Articles & News

New Formats Invite New Listeners Worldwide

April 26, 2023

By Ray Alary, THRU the BIBLE Canada Executive Director

When we began our global ministry 50 years ago, listening habits were very different than they are today. I remember the story from a family in Manus, Brazil, who got up at 5 a.m. to listen to THRU the BIBLE on the radio.

Today, we have so many other ways to listen that we don’t need to get up so early. We also rarely listen to long, 30-minute blocks of programs, but instead sound bites get our attention—one-minute and five-minute programs are the norm, especially among younger audiences.

In these changing climates, we never adapt the Word, but instead just how we deliver it. With these short programs—like Minute with McGee that launched this year and a five-minute program that airs globally—we invite people to listen to the full 30-minute program. And often, as we know, it’s easy to get hooked. In India, one of our producers who has twice recorded the entire five-year program and who is now working on a short form program assures us that Dr. McGee’s key message is not being lost.

For THRU the BIBLE’s first decades, we delivered the program by broadcast radio. Today, many formats are available. We’re all so excited about this—especially our global partners where broadcast radio is not the best option. We’ll use every format we can!

One format you have at your fingertips are the new Bible Companions, which are Dr. McGee’s teaching content summarized. These have been recorded in other languages and are now heard as five-minute programs in Mongolia, Cambodia, Malaysia, and in six countries in Europe. In some countries, the short program airs in the morning and teases the full program at night. In Europe people can listen to both short and long programs on a variety of digital outlets like WhatsApp, YouTube—the list is endless.

In Europe, one producer told us they have over 6,000 people listening daily to the full length program on WhatsApp. Most of these listeners were introduced to THRU the BIBLE by hearing the short form program.

In all of this transition, our vision is still the same: Take the “whole Word to the whole world.” Let’s pray together that all formats will achieve the goal of bringing people into a closer relationship with our Savior. God can speak into anyone’s heart, no matter the length of the study.

Delivery of THRU the BIBLE in a digital world opens up all kinds of new opportunities. We praise the Lord for the incredible content Dr. McGee gave us in the source material to create these new, innovative, and inviting tastes of the Living Word. Thank you for praying for the team developing these new formats.

You can experience a short form version of Dr. McGee in English, too. Our YouVersion plans are abbreviated from the Bible Companions and are available as mini lessons to read or listen to (recorded by our own Steve Shwetz!).