Outreach Strategies

#FallingPlates - Outreach Strategies


Howard Crutsinger wanted to do something “outside of the box.” The computer science major noticed the trends online. “People were watching content on YouTube really for no reason other than it was popular,” he says.

A staff member with Cru for 18 years, Howard thought,  Wouldn’t it be cool to create a viral video that has the gospel message?

He e-mailed his friend John Strong and wrote down ideas on a napkin during a brainstorming session at a hamburger joint. The two men collaborated on   FallingPlates , a “4 minute film about life, death and love.” They learned as they went along. Howard helped with the concept, strategy, and production, while John helped with the concept, script, shooting, and editing.

Howard desired that the film be a “word picture” of the gospel. The emphasis of the film is imagery and metaphor. It contains only 189 words. As Howard says, “The goal was to show instead of tell them the gospel.” The foundation of the script is based on the Four Spiritual Laws booklet created by Cru founder, Bill Bright.

Social media offers an opportunity to connect with the lost. Howard says, “There are 7 billion people on the planet and 1 billion are actual Facebook users on a monthly basis.”

So that equals 1 out of every 7 people on earth and a great connection point to the gospel. After 5 days,  FallingPlates  had more than 117,000 views.

He mentions 3 ways to use it:

  1. View the video .
  2. Share  it well.
  3. Use it with others by showing it to others either 1-on-1 or in a group setting.

His nephew in Texas viewed the film in his youth group before he heard about it from Howard, because the youth pastor had heard about it from a friend in Virginia.

Howard says atheists have viewed the film and shared it as well. Their comments have been: “I don’t agree with the message, but I like the artistry.”

And the gospel is also going globally. “People from around the world have been asking him, “Is there any way that we can get the subtitles done in our language?”

He created a strategic solution by creating a Google doc for translating subtitles. “If anyone wants to create subtitles for their own language it literally just takes a few minutes. Once they type it in I have it all time coded so all I have to do is copy it. Literally, it takes me about 2 minutes to put in the subtitles on YouTube.”

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