Dr. Louie Bustle and Paul Eshleman signing the agreement.
The Making of the JESUS Film
Based on the Gospel of Luke, the JESUS Film was sponsored and financed by Campus Crusade for Christ. It is the most accurate depiction of the life of Christ ever produced. After five years of painstaking research, JESUS was filmed in 1978 at over 200 locations in the Holy Land. The cast included more than 5,000 people and nearly every word spoken by Christ is taken directly from scripture.
A Partnership is Formed
In May of 1997, Campus Crusade for Christ approached Dr. Louie Bustle, the Director of World Mission, Church of the Nazarene, about partnering with them to show the JESUS Film to lost people around the world. Campus Crusade would provide the equipment, the 16mm films, and the training on how to effectively use the JESUS Film. The Church would provide the leadership and workers around the world to show the film, disciple new believers, and start new churches.
Dr. Bustle saw the strategic opportunity such a partnership offered and a historic partnership was forged at the Campus Crusade Jesus Film Project offices in San Clemente, California in August of 1997. This was the first partnership of its kind using the JESUS Film. Never before had a denomination committed to make the JESUS Film a main strategy for evangelism. The agreement was the first step in one of the most effective evangelistic strategies ever undertaken by the Church.
A Lay Movement Begins
Within several hours of the partnership being signed with Campus Crusade, another partnership was established that would result in a lay movement to make the vision possible. Four lay couples who realized the incredible potential of the partnership with Campus Crusade had joined the World Mission leaders in San Clemente for the signing. They committed to be a part of the new strategy to involve lay men and women in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Under the direction of Dr. Bustle, the vision was affirmed in September 1997 by the Board of General Superintendents. A new office for JESUS Film Harvest Partners was then established in Olathe, Kansas to accomplish the goals which had been set for the ministry.