Australia

Jesus the Game Changer, changes up for a second season

Jesus the Game Changer, a video series hosted by Aussie Baptist Karl Faase, is the latest example of Australian Christianity becoming an export industry.*

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Viewed by thousands of of individuals, small groups and churches, the first series – which focused on the impact of the life of Jesus – was snapped up by the US-based Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

“The ethos of the series is to ‘Make Jesus’ last words our first priority.'” – Karl Faase

This popular series explained how so much of what we take for granted in the Western world – equality, health, education, rights for children and much more – came about as a result of the countercultural teaching of Jesus Christ.

Now TBN has come back for a second bite. As revealed at launch events in Sydney and Melbourne, the new series is not quite the same. Taking the theme “To the Ends of the Earth”, the new Jesus the Game Changer series traces how the gospel message spread. Faase digs deep into how the Christian faith spread around the world, from the backwaters of the Roman Empire to, well, the ends of the earth.

“The only way that this was possible is the commitment of Christian leaders across the centuries to take the message of Jesus to the places it has not been heard,” Faase tells Eternity.

“This was often at enormous cost to themselves and their families. This series of Jesus the Game Changer is seeking to inspire and motivate local churches in Australia to find a fresh vision for evangelism and mission.

“The key phrase that encapsulates the ethos of the series is to ‘Make Jesus’ last words our first priority.’

“Local church leaders find themselves under organisational pressure, they have the challenge of a contentious society and live with the temptation to make the message of Jesus more palatable. Yet we all need to remember what those closest to Jesus did after he ascended – they went on mission.

“They made his final words the priority of their lives and in the face of persecution and even death, they shared the gospel message, taking it to the ends of the earth as they knew it.”

Jane Faase, the producer of Jesus the Game Changer, told some behind-the-scenes stories to the launch audience, such as having Westminster Abby to themselves before it opened, as well as Lord’s Cricket Ground, the stone churches of Lalibela (Ethiopia) and the one-to-two metre snow in Minnesota, USA.

Karl Faase spoke of a plan to run a campaign across Australian churches in May 2020, using the new series to kickstart local evangelism.

*Eternity’s eclectic list of Australian Christian exporters includes: Hillsong (which also has a link with TBN); C3; The Sydney Anglicans’ connection to the global network GAFCON; college programs such as Moore College’s Preliminary Theological Certificate; the Uniting Church in Australia’s consensus decision-making model; writers such as Sheridan Voysey (ex Open House), Andrew McGowan (Yale Divinity School), Alan Hirsch (Missional Church expert), and Michael Bird (Ridley College and blogger); and networkers such as Graham Hill (Global Church Project); and many more.

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