Thursday, March 29, 2007

Soularium - Students coming to Christ

I've been out of the loop (or at least the blogshpere) for the last week. Its been an intense week, including a working group re-imagining campus ministry in light of emerging trends and realities. This is a working group that really is working - in more than one meaning of the word. This is a second 48 hour session together, separated by about 8 weeks of experimenting and learning. I've got to let it ruminate a little more before I begin sharing some the emergent ideas. But stay tuned... they should be coming soon.

In the meantime, more encouraging Soularium feedback from some Spring tests & early usage:
"I have to say that you guys have done a really great job and I'm proud of you. It is one of the most professional looking tools I've ever seen come out of CCC and I can't remember being more excited about a tool to engage with people about the Gospel. Really good job!!!!"

One of the Campus Directors at my Chicago meeting had participated in the Soularium field test. His students are so excited about it that they will make Soularium one of the "bread & butter" evangelism tools in the toolbox as soon as it becomes available for use (which will be very soon, we trust.)

But perhaps the most encouraging feedback comes from my son. Last Wednesday, he joined the SV director as they used Soularium to engage three fellow HS students in spiritual conversation. As they "explored" their life and spiritual perspective it led into a gospel conversation. The result -- all three prayed to receive Christ as their Savior! Thank you, Lord!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

An Addition to Emerging Strategies

Here is an addition to my list of seven emerging evangelism strategies. (Below at:

It comes from my good friends in Eastern Europe, in particular Hungary. I remember as Dave Robinson, Dan Butts, Zach Anderson and others were birthing the concept. It is working in the European context. It is beginning to have application in the US College Campus environment. I'd suggest you take a good look at it!

Life@Large in Croatian

Just received notification that Life@Large has now been translated into Croatian. Here is a pic clip of it...

For those who don't read Croatian, you might try reading it here:

In case you need a user's tip, click on the yellow arrows. There are two different tracks -- an upper conversational guide and the lower storyline.

Let's see -- other traslations include Portugese and Italian.

I still get occassional inquiries about it as a result of my chapter ("The Gospel for a New Generation") in DA Carson's Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns.

Perhaps the most amazing fact is that over 2 (perhaps 3) million copies of a condensed version of Life@Large were reproduced in mini-magazines following 9/11 and the Tsunami efforts.

I wonder how God has and will really use this in his divine plan! I wonder how many lives have actually been touched by it. Only eternity will reveal the true impact - whether great or small.

Seven Emerging Evangelism Strategies

What will fruitful evangelism look like ten years from now? No one knows for sure. But certain trends are emerging. Here is my list of seven emerging strategies…

1 -- Unleashing the Power of Story

  • Sharing the Gospel in Narrative
  • Current example: Inside Story Conference

2 -- Visual Story-telling

  • The Power of Films
  • Underdevelopment with Steve Rodd (JPO & Global Short Film Network) - Mini-Short Film Festival

3 -- Evangelism and the Creative Arts

  • Leveraging creativity to reach students in the arts and through the arts
  • Current Examples: The Creative Summit and Soularium

4 -- Equipping Conversational Evangelism Virtually

  • Deploying e-Learning and Evangelism Training
  • Under development: CoJourners training on-line

5 -- The Gospel for the Whole Person

  • Finding connections for gospel relevance
  • An example out of Europe Evangelism Strategies: EQ Seminars

6 -- Good News & Good Deeds

  • Humanitarian efforts as a context for evangelism (with unbelievers, not just to unbelievers)
  • Still learning lessons from 9/11, Tsunami & Katrina

7 -- Evangelism and the Web

  • Web 2.0 – Social Networking
  • Utilizing Facebook, U-tube & other social-networking platforms

Leave a comment on what you think... Thanks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

From the Lab - Short Film

As we continue to work in collaboration with the Global Short Film Network (thanks, Steve), we are encouraged with what is emerging. This week there is the initial local campus field test at a large midwest university. One of the first student "testers" wrote...

E., a sophomore who trusted Christ in October, hosted a showing and four of her “party girls” came with her [these are the gals she used to go out drinking with in September]. She said “B. [the Campus Director], I’ve wanted to tell them about Christ. I just didn’t know how to bring it up. They knew something had changed, even *they* could see a difference! It never would have happened without these short films. Now it’s out there [that I’m a Christian] and we’ll be able to talk about it more and more. I’m so glad that I hosted this. I’m so excited to see what God’s gonna do.”

The power of the short film genre...

Friday, March 16, 2007

They Love Jesus, Not the Church

I recently received the March/April edition of Outreach magazine (yes, I actually have a subscription to this and I’m glad I do), which includes an article by Dan Kimball, “I Love Jesus, Not the Church.”

You can check out the article:

Kimball writes, “For an upcoming message series on evangelism, we decided to go to this college campus to interview students and hear firsthand their thoughts about Christianity. We asked two questions: “What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Jesus’?” and “What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Christian’?”

Now there’s a novel idea – actually talking to the people we are trying to reach, rather than talking about them. Hmm… I wonder what you’d hear if you went out and asked the same questions. For you CoJourners, there's an "Explorer" idea!

Kimball suggests “the six most common perceptions of the Church [my note: notice “Church” not “Christian”] among post-Christian 20- and 30-somethings include:

1) The Church is an organized religion with a political agenda.
2) The Church is judgmental and negative.
3) The Church is dominated by males and oppresses females.
4) The Church is homophobic.
5) The Church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.
6) The Church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.”

I am not sure this list would match the answers heard on different campuses in different regions. But there is only one way to find out. Let’s get out there and ask the questions!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Cultural Relevance or Syncretism?

Relevance is a recurring chorus in 21st century evangelism. Right?

But when is relevance right and when is it merely syncretism (compromising gospel to culture)? Good question! And no easy answers. But if you want a good (academic) primer on the issues, here it is...

CoJourners Encouragement

I have just received this encouragement on an e-mail regarding a church in Oregon's use of CoJourners:
I got a nice note from Monte praising your work. He says they’ve had a thousand conversations about Jesus in recent months using co-journers…. Keep up the impactful work!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

From the Lab: Emerging Evangelism Strategies

So everyone wants to know -- what are you working on these days? Well, here is a sneak peak.

There are three emerging evangelism strategies:
  1. Soularium - An image dialogue
    Using 50 photographic images as an Exploring tool for significant spiritual conversations. Though in the "emerging" category (i.e., we have tested it with very positive results, but its not yet passed the test of local usage), this one appears like it will be the quickest to move into the "effective" evangelism resources quickly. Just yesterday we received an e-mail with this quote: "Just thought I'd pass on some encouragement. Someone from Malone College came into our office and said that Soularium is the best thing that has ever happened to Malone." We are hearing lots of similiar things on Soularium.
  2. Short Films - mini-film festivals
    Using short films from Damah Film Festival and other sources, we are working with the Global Short Film Network to create a transferable, reproducible template utilizing short films for small group gatherings (residence halls, living rooms, greek houses, etc.) Short films have a power to engage the mind and emotions, stimulating transparent spiritual conversation.
  3. Illusion
    Illusion is back and in a big way, with two major motion pictures and plenty of illusionists working shows and media. Students love to be "tricked" or so it seems. So now the old and new are teaming up. Andre Kole, who has performed on thousands of college campuses through the last 4 decades, is partnering with Maze, two young illusionists from Boulder. Andre does the full-blown stage show. Maze specializes in street illusion and more crowd participation shows. I saw Maze three weeks ago show their wares and then saw Andre and Maze together two nights ago at UCF. Over 2500 students came out (and this was one day before spring break starts--an amazing crowd.)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Getting Biblical in Eastern Europe

This just in from a leader in Eastern Europe offices...

We received the 25 books I ordered on “Getting Biblical about Evangelism”. We love them. ...
Our plan is to use this Bible study with all of our Eastern Europe AOA campus staff this fall. This book helps us with two big needs we see for our staff: 1. Spiritual Dependence and 2. Biblical motivation for evangelism.

Many of our staff speak English as a second language – but for best understanding – we need to have the book translated into several languages. Russian will be the main language (covering several of our countries), but also we will need translations done in Albanian, Polish, Serbian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and perhaps Croat.
God continues to extend the influence! Thank you, Lord.

Here is the web-link for Getting Biblical About Evangelism:

Friday, March 2, 2007

Evangelism and the Glory of God

Since glory, by definition, is "the manifestation of the divine excellencies," to glorify God is to display him in all of his greatness. Let me suggest four ways that evangelism glorifies God.
  1. The Gospel glorifies God, every time it is proclaimed. For the Gospel displays or reveals God's glorious attributes or nature -- His love; his holiness; his justice; his mercy; his grace; etc.
  2. The salvation work glorifies God, every time one repents and turns in faith. Consider the celebration in among the angels (Luke 15:7, 10).
  3. The new creation that results from the reception of the gospel (by grace through faith), glorifies God simply by reflecting the ever-increasing image of God (2 Cor. 3:16.)
  4. In the end, worshippers from every tongue, tribe and nation (the fruit of the gospel power) will gather around the throne and praise him -- declaring his greatness. Again, glorifying God.

So from beginning to end, evangelism glorifies God. He is glorified when the gospel is proclaimed, whether anyone responds or not, for he is revealed through it. But the glory is multiplied in and through the salvation act, from its beginning to the end. Gloria in Excelsis Deo!