redlich GMO's beginnings and how the gospel message is shared online.
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Read the transcript of the interview below.

Judy: Each day, millions of people search online for spiritual help or are open to the Gospel. Did you realize that? We are going to talk about an organization, Global Media Outreach, that reaches so many people each day in 13 different languages to share about Jesus. And then we’re going to talk about surrendering. How does your life surrender to Jesus, or are you so caught up in the busyness that you think, OK, I am in control of this? And how is God really a part of your day?

I’m Judy Redlich. This is Encounter, and my guest is Jamie Radtke. And she is the Chief Growth Officer for Global Media Outreach. She’s from Virginia. She lives on a farm with her husband and four children, has apple trees and different fruit trees. But she loves to share the Gospel. I’m Judy Redlich. Jamie, welcome to Encounter.

Jamie: Thank you so much for having me. It is a pleasure to be here.

Judy: Jamie, what is Global Media Outreach?

Jamie: It’s a wonderful ministry. Its mission statement is to give everyone on earth multiple opportunities to know Jesus. And we do that by leveraging technology — leveraging Google, leveraging social media, and we buy ads on those platforms. And as you said, in 13 different languages, to share the Gospel with people. And then, we give them an opportunity to indicate a decision for Christ. But even more important than that is the follow-up. They can be connected with one of our thousands of volunteer Online Missionaries, where we can disciple them and help them grow in their new faith, or if they haven’t made a decision yet, they can ask questions.

It’s just been a great way to leverage, you know? When someone asked Billy Graham about radio and TV, he said, ”Is there anything wrong with using it? We’ve got to use the technology of the day.” And the Internet is sort of like the Gutenberg printing press of 2023. Yeah, so it’s been an amazing tool to be able to share the Gospel worldwide. And do it safely and do it securely, not have to put anybody’s life at risk —and to also do it anonymously for those that you know, where that’s a risk, depending on what country they’re in.

Judy: How does that all work, Jamie? How do you reach that many people every day? What happens? Tell us the sequence.

Jamie: Yeah, so we have different language teams around the world — Portuguese and Spanish and Indonesian and Arabic. And they are really good at creating ads that are culturally contextualized to those communities — and it’s all based on felt needs. You know, we’re all asking the same questions about What is my purpose in life? Why does God allow pain and suffering? And a perfect example is what’s been going on with the war in Ukraine, with the war breaking out. What we’ve seen is people were on the Internet, in their bunkers, and in subway stations, and they had their phones. They had access to the Internet because of Elon Musk’s satellite in the sky.

And we were able to talk to people in bunkers and answer those questions of, Am I safe? What happens when I die? What happens? Why does God allow pain and suffering? and be able to engage with them in those conversations and tell them that there is a God that loves them, even in the midst of war and strife.

So that’s really what it is, it’s finding what issues are people hung up on, what issues they are struggling with and then talking to them about those particular issues and really catering to their needs of where they are in their life.

Judy: And having people on the ground who speak those 13 different languages.

Jamie: Yeah.

Judy: So it’s not just the English thing or a Spanish thing, but 13 different languages. Wow. Matthew 28:19-20 really comes alive. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”. Wow! So Jamie, how, if someone would like to volunteer, what would a volunteer go through to get trained to do this? Or do you train volunteers? How do you do that?

Jamie: We do. We will be starting a huge recruitment process at the end of this spring, early summer. Go to Globalmediaoutreach.com, and we will have an application process there. We first ask you to share your testimony. That way we know that you have a personal relationship with Christ, and we review those applications. And then there’s really a two-part process. One is the process of how you do digital discipleship. It’s different because we communicate with people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. And so, how you communicate in email versus how you communicate in a Twitter direct message is very different. So, we talk about digital discipleship. And then we also train them on the tools. So there’s the technology aspect, and then there’s the theology. And it’s a great opportunity whether you have five hours or 20 hours to give each week.

We see a lot of elderly people who think, oh, I can’t do anything. I can’t go on mission trips. I’m not physically able to get around. But you can do this right from your home, and you can literally be speaking to people around the world, and sharing the hope of the Gospel, right from your own home. So it’s a powerful way to stay active in fulfilling the great commission regardless of your situation.

Judy: And where can people go to find out more?

Jamie: They can go to Globalmediaoutreach.com.

Judy: Jamie, Tell us a little bit about you and your family. And just the journey of how you got to Global Media Outreach.

Jamie: That’s a great question. So, I grew up in a military household. I grew up where my dad is not a believer, and my mother is, and I was always … dinner times were really interesting. I was always asked tough questions about, so you just happen out of all the religions you could have been born into, you happen to be born in a place where people believe Christianity. I was always asked these tough questions, and so it always had me thinking from a young age. I went into the political arena. I was in politics for 25 years, and that culminated in my running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. What I found there is that young people had the same types of questions.

Even on the campaign trail, they were asking, What is my purpose? Who are my people? Why does God allow pain and suffering? And so, I picked up this idea in politics of where you micro-target audiences based on issues they care about. You know — Do you care about life? Do you care about taxes? And you mobilize in the poll on Election Day.

I started to think, what if we could do that for the Gospel? What if we could figure out the questions that people are struggling with spiritually? Leverage technology as we do in politics. Talk to them about those issues. And not mobilize them to polls on Election Day but mobilize them into churches and faith communities. And I quickly partnered with a gentleman who had started Explore God, Exploregod.com, that was doing the exact same thing.

And so, this journey of being able to ask spiritual questions and being ready to give a quick defense of our faith has been something that’s been a part of my journey from a very young age. And people are hungry. We are seeing that people are hungry in this world, and even in the U.S. And they’re asking questions, and you know where they go? They spend eight hours a day on the Internet, and everybody has a smartphone. And the first place they go is not into the door of a church. The first place they go to is Google — Google or social media. And so, we want to be there with the truth of the Gospel when they’re searching.

Judy: And how the Internet has exponentially increased the ability to share the Gospel with people worldwide! How many people have you been able to share the Gospel with since you started your endeavor?

Jamie: Well, since Global Media Outreach was started in 2004, we’ve shared the Gospel over 2 billion times.

Judy: How do you keep the …what warrants that statistic? How do you measure it?

Jamie: Yeah. So we direct people to Gospel landing pages. And if they get all the way to the bottom of the page, read the entire page, or they watch the entire video, then we count that as a Gospel presentation. And then, we have an opportunity for them to indicate a decision and then to give us their contact information if they’d like to be connected one-on-one with a volunteer Online Missionary.

So, on an annual basis, we’re getting anywhere from 1.1 to 1.5 million people who want follow-up engagement to learn more about who Jesus is and what He can mean in their life. And so, really, the Internet has opened the doors. Because not only are we able to reach people (we do this for less than 10 cents a person — to share the Gospel for less than 10 cents), but also, there’s the safety issue. We live in a very volatile and unsafe world. And so, our ability to talk to an Arabic Muslim woman in Libya and not have to put her life at risk, or to talk to a teenager in the U.S. who’s struggling with suicidal ideation is very powerful because you can come to them right on their phones.

Judy: Wow, that many people since 2004? And how you measure the stats on that. That’s amazing. So, stories, my audience always knows that I love my guests to share a story of how God showed up.

Jamie: Yes. Well, God has shown up in my life in many different ways. One has just been this ministry. When I ran for the U.S. Senate back in 2012, I thought the purpose of running for the U.S. Senate was to win the race. And what I didn’t see God doing was bringing people into my life that I was able to share the Gospel with. We had people come to faith on my campaign. We had people getting baptized. And I didn’t end up winning the race, but what it ended up doing is God planting the seed of if you could leverage technology to do, you know, an election, what could you do, what was possible for the Gospel? And so all of the donors and the supporters I had from my Senate race were people who helped launch this ministry back in 2012 and in 2013. And so, it’s been interesting to see how, what we think are detours are often the paths God always intended us to be on in the beginning.

Judy: And we’re going to talk more about those detours in our lives in the next segment. Would you join me for another segment, Jamie?

Jamie: I would love to.

Judy: I’m Judy Redlich and this is Encounter. We’re talking with Jamie Radtke, who is the Chief Growth Officer at Global Media Outreach. Again, that website, if people want to get involved or learn more.

Jamie: Globalmediaoutreach.com.

Judy: Globalmediaoutreach.com. Hey, I’m Judy Redlich. We’ll be back after this break.

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Global Media Outreach

Would you like to help others find eternal hope through a personal relationship with Christ? You can donate to Global Media Outreach to support online Gospel outreach!

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