We have a narrow window of opportunity in the next few weeks. Easter is coming up soon, which is a very unique time in the calendar to talk about what Jesus Christ means to us. Students are coming back or are already back from some spring break projects where they may have become energized to share their faith. We want to give lift to their enthusiasm. Ben Rivera, talks about a once a month strategy for our campuses. And quite honestly, these few weeks right now are about the last opportunity for a significant evangelistic push. After this our students won’t want to take the time nor will our audience be as open in the face of the pressure of studies at the end of the semester. Then the school year is over.
A few weeks ago, Keith Davy, National Director, R&D, showed some of us a first pass on a document he is developing in helping Missional Teams do strategic analysis for their evangelistic efforts. The tool is rather comprehensive and would be helpful at the beginning of the year or semester as teams really work through their evangelism strategy. Keith writes:
Five questions provide the framework to analyze the effectiveness of evangelism:
1. Master: What is God doing?
2. Masses: Who is our audience?
3. Message: What gospel messages communicate most powerfully?
4. Messengers: Who can be mobilized and how?
5. Methods: What methods are most effective?
I would not suggest taking that kind of time now for such analysis. But I did think there were a couple of points that would be helpful to consider at this time in the campus year.
Message: What gospel messages communicate most powerfully?
- The gospel is the life-changing message of Jesus that never changes. But how it is communicated is adapted to both the messengers and the audience.There are four transferable ways of communicating the gospel effectively utilized within our movements. Each has it own advantages. Which do we equip for and utilize? How?
- Life Story (or testimony)
- A conversational gospel explanation (using one verse or a simple diagram)
- A gospel outline (Knowing God Personally or The Four Spiritual Laws)
- The gospel story-line (BackStory; released in February, 2010. See GFES Overview for information.)
Methods: What methods are most effective?
- Methods are the “how-tos” or what we do to reach unbelievers in evangelism. What approaches can accelerate our efforts to advance the gospel? What new opportunities would best fit our context?
- Are we making available the gospel on-line to students? How?
- (Everystudent.com: http://everystudentpromotion.com/)
- What gospel-bearing gifts are we providing students? When and how?
- (FSKs: fsk.campuscrusadeforchrist.com)
- (Student/Greek planners: http://cccplanners.com/)
- What gospel events are we utilizing?
- What tools do we use to create gospel conversations?
- QuEST: http://quest.campuscrusadeforchrist.com/
- Perspective: http://perspective.uscm.org <http://perspective.uscm.org>
- (A card-based worldview conversation; being field-tested Winter, 2010)
- Soularium: http://crupress.campuscrusadeforchrist.com/evangelism/soularium
- Short-films: http://www.globalshortfilmnetwork.com/
- What opportunities do we utilize to expose students to the gospel in action through good deeds or social justice concerns?
Keith explained that the tools listed for creating gospel conversations can be placed on a spectrum from QuEST, with a “far left brain” approach, to the Short-films, a “far right brain” tool. Two cautions: First, to say that one of these is the only really effective way to do evangelism is rather limiting. Certainly there is more involved in guiding conversations with Soularium and short-films for the messenger, but that does not mean QuEST is a not a useful tool. We want to look at who our messengers are with their skill level and maturity, and also look at who the audience is with its varied levels of interest or indifference. Likewise, second, God can use a brand new believer to lead another to Christ just as easily as any of us with our years of experience and our studied cultural understanding. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is our extensive training that brings people to faith. It is a good reminder that, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”