Innovating in Evangelism Video Discussion

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” Thanks to all who have read in and commented on the previous two posts on Evangelistic Engagement. I hosted a video conference with Bob Fuhs, Associate Director of Field Strategies for the Pacific Southwest Region of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Dan Birch, new staff heading to Arizona State University on what it means and why we should innovate in evangelism.

Both shared insights into the value of innovation:

“I have been frustrated by the passivity in those I shared the Gospel with on campus” –Dan

“You don’t have to give everything to every person you share with all at once” –Bob

“It’s easy to get comfortable in sharing your faith” –Dan

“The Gospel message is timeless and our challenge is to communicate that timeless message in an ever-changing culture”–Bob

Besides reactions to the video please share:

  • what IS working in your local ministry evangelistically?
  • what part of the Gospel message is most compelling to those you are sharing with?
  • what part of the Gospel message desperately needs innovation in terms of communicating contextually?

Can’t see the video?
Click here to watch

  • Karl Udy

    Great conversation. A few thoughts I had from this.

    First. I remember that Dan and I had a discussion on Brian’s blog about the place of ministry mode evangelism and where we thought the need really is on campus. Your comments today really helped me to see your situation better. I think we may be experiencing the same issue, but it is just being expressed differently in different cultures.

    I really think your thoughts on finding out what is needed today is so important. I have identified three keys to communicating with students and young people today. They are 1)Visual, 2)Narrative, and 3)Internet. To reach today’s students effectively we want to maximize the use of these methods in communicating the gospel. But I think your comment about innovation and thinking ahead is even more profound. Instead of trying to see where things are now and starting a development process that will always be a few years behind, start to think about where things are going to be in 5 or 10 years and plan to be ready when they arrive.

    • Bob Fuhs

      Thanks Karl for the encouragement. I agree with you in terms of the importance of visuals, narrative and the internet. I say, engage more of the senses and you engage more of the person. That’s what Jesus did, right? He was always telling stories and using real, live examples and we should too (just yesterday I tried to shoo a heard of swine into a ravine for example…).

      So, any thoughts as to what will be useful 5 or even 10 years from now?

  • Doug Leppard

    Brian – Dan – Bob thanks for the discussion. Dan thanks for being open in your frustrations.

    I am personally frustrated with my own gospel presenting and the lack of it. Part of it is having an office job at CCC and being surrounded by Christians.

    I so relate to the passivity comment and how I have seen that in American people towards God. It is often not PC to talk about God.

    I was a good campus staff in witnessing but never the Bill Bright witness to the person met at the gas station.

    So I personally struggle with bridging the conversation and overcoming the PC thing.

  • Jeff West

    Having a teenage kids (15,18, & 19) I have noticed that the older two are less likely to engage evangelistically with their peers. At the same time, they enjoy making (and watching) video/short films. The oldest has participated in making some interesting and thought provoking shorts, but the challenge is to get them thinking in terms of “way of life” use of video and other media for gospel communication rather than primarily for entertainment. If their creativity could be channeled in this direction, I believe that their impact would be great as they understand what is relevant to their peer group.

  • Jeff West

    I was on a high school campus yesterday and saw the challenge of ministering to students during lunch break. You only had a few minutes to connect with students and they were busy. Ministry HAD to occur in “vignettes” rather than extended conversations.

    The timing of this discussion could not have been better for me. Well done locally produced three minute shorts viewed on i-pods could meet those needs to address the “visual” and “story” elements while maximizing time limitations and assuring that “some” content delivery takes place.

    Whether evangelism or discipleship, complete or in parts, video delivery could be very powerful. How can this be done? I suggest providing three levels of service: 1) Subjects and outlines – highly customizable allowing maximum creativity with totally different stories. Only the core points would be the same; 2)Scripts – more than just an outline and yet somewhat adaptable, this allows the less creatively inclined to make it personal without having to deal with brain strain and writers block; 3)Ready to show videos – sometimes you just need to go with what has been done. This is the 3rd options because it is not customized but at least it is field based in it’s conception and could be relevant to a large portion, if not the majority of student. I’m talking about something less professional than the La Buscada short films.

    It might be that some folks have the great core ideas, others have the gift for writing the scripts, and others still have the skills to produce those films in a VERY short turn around time (like days or even hours). Imagine a collaborative community in which these things were produced and shared and feedback of their effectiveness is immediate allowing the cream to rise!

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