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Accessibility. Distribution. Engagement - Gabe Handy with Jesus Film Project

In Episode 37 we speak with Gabe Handy, the Director of Digital Strategy at the Jesus Film Project. Gabe has worked with the Jesus Film Project for nearly 15 years. He started with a computer science degree and jumped into the workforce right out of college, but eventually, he felt a calling to give more than finances to God, but also use his technical skills and talents to grow the kingdom. 

When the iPhone came out he was challenged with the idea of what it would look like to get the Jesus Film on their phone. Which lead to the challenge of focusing on accessibility and distribution.

What Advice Would You Give To Others Who Feel Called to MInistry?

Many people are sitting in the workforce today with skills that aren’t typically thought of when it comes to joining a ministry. Gabe shares how he and his wife both decided to join a ministry. For them, it started with a stirring in their heart, then followed by specific events that made the way clear. Including an event, his wife attended which challenged her to commit a year fully to ministries at some point in her career, and that stirred her heart to make the move as well.

Distribution is key, but engagement must follow.

Gabe started with a focus on making the films accessible and getting wider distribution not only through new formats such as getting the films on your phone but also through strong partnerships. The key to good partnerships starts with listening. You need to know their goals, their culture, and how the two of them can bring their strengths to drive success.

After driving strong awareness and distribution, it’s important to look at engagement. Getting the media in front of a lot of people is fantastic, however, it leaves many asking “to what end?” Now that people have access to the media, what is happening next? Those are the questions that lead you to focus more deeply on engagement.

How Does The Digital Environment Change the Way You View Engagement?

When making the shift from distribution to engagement, their team uses the phrase, “we used to care about the views, and now we care about the viewers”. Traditionally the Jesus Film would be shown using a project or similar and there would be people there to talk about engaging deeper, people who may already have a connection of some sort to the viewer. When it comes to digital engagement it’s a completely different process. People may be watching alone and have no other personal connections. This has led the team to ask what should the next step be? This answer can change based on the location, or language, and even impacts the way they think about partnerships. 

Be sure to listen to the full episode to hear more about how Gabe and his team drive engagement and with scripture digitally.