The Tailenders

PBS Premiere: July 25, 2006Check the broadcast schedule »

Film Update

The Global Recording Network's Response to The Tailenders

This documentary does not have the endorsement of Global Recordings Network (Gospel Recordings).

For those interested in a more accurate and detailed view of our mission and what we really do, we encourage you to visit our website –

The title "Tailenders" is derived from a word that we coined to describe people groups, oral societies and tribes that have had little or no opportunity to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Many do not read and do not have the Bible in their language even if they could read. They are called Tailenders because they are at the "end of the line" in terms of receiving any Christian resource or ministry.

In our opinion, the documentary gives a slanted view of the work we do. For example it shows our recording teams still using analog equipment of yesteryear, but without showing the state-of-the-art equipment that we use today. The documentary uses the word "hand-crank" to describe field situations where we have to improvise with makeshift equipment, but does not show the hours of meticulous planning that go into the trips. A girl is portrayed praying, "We don't know what we are doing..." whereas in reality we are experts in our own field. The documentary introduces other issues such as the exploitation of tribal cultures and their land by aggressive developers. It also links evangelism to capitalism and worldly goods giving the impression that that is the motivation for people to become Christians. While some people can have wrong motives in seeking to become Christians, there was no mention made of the vast number of people whose lives are wonderfully transformed by Jesus Christ. And there were no interviews with them either.

By bringing these elements into a documentary that was ostensibly about our work, our organization and other evangelical missionaries seem guilty by association. There is no mention of the work of thousands of other evangelical missions who not only take the gospel all over the world, but also provide emergency assistance, food, medical care, home building, education, literacy and vocational training to those who need it. There are no interviews with any of the thousands of national pastors or people who have been assisted by evangelical missionaries, many who have sacrificed their time, money, health, and sometimes their lives to help people throughout the world.

The goal of our mission is to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to every people group in the world in their heart languages. With the majority of the world's people being non-readers, God inspired this mission to provide the gospel in audio form. We started with records in 1939, progressed on to audiocassette tapes, and now also offer our materials on CD, MP3 and Internet download. We have recorded Bible stories and other basic gospel messages in more than 5,600 languages. And still the work moves forward until every language group in the world – including the Tailenders – has the gospel of Jesus Christ in their own words!


Colin Stott
U.S. Director
Global Recordings Network
Temecula, California