There’s an App for That: Sharing the Gospel in the Czech Republic
A new prayer app, available in both Czech and English, is connecting people with the Gospel and the church.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”(Matt. 28:19)
The command sounds simple. The task is hard.
In Prague, Czech Republic, most Czechs avoid eye contact and conversation, especially with people who don’t speak their difficult language. On buses, trams and metros, people plug into their mobile devices with earbuds and headphones.
Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of Czechs identify as atheists. Even the pastors of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAVvČR) describe Czechs as suspicious and untrusting.
How do you share the Gospel with people who are so disconnected? How do you build relationships or even start conversations when people are tuned out?
While looking for ways to connect with their neighbors, ECAVvČR pastors and an LCMS missionary came up with the idea of using technology to share the Gospel. The resultant Czech Prayer App, currently being pilot tested, asks the user how they feel today, and then connects them to Scripture passages that address those emotions.
But technology is not a substitute for the church. If an app only allows people to access Scripture and prayer, how do they connect with a Lutheran church, where they can be baptized and instructed in the faith?
That’s why the new app offers a variety of ways to take the next step. After reading the supplied Scripture passages, users can request a free Bible, sign up to have a daily Scripture verse or prayer sent to their mobile device, find information about the local Lutheran church, or email a pastor with any questions.
The app was designed to reach Czech people, although users can choose English or Czech — the two languages used in the Lutheran church in Prague. Since most Czechs have never attended a church service before, the app’s church information section explains the basics — what to wear, the parts of the service and so on — so that there are no surprises.
Congregation members are distributing cards with QR codes to access the app in various locations around Prague, including at coffee shops and cafes. Users can also share the app with friends and family. Free Bibles are available for pickup at the church each week, with a bilingual Czech pastor or deacon on hand to welcome newcomers and answer questions.
The pilot test runs through October 2019 and will continue if there is enough interest and available funding. The technology for the mobile app is simple. The power of God’s Word completes the task.
- Learn about mission work in Eurasia: international.lcms.org/eurasia
- Read more international stories: international.lcms.org
Cindy Zirbel Wrucke
Director of communications for the Synod’s Eurasia region.