As isolation is urged, an opportunity is rising.
The U.S. is facing unusual times and unprecedented circumstances. Due to health concerns restaurants are closing, transportation options are being limited and houses of worship remain empty. In an effort to protect the population, employers are encouraging their workers to work from home, governments are banning groups from gathering and the older generations are locking their doors and avoiding contact.
The paradigm of “social distancing” is being encouraged so that germs don’t spread, but as isolation is urged, an opportunity is rising. If approached with compassion and understanding, those who are secluded are proving to be willing to consider and respond to the claims of Christ.
In 2017, Groundwire recognized that the digital space represented the next frontier in evangelism. As they adjusted their strategy from traditional media (TV, Radio, Billboard) to digital delivery only, they began to see tremendous response. Last year alone, they saw 83,970 people (mostly millennials and Gen Z) in the U.S. place their trust in Jesus and they anticipate achieving their goal of 175,000 new believers in 2020.
They have identified a few key factors that are driving this growth.
• Young people are never more than 10 feet away from their phones. We might not be able to get them to walk into a church, but we can’t get them to put down their phones, so let’s utilize that. Instead of giving all the screen space to the pornographers, politicians and publicists, let’s find ways to share Jesus.
• Young people may turn down an invitation but it is possible to interrupt their entertainment. The younger generations have so many excuses as to why they don’t want to attend church. They might be busy, tired or just don’t want to go, but using their mobile device we can interrupt their thoughts and share hope, peace and Jesus.
• Young people are tired of the monologue they perceive coming from the church but they are very open to a dialogue. The most powerful skill as it pertains to gaining their trust is the ability to listen. If they feel heard, they will listen. Our online volunteers don’t just blurt out spiritual truth, they listen carefully, then connect it to their season of life.
• Crisis opens young people up to having conversations about Christ. Lost and hurting people aren’t asking theological questions. They aren’t waking up and saying, Oh no, I am going to hell. They are waking up and saying, Oh no, I am going through hell. We don’t ignore theology, but we have realized that it isn’t the doorway to begin the discussions about Jesus. Start with felt need and introduce them to the One who can meet it.
• Young people are not asking the right questions, but you can help them. Most in the younger generations aren’t “seekers.” They aren’t asking the right questions. But, with the right content you can crawl behind their mask and encourage them to consider things that are truly meaningful.
Using these principles Groundwire is seeing hundreds (their metrics, definitions, and processes have been validated by third party companies) of people in the U.S. coming to faith every day. They aren’t waiting for people to come looking for them and they aren’t waiting for permission, they are permeating digital spaces with the message that “When Life Hurts, Jesus Cares” and inviting people into conversations about faith, pain, culture and Jesus at JesusCares.com.
Sean Dunn, the founder and President of Groundwire shares, “Seventy-two percent of the young people in our nation believe that God is a real being and not just a concept. We don’t need to convince them that he is real; we need to remind them that he is relevant. With God’s help, we are doing that and he is drawing hearts to himself.”
With the push of “social distancing” people will be spending more time with their phones and the opportunities will continue to grow. This new trend could actually lead to the greatest harvest the U.S. has ever seen.
Adapted from an Evangelical Press Association press release. Reposted by permission of Groundwire.