Albanian staff member Nikolin Dodaj offered a series of workshops on a study skill: how to find the main idea in a text.
He chose Josh McDowell’s book, More Than a Carpenter for the workshops, attracting students who were spiritually curious. And he made it a contest in which students competed for a prize of a mini-laptop.
The final result: Among 140 students who participated, the Christians developed confidence discussing Jesus with their friends, and 34 students indicated decisions to become Christians.
Here’s how they did the outreach and how you might adapt it for your use:
Step 1: Plan
Meet with friends from your church, neighborhood or ministry.
Step 2: Train
Nikolin trained a few of the Cru students in how to find the main idea. As they read through More Than a Carpenter together, he helped them find the main idea in each chapter.
They also made invitations to give to students along with the books they distributed.
Step 3: Invite
The students involved in Cru in Tirana invited their friends and classmates to join in the contest. They also handed out around campus about 2,500 copies of More Than a Carpenter together with invitations to the contest.
Step 4: Meet
At the first meeting for the “Finding the Main Idea” workshop, the students split into smaller groups of 10 to 12, each with a trained student leader for finding the main idea and leading discussion of the book.
They met weekly, 3 times before the quiz competition.
During the 3 weeks, the group leaders coached the members in finding the main idea in the text. They discussed the book’s content, evidence for the Christian faith.
As the groups worked together over the weeks, the element of competition motivated them all to learn the content of the book as well as they could. Each group wanted their group to be the “winning group.”
This team competition also developed friendships within and among the groups. Mirgeta Sula, a 3rd-year dentistry student, was in a group of 13. She says that through the competition, she became good friends with the people in her group.
Step 5: Compete
The last week, all 140 students came to take the quiz over the book to see how well they learned the skill, the material, and to win a prize. The students took the quiz, and then the staff team scored the quizzes to determine a winner.
Step 6: Win
Although only 1 person -- a new believer! -- won the mini-laptop, everyone won new friendships and improved their study skills. And most of all, 34 students -- half of the nonbelievers participating -- received eternal life by trusting Christ after studying the evidence of who He is.
God used their creative approach and careful planning.
Nikolin explains, “We didn’t challenge them ‘Do you believe?’ right away, but ‘Do you understand?’ Only later did we ask them if they believed and understood.”
Step 7: Grow
Since then, the 34 new believers are growing in their relationships with God through continuing to meet with the campus ministry and through spiritual mentoring.
50 questions on Josh McDowell's book "More than a Carpenter."
Outreach involving a 3-week study of More Than a Carpenter changes Adenil Pjetri’s boldness level as he invites friends and sees God change lives.
Many students had attended Cru events in the capital city of Tirane, Albania but they still hadn’t placed their faith in Christ. Staff member Nikolin Dodaj wondered how to get more truth about Jesus in front of them. He got an idea.
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