Visual Story Network

(Re-posted from Mobile Media Ministry forum because of its missional nature)

I am new here, so I am not sure if this topic has been brought up before. It may already be in development by more than one person for all I know.

I am currently moving forward on an idea for a mobile application, but would like some input and some counsel. I have made a few important contacts, begun to gather financial support, and am working on a promotional video to help explain the concept. My hope is to gather more interest/support and hopefully be joined by some like-minded friends along the way.  I feel that if the product doesn't already exist, this would be a great place to gather info and ideas to help make the App more functional. I will most likely be starting a Kickstarter.com account to see if I could get the whole thing crowdfunded by believers online.

There are many Bible apps, but are there any true evangelism apps that allow you to download your videos and store them in one location outside of the phone video library? The number of excellent video "tracts" and discussion starters are growing, but why is it so hard to find and gather them? To complicate the matters, I have come across many people that have no idea how to add media to their phone via computer.

There are many videos that are only available online (such as the I Am Second series). Streaming an evangelism tool is tough, and there are many places where streaming is not practical or even possible. With the growing storage space available on mobile devices, it is possible the time is right to be able to download and store all of your tools in one app without even having to use your computer. While such an App my have to start out as the product of one media producer, it would be ideal if there was one location where you could access tools from Campus Crusade, The Jesus Film, The Billy Graham Association, Josh McDowell and more- most of which could be free. This would be a cross between a modern storehouse of independent producers such as Worshiphousemedia.com or Sermonspice.com and The American Tract Society.

Add to this the ability to bypass translators when needed by having tools in multiple languages. Then utilize the power of the mobile phone to include follow-up emails for new converts, the ability to link with missionaries on the field you are working with, data collection of new converts (photos, contact info, phone, email, etc.), GPS for missions teams in dangerous areas, a map sent to the new converts of Bible-believing churches in their area, and endless possibilities when it comes to getting discipleship materials into the hands of those who need it most.

Maybe it is all a little too much. Perhaps something similar has been discussed for years on these boards. However, it has been on my heart for years and I feel the Lord wants me to move forward. Even if the idea doesn't happen, I feel I need to be obedient on my side and allow the Lord the opportunity to run with it if He sees fit.

If anyone feels like catching me up on what is happening in this area (or why it is not), I would really welcome it. I was so excited to find this group of like-minded individuals, and your combined expertise is appreciated.

Tags: Android, App, Evangelism, Gospel, Mobile, evangelism, iPhone, iShare, salvation, tract, More…video

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Hi Jim,

Welcome to VSN!

At Global Recordings Network (GRN) we are currently working on a very similar app.

It is designed to identify a user's language and present them with all the audio/video programs GRN has available in it. They will then be able to select which programs they would like to download. The app has an integrated audio player and shows a picture associated with each track played. We are seeking partnerships with other missions to provide follow up.

We have audio recordings of the gospel in 6,000 languages, so there is a wealth of evangelistic audio material just within our own library. However we do plan to also provide links to other sources of Christian content available in each language. Downloaded programs are managed within the apps media library.

We are targetting Android to start with. We also have a mobile outreach web site where our recordings can be downloaded (http://5fish.mobi).

A team of students from Taylor University has been working on the app. It is very likley that one of the students will be spending 9 weeks working full time on the app during the summer vacation. We aim to launch the app at the end of that time (August 2012).

Let me know if you are interested in combining efforts.

I'm very intrigued to track the progress here.  Thanks for responding James.

James,

I just visited the GRN website and am amazed at all of the languages available. God is really blessing the efforts of GRN!

I am wondering if you have plans to have the visual resources available on your app ("Good News", "Look, Listen and Live" and "The Living Christ" and any others you may have). And if so, have you considered having them animated? That would be a fun and powerful addition to the app, and it would be even better if it could be projected from the mobile device or tablet. Your audio scripts may also lend themselves to illustration, motion graphics, etc. I work as a media minister, so I guess I tend to envision things in visual form all the time.

The app you describe is similar to the idea I am working on. Especially in the area of reaching people in multiple languages. I would be very interested in knowing how you have been able to accumulate all of the translations. I have only worked on the iShare video as a side project, as I currently work full-time at  church. Still, it has been pretty difficult to add languages and I would love a few ideas on how to add languages to the project.

GRN certainly has a head start when it comes to content. Besides that, I think the main difference between our two projects has to do with way our app plans on using the smartphone to aid missions teams as well as individuals with follow up, data collection, and other features.

I would be interested in the both of us praying about the possibility of combing efforts- or at least helping each other reach our goals and enhance each others' ministries. Please keep me updated on the progress of the app. 

I love this! 

Exciting progress today! ROAR- the people who helped program and launch the "YouVersion" Bible App- called me today to indicate that they were interested in taking a closer at the evangelism app and possibly accepting the challenge of programming it. Our next step is to submit a flow of how the app will work for evaluation. Then they will give us a quote on how much it will cost to make it a reality.

THEN the hard part begins! I have to trust God to help me raise the funds. I have never been involved in anything like this, so it will be an exciting adventure. I expect I will have to launch a kickstarter campaign, but there are many believers that should certainly be excited about the benefits of such a tool. If there are any ministries that would like to talk about joining forces and making their mobile evangelism tools available through the proposed in-app library, it would sure add value to the project. It would also start a positive move toward ministries working together. On our own many of us are just getting by. But together we might prove to be a force to be reckoned with. And our combined support may actually be able to be enough to launch an excellent product.

I will upload more info once I complete the app flow chart. I would welcome any input at these early stages. I can't wait to share with you all the newest feature: a collective media journal compiled by the mission team members of any given effort. We hope it will give missions organizations the testimonies and media they need to promote their efforts effectively, secure new financial support and create excitement about what God is doing in their midst.

Of course this is all preliminary and we don't even know what the programmer's response will be. The Lord may want me to join another effort already in progress. There are so many people here at VSN that have amazing ministries and much more experience than I do. Either way, I appreciate any prayers you can send our way!
Thanks for your reply Jim. I'll be in touch next week.

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