Outreach Strategies

Consistently Different

Tools for reaching an ever-changing culture with the unchanging message of Christ.

Katie Croft

The message of the gospel, that you and I can have a relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ, is unchanging. Cru has focused on that truth since it’s beginning in 1951.

Our culture, on the contrary, is constantly reinventing itself.

In order to effectively offer the unchanging message of Jesus Christ, presentation methods must resonate with today’s culture.

You may be familiar with the classic ministry tools like the gospel presentation called Would You Like to Know God Personally? or The Satisfied booklet that details how to walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit; but did you know that we are constantly thinking of new ways to connect the same gospel message with our ever-changing world?

In the past 60 years, life and work have become increasingly dependent upon the Internet. That opened up new ministry platforms for the truths of Scripture.

One successful and transferable idea is found online at www.everystudent.com. A simple click opens up a library of apologetics for the Christian faith, biblical information, personal testimonies and contact information that links the viewer to staff members and volunteers around the world.

Alexander Graham Bell would be stunned by today’s version of the telephone. The inventor of the telephone refused to have one installed in his study because he considered it an intrusion.

Today, we balk at the thought. Our version of Bell’s invention is a multifaceted device where bills can be paid electronically and quick status updates inform our social networks about our thoughts, values and dinner plans. These pocket companions are often our source for information.

God Tools, a reference application for smart phone and iPad® users, has become a timely response to our ever-increasing world of technology and social networking. By using this app, users have the following ministry tools literally at their fingertips:

Global box-office receipts for all films released last year reached a high of $31.8 billion, an increase of 8% more than the year before.

Memorable quotes from films and the dramatic life stories inform our culture on how to live, love and die. The Global Short Film Network directs its lens toward this cultural trend, casting short films that give way to spiritual lessons and conversations.

Though we recognize the power of technology and the arts in culture, the one thing that is far more influential in the life of a person is a trusted friend or family member. Equipping people to talk with people has always been high priority. But the dialogue can begin in a variety of comfortable ways.

  • Many people have found Soularium cards helpful for initiating a spiritual conversation with someone you know.
  • Sometimes the lines of belief can be hazy for you and the person you are talking to about spiritual things; Perspective cards help fill in the blank.

Weng Kong Loh was looking for an evangelism tool that connected with Japanese culture. He didn’t find many. Then his friend introduced him to a comic-book artist. The 2 men worked together to create a full-color manga version of the Four Spiritual Laws evangelistic booklet.

Translating the 4 principles of the evangelistic tool into story form was tricky. The 2 men were up for the challenge. There are now over 70,000 copies of The Search, the new ministry tool from Japan.

But the driving force behind new evangelistic strategies is not to be hip or trendy. Instead the ministry works to be relevant to an ever-changing culture and audience.

“We must go join the conversation where it’s happening – or we’ll be ignored,” says Neil Downey, a Cru staff member. “In Acts 17, Paul demonstrates his willingness to adapt his methods of evangelism to address the Athenian culture, quoting their inscriptions and poetry. Paul was a student of culture and we must be the same; communicating the timeless truth of the gospel in a relevant way.”

It would be impossible to give a comprehensive list, but here are some more strategies, ideas and outreaches that are being developed to help you reach your area of spiritual influence.

More ideas will always be in the works, until the whole world hears.

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