In 2018 WELS World Mission's Multi-Language Productions had a vision to reach the world with the Gospel in a new way. Their vision was to equip people with the truth of God's word using digital resources in English. Like the Latin America mission field's Spanish Academia Cristo, TELL would use English to reach people through social me-dia, self-led Bible lessons and live video classrooms.
Three years later, God has blessed that vision. The TELL Network has 1.2 million fol-lowers and likes on its main Facebook page. Across the globe there are 7,000 active us-ers doing self-led Bible lessons on the TELL app and website. Currently there is one full-time TELL missionary who meets several times a week with students from Africa, India and Philippines.
One student, Samuel, is from Guinea, Africa. He is a teacher with a wife and children. "My greatest desire is to be well-equipped for mission work," says Samuel, "I won't miss this opportunity by God's grace."
Like thousands of others, Samuel found TELL on Facebook. TELL's Facebook team posts daily Bible passages and short devotional videos by national pastors called #TELLtalks. The team answers questions online and invites people to start free Bible training on the TELL app or website.
Samuel downloaded the TELL app and within seconds began the first self-learning course. He completed three self-learning courses: Spiritual Healing, Truth Brings Peace and Introduction to the Bible. Each course has nine lessons that include a Bible reading, teaching video and quiz.
When Samuel completed the self-learning courses ("TELL Tier 1") he received his first certificate. Then a TELL missionary contacted Samuel. He congratulated him and invited Samuel to join him in the live online classes ("TELL Tier 2").
Today Samuel is meeting twice a week in a video classroom with a TELL instructor and other students. Students go in-depth learning about the work of Jesus, Old and New Testament history and Law and Gospel. Each course takes about a month. There are eleven courses in TELL tier 2.
TELL tier 3 are live courses too. They focus on how to share the Gospel in your com-munity: gathering, teaching and discipling. God-willing some day the TELL instructor along with a local missionary will visit Samuel to grow the relationship and support Samuel as he starts a small group.
When Samuel began TELL he had been praying for just that: an opportunity to share the Gospel. Since then God opened a door! A friend gave Samuel air-time on the local radio station. Every Sunday evening Samuel takes the Bible lesson he has learned with TELL and reuses them on-air to an audience of up to half-a-million. Many of them have never heard the Gospel.
By God's grace Samuel has found a place where he receives real Gospel training right from God's word. "I used to believe in a Gospel that was preaching prosperity and mira-cles mostly," Samuel says, "But I discovered this misleads believers. It focuses on earth-ly things and makes us forget heavenly things. Now I'm mission-minded."
Explore further by clicking on these TELL Links:
TELL App (iOS): NA (in development)
Spiritual Healing (self-learning video series)
Truth Brings Peace (self-learning video series)
Introduction to the Bible (self-learning video series)
Return to original language with "show original" button at top left.
Throughout highschool, I had the wonderful privilege to attend short week-long mission trips across the United States. On those trips, my classmates and I would spend hours canvassing just to see about two or three more children register for our soccer and science camps. After reading your article, my mind immediately shifted to how difficult it was to canvas but then also how difficult it must have been for those who didn’t have any forms of technology. Your comment regarding Paul’s experience sharing the gospel helped me to truly be thankful for the outstanding technology we have to aid us in ministry. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.
TELL provides wonderful opportunities to share the gospel with people across the globe. This is something that was not possible a hundred years ago. Now, we have the ability to reach people thousands of miles away with one click. Amidst this global crisis of COVID 19, technology such as TELL could offer wonderful ways for congregations to gather together for Bible study even if we cannot physically meet. Do you have any thoughts about developed congregations using such technology to reach its members during this challenging time?
I appreciate all of your hard work through the use of TELL, and for sharing about the program.
I’ve grown up with both parents being teachers, so I’ve been constantly surrounded by God’s Word and different ways to hear or share it. After reading your article, it really made me realize how lucky I am to have such easy access to God’s Word and all of His promises. Thank you for helping me remember how lucky I am and how important it is for me to go and share God’s Word in any way I can. I love how this can be used worldwide to reach more people instead of just staying close to home.
TELL sounds like such an amazing resource that people can use to hear more about the Gospel. It makes me wonder why I haven’t heard more about it outside of this article. This is such an amazing tool for people who can’t regularly go to Bible studies or church. In our world today with COVID, this would have been a great thing for people to know about and hear more information about. Are there ways you are trying to tell more people about TELL? Are you guys advertising about TELL somewhere? Just wondering because it sounds like an amazing resource; I’ve just never heard of it until now.
Thank you for everything you are doing with TELL and for writing this article so more people can learn about this resource.
Reading your article gets me very excited to see how well our ministry’s missionaries are shifting over to technology-based outreach. The incoming generations are becoming more and more dependent on the internet to get them through their daily tasks. What better way to reach new hearts than through a devotional training app!
The idea of creating a mobile app that teaches an individual how to give a proper devotion is brilliant. I have never heard of the TELL app, but I am glad that I found your article. As word of this useful app spreads, have you considered making paper-copied books of individual devotion series? I know that the main idea of TELL is to reach people online, but if your devotions and teaching lessons increase in popularity, would you make paper books to reach those who don’t have internet access?
I think that what you are doing with this app has a bright future. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you’ve put into TELL. God’s blessings as your ministry continues to grow.
I grew up in a household where we went to church and bible class every Sunday, at the same time without fail. I went to a Lutheran grade school and high school and I’m now at Martin Luther College. God’s word became a staple in my life at a young age and I sometimes take it for granted. I should be thankful that I was blessed to be a part of a family that is spiritually strong. Sometimes I forget that others are not in the same situation as me. That means we have to get the word of God out there because there are so many people out there that are eager to hear the word of God.
TELL sounds like an amazing way to reach new people that need to hear God’s word. We really need to get this out to more people especially in this scary time of Covid. People need the reassurance that God offers in his word. What do you think the best possible way is to get people to hear about TELL so they can become a part of it?
Thank you for doing such great work and serving your Lord.
Both my grandparents and mother are Christians, especially my grandfather used to be a pastor, so I have always been surrounded by God’s word and different ways of listening or sharing. After reading your article, I did make me realize how lucky it is to be able to touch God's Word and all his promises so easily. Thank you for letting me know how lucky I am and how important it is to me to share the word of God in every possible way. I like that I can share this article with my friends so that we can attract more people, not just stay at home in a daze.
TELL seems to be a great resource that people can use to learn more about the gospel about God. Relatively, this also makes me wonder why I don't have more channels to understand it outside of this article. For people, this is an amazing tool that prevents them from regularly participating in Bible studies or churches. In today's world of COVID, this is a great thing for people to learn and hear more information from TELL. And I'm curious and curious because I haven't heard of this before. Did you encounter any difficulties when you first started building TELL? Do you only promote TELL in a certain place?
Thank you for sharing TELL with us by writing this article.