From Sounds of GRN magazine (2024)

Technology Changes

by Allan Starling

Since the beginning of the human race, God has put into our DNA the ability to create tools to help us with our work. When experts survey the history of such things, from ancient primitively-shaped stones used for digging to modern Artificial Intelligence robots, they all agree that the invention of the wheel was the crowning achievement. We are still waiting for a machine that will not only make our coffee, but bring it to us in bed.

Gospel Recordings (GR) Inc. Global Recordings Network (GRN) International

Throughout its eighty-five-year history, GRN has faced the daunting task of using the latest technology to reach those who are completely without any technology themselves.

We could play our message on a simple phonograph record to someone who might ask, “How did the little man in the box learn to speak my language?” We can transfer a message to someone’s phone and hear them exclaim, “How did you get my language on your phone?”

As technology has changed over the years, GRN has adapted to keep up. At the same time, we have guarded the message itself to make certain it does not change. In many remote     villages worldwide, electricity is still a dream or completely unknown. GRN has invented      machines to play the message to them.

Hand-cranked phonographs,
hand-wound cassette players,
wind-up MP3 players.
GRN messages are available on every kind of digital device and several internet sites. The mobile phone is becoming more and more widespread, but we have not yet seen a hand-cranked smart phone! Instead, we can slip Micro SD cards with the Gospel message into those phones or transfer the recordings via Bluetooth® technology.


As GRN grew, we made more and more recordings. We needed new tools to keep track of them. We also wanted to keep track of what we have yet to do, the unrecorded as well as recorded.

Three by five index cards, rolodex,
and file cabinets gave way to photo-
copiers, faxes and eventually computers.
GRN USA has a huge language database with a backup in Australia and websites in many languages worldwide.


TODAY: GRN continues to invent new tools to meet new situations. Here are three of them.

The 5fish App enables any Christian to walk around with the Gospel message in over 6,000 languages in his or her pocket, ready to play them to anyone they meet. Go to to find out how you can use it for free. 

The GRN MapApp. Back THEN, GRN supplied paper language maps to our GRN field teams. More recently, we talked to a group called LightSys and they said, “We can help you make the maps digital.” So NOW users can see not only the position of any language on the map but all the info on that language in a side panel. The MapApp continues to grow and  expand. NOW missionaries and churches can find language locations as well as the resources available to help them reach out in almost any language.

Facebook: No, I’m not talking now about the social media part, although we do use it to make GRN known, but about a much more vital application called Targeted Ads. GRN has made many recordings that, to our knowledge, are the only Christian media available in a given language. We can NOW pay Facebook a small sum to show an ad for the recordings in that language to everyone who logs on in the region where it is spoken. Reports show that many people not only click on it but listen to it all the way through.

WHAT’S AHEAD? There are still countless millions  who have not heard a clear message of salvation in their own mother tongue. Romans 10 tells us that “faith comes from hearing the Good News about Christ” (v17) but “how can they hear about Him unless someone tells hem?” (v14). Let us ask the Lord of the Harvest to enable us to invent, produce, and use new tools to tell the message so these precious souls may hear about Jesus and come to faith in Him.