JESUS Film Harvest Partners began in 1997 as a partnership between Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), who created a film based on the Gospel of Luke, and the Church of the Nazarene, who provided a strong missionary structure.
This partnership forged the distinct ministry, JESUS Film Harvest Partners, which has grown from 68 teams showing the JESUS film in 19 countries to over 700 teams serving in more than 50 countries today!
Harvest Partners get the thanks — God gets the glory.
A Partnership is Forged
In May of 1997, Paul Eshelman with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) approached Dr. Louie Bustle, the Director of World Missions, Church of the Nazarene, about partnering with them to show the JESUS film to lost people around the world. Campus Crusade for Christ 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 for Christ 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.
Dr. Louie Bustle and Paul Eshleman sign the agreement.
A Lay Movement Begins
Within several hours of the partnership being signed with Campus Crusade for Christ, 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 Missions 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.