Who we are: Missionary Storytellers
- Capturing and communicating the stories of God at work in Africa
- Serving both mission and fellow missionary
- Encouraging the Church
- For the glory of God
What kind of ministry is there in “telling the story?”
Jesus was a storyteller. God’s written revelation to the world is a book full of stories. Why did our Creator choose to communicate this way? There’s something powerful about information presented in the form of a story to capture minds and hearts. People remember them, pass them on, and are inspired to action because of them. The stories of the Bible give us a picture of God we would otherwise never know. He is known, partly, by the stories we tell about Him – what he did, who he touched, how he loved. And as God continues to work today, there are still stories to tell.
Africa Inland Mission (AIM) is a large organization with hundreds of missionaries in active service. And in the more than one hundred years of mission work, AIM has shared merely a glimpse of what God has been doing. These stories are a treasure so often lost because we are busy being missionaries.
Aiming to tell more of these stories is the focus of AIM’s On-field Media Team (OFM). We are missionaries who are dedicated photographers, videographers, writers, web and graphic designers, and more. With a heart for communicating what God is about, and a common stake in the missionary endeavor, we bring a unique set of technical and creative skills to the work of missions.
Purposing to communicate more effectively and broadly can have a remarkable effect on missions, and the Church. Active media creation serves to enhance the work of partnership development, recruitment, project awareness, and prayer support. But the ultimate goal in “telling the story” is simply to honor God…
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. –Psalm 96:3
A Biblical Model
The New Testament tells of one such communicator. Paul sends Tychicus, a fellow missionary, with a specific message to the churches supporting them. He’s sent on more than one occasion – once to the Ephesians, and once to the Colossians that we know of. And on both of these trips, his singular purpose is to tell the story and encourage the local church…
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances, and that he may encourage your hearts… [He] will tell you everything that is happening here. COL 4:7-9 (and also EPH 6:21-22)
What we do: The mission of On-field Media
The OFM team is made up of missionaries – full-term, short-term, and freelance contributors. We are field-based, where the stories are; and we are mobile, able to go anywhere the requests or opportunities may take us. The work takes us to a dozen or more African countries, and into every kind of environment – from the inner city to the ends of the earth. We rub shoulders with other missionaries, getting an intimate look into their ministries and the lives of the people they minister to.
Some of our projects are initiated by AIM Mobilizing Units, Receiving Units, or individual missionaries and ministry teams; and some are self-initiated. Our task is to capture, create, and manage various forms of media – video, photography, writing, design, and web. We make content available for AIM’s broad communication needs, as well as the specific needs of an individual missionary. And by providing resources and training, we also help the missionary community to become better communicators themselves.
While the means of our communication are very different from those of Tychicus, we are serving the same purpose as Paul’s faithful messenger:
- Connecting… those who “go” with those who send them
- Encouraging… the hearts of those who pray and give
- Challenging… the next generation of missionaries