Using Social Media for Ministry

Before and After Campaign

Read about how one missions team with Cru used the “Before and After” strategy through social media to start meaningful conversations with their friends.
 

Mission: Initiate spiritual conversations with people in our lives.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When a person surrenders their life to Christ, they become more like Him – their life changes. Every Christian has their own story of how they have changed. “Before and After” is a way for them to share that transformation.

The main focus of the outreach is on two personally-chosen words: one to describe your life before knowing Christ and one to describe your life after you started following Christ.

Before and After is unique because you have the opportunity to explain your two words in a brief video, which can be shared intentionally on social media platforms.


Here's what people said about it:

“ As someone who does not consider themselves very religious I really enjoyed this video. I preface not being religious because in the short 2 minutes you helped me understand what your faith means to you and how it has helped you. Also we all share a desire to perform well and be a good person, so I related to your message.”

- Tabitha (Resident Director at Arizona State University)

“It was scary...sharing my video was easy, like posting on my timeline, but when I had to send it to people individually – that was terrifying. I just embraced myself and clicked send over and over and didn’t think about it. But it was good getting to have conversations with friends that I wouldn't usually have and a lot of them were a lot more open that what I thought they would be.”

- Matara ( Sophomore at University of Texas at Dallas)


Goal: Expose 100 of our friends to our Before and After video in hopes to start spiritual conversations.

Strategy Steps:

  1. Make Videos
  2. Share Videos
  3. Start Conversations
  4. Continue Conversations

Making Videos

  1. Pick 2 Words (one that describes your life before walking with Christ and one that describes your life after walking with Christ)
  2. Write a script or bullet points (max. 400 words/under 2 min.) detailing on how you have changed from the first word to the second word
  3. Practice! Give yourself time to think and embody your story
  4. Film and record yourself
  5. Edit the footage (add text animations, etc.)
  6. Upload to Vimeo (ex. https://vimeo.com/135283737)

Compiling Videos

  1. Create Playlist on Vimeo
  2. Create simple access to other videos
  3. (Optional) Create a trailer with everyone saying their words

Sharing Strategy Overview:

  1. Send video in a Facebook message
  2. Text the link to a friend
  3. Snapchat your words with a question
  4. Post an Instagram clip of your video with link in the caption
  5. Post to your timeline on Facebook

Send Video in a Facebook Message

  • Include Video
  • Include one of the following blurbs:
    • Hey! I just made this 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story. I’d love to hear what you think. Is there any part of my story that relates to you? Thanks!
    • Hey! My friends and I are making videos this summer to share our stories of what God’s done in our lives. We want to hear honest feedback from our friends. Could you watch it and let me know what you think?
    • Hey! Hope your summer’s going well. Could you watch my Before and After video and let me know what you think?
  • Follow Up Questions
    • If they didn’t respond…
      • Hey Friend! I was wondering if you had a chance to watch my video? What did you think?
    • If someone responded…
      • That’s awesome. Thanks for your thoughts. Would you say there was one part that you related to more than another?
      • Thanks friend! I’m curious what you would say if you were to rate your desire to know God on a scale of 1-10?
      • Thanks! If you could pick your own words to describe your spiritual journey, what would they be?
      • Thanks! Something I’m doing with this video is hearing where my friends are at with their spiritual journey. If you were to rate your desire to know God on a scale of 1-10, what would it be?
        • If 5 or more, send the link to the FallingPlates video and ask them what their thoughts are on this video about life, God, and love.

Continue the Conversation
Keep sharing more of your story and try to get to sharing the gospel or asking if you could give them a call over the phone or google hangout to share a bit more about how you came to know God personally and hear more about how their summer is going.

Text the Link to a Friend

  1. Include video link
  2. Include one of the following blurbs
    1. Hey Friend! I just made this 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story. Something I’m doing this summer is hearing where my friends are at with their spiritual journey. Could you watch it and let me know what you think?
    2. Hey Friend! I made this video that shares a bit of my life story and am wondering if you’ve seen this change in my life. Could you watch it and let me know?
    3. Hey Friend! I am doing an internship in Irvine and I made this video to share a bit of my story. Would you be up for watching it and sharing your thoughts with me?
    4. Hey Friend! I am on a summer mission in Irvine and I made this video to share a bit of my story. Would you be up for watching it and sharing your thoughts with me?
  3. Follow Up as Other Strategies
  4. Continue the Conversation

Snapchat Your Words with a Question

  1. Write your words on a divided piece of paper.
  2. While snapping your paper, ask one of the following questions…
    1. If you could pick your own words to describe your spiritual journey, what would they be?
    2. What would your Before and After words be?
    3. Check out my 2-minute before and after video on my Facebook.
  3. Text or personally message anyone who responds to your snap with the follow up questions.
  4. Continue the conversation.

Post an Instagram Clip of Your Video

  1. On Instagram, record a 15-second clip of a powerful part of your before and after video
  2. Include Video Link in caption
  3. Include #BeforeAndAfter
  4. Include one of the following blurbs…
    1. This is my 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story. I’d love to hear what you think. Is there any part of my story that relates to you?
    2. This is my story, do you have a story? Let me know, I’d love to hear it.
    3. Here’s my 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story. Something I’m doing this summer is hearing where my friends are at with their spiritual journey. Could you watch it and let me know what you think?
    4. I made this video that shares a bit of my life story and am wondering if you’ve seen this change in my life. Could you watch it and let me know?
    5. This is my 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story about what God’s done in my life. Something I’m doing with this video is hearing where my friends are at with their spiritual journey. If you were to rate your desire to know God on a scale of 1-10, what would it be? Let me know. :)

Post To Your Timeline

  1. Include Video
  2. Include #BeforeAndAfter
  3. Include one of the following blurbs
    1. Hey Friends! I made a 2-minute video that shares a bit of my story. I’d love to hear what you think. Is there any part of my story that relates to you? Thanks!
    2. This is my story, do you have a story? Let me know, I’d love to hear it.
  4. Message every person who likes or comments with one of the following blurbs.
    • Hey! I saw you liked my video. What did you think?
    • Hey! I saw you liked my video. If you could pick your own words (that describe your life) what would they be?
    • Hey! I saw you liked my video. Was there a part of my story that you most related to?
    • Hey! Something I’m doing with this video is hearing where people are at with their spiritual journey. If you were to rate your desire to know God on a scale of 1-10, what would it be?
      • If 5 or more, send the link to the FallingPlates video and ask them what their thoughts are on this video about life, God, and love.

  5. Continue the Conversation

  6. Keep sharing more of your story and try to get to sharing the gospel or asking if you could give them a call over the phone or google hangout to share a bit more about how you came to know God personally.

Results (based off 15 videos)

2 Hours after releasing the video

  • 222 Facebook Messages Sent
  • 90 Text Messages Sent (attaching the video)
  • 6 GroupMe
  • 5 WhatsApp
  • 393 Facebook Post Likes
  • 30 Facebook Post Comments
  • 112 Instagram Likes
  • 2 Instagram Comments
  • 12 Snapchat Responses
  • 811 Views
  • 27 Spiritual Conversations

3 Days after releasing the video

  • 250 Facebook Messages Sent
  • 46 Conversations over Text
  • 6 GroupMe
  • 22 WhatsApp
  • 2 Twitter
  • 1027 Facebook Post Likes
  • 95 Facebook Post Comments
  • 300 Instagram Likes
  • 8 Instagram Comments
  • 12 Snapchat Responses
  • 3566 Views
  • 69 Spiritual Conversations

Quotes from friends who saw the video:

“Because I was not raised in a Christian environment, I do not always understand what exactly it means to be Christian or what God's role is in people's lives, and hearing stories like yours always helps me look at Christianity in an understanding perspective.”

- Karyn (Sophomore at Arizona State University)

“I truly enjoyed your video and it made me really do some self reflection. Yesterday was a bad day for me and so your video really helped me think about the positives from the day I had yesterday and how it will prepare me for the future! Thank you for sharing! You're so inspirational and I truly adore you as a person! ”

- Catherine (Resident Director at Arizona State University)

“Great content. Make more. Definitely”

- Jourdan ( Friend from High School)

“Nile! watched your video and that's awesome! I'm so happy for you and to hear your before and after story is great! i'll definitely be praying that God continues to work in you as you now live with more of a purpose! so pumped for you man!”

- Cort (Sophomore at Davidson College )

“It's good. Authentic and inspiring. Directed more towards the actual reality of trying to follow Christ is a welcome break from the (admittedly important) perpetual defense of basic concepts that tends to characterize a lot of Christian discourse today.”

- Connor ( Recent Graduate of University of Texas at Dallas)

“I think I am at a time in my life where I do need to start accepting God into my life again. I have been lead down so many wrong paths and I know he will guide me where to go. Your words are so honest and true and have definitely opened my eyes! And the video was amazing. It put everything into perspective and really made me truly aware that no matter where I'm at in my life, he will always bear my sins and guide me to the life he has planned for me.”

- Katie ( Senior at Oakland Community college)

Reflections from the Team

“I didn’t hate it. I was definitely nervous but I’m really glad I did it. This was the first time I shared my story, especially something that was similar to my testimony, online and publicly. I liked that it showed I was not ashamed of the gospel, and it also sparked a lot of spiritual conversations I never thought I would have.”

- Jess ( Junior at Baruch College)

“It was hard. I remember making the videos and I didn’t like mine. I had something to share but it didn’t really come off the way I wanted it to. I have never shared anything on Facebook about God or anything spiritual so coming in I prayed a lot. And even though I was really resistant, everyone around me was getting good responses and it made me realize that this was a good thing and God was calling us to share our stories. It was positive after that and I got to have a really deep conversation with one of my good friends. In the end, God used me.”

- Deb ( Senior at Michigan State University)


Suggestions/Ideas:

  • Before you film yourself practice, practice, practice!
  • Share the falling plates video as a follow-up.
  • Create a trailer.
  • Know the outreach can go on for days afterwards.
  • Share, comment, and post your video so that the conversations keep going.
  • I think I need some way to not only get people to watch the videos and respond, but respond with what they believe. Like phrasing a question in some way that it becomes an exchange of information. At least with the people I'm friends with, it's easier to engage them in a dialogue than either a interrogation or an explanation. Basically, I want to involve both parties, not ONLY ask them what they think, or ONLY tell them what I think.
  • Be clear from the beginning that you will be personally sharing your videos, not just using them for a group project.

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