Pandemic provides space for ministry innovation

International (MNN) — An ancient Chinese proverb reads: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls. Others build windmills.” It’s a quote often used to inspire innovation – something a Cru leader says is vital to navigating COVID-19 restrictions.

“People don’t innovate until they really are forced to innovate. Sometimes, just one constraint will unlock so many ideas of innovation,” says Ken Cochrum, Cru’s VP of Global Digital Strategies.

In a recent “Go and Make” podcast from Jesus Film Project, Cochrum spoke to hosts Ryan and Andrew about the changing shape of online ministry and outreach. Listen to the full podcast here.

Travel restrictions mean Ken and his global team can’t meet in-person like they usually would, but “that single constraint has unleashed so much creative energy and ideas, new fruitfulness. We’re learning how to connect in the same way we do in real life, face-to-face,” Cochrum says.

“We’re doing that better digitally, which encourages me because it’s meeting the needs of the people that we’re trying to serve.”

Reaching people in an unusual time

(Graphic courtesy Jesus Film Project)

As groups large and small adapt their methods of ministry, the mission field itself is changing, too. External stressors and pandemic uncertainty drive more people online for answers. Some encounter Christ along the way through Jesus Film resources.

“We keep track of our digital properties, which include the Jesus Film app, YouTube clips of The Jesus Film, God tools – all different digital outreach [sites] and mobilization tools that we use in our ministry,” Cochrum says.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 190 million people engaged in some way with these resources. Today, “that number sits at about 215 [million] or so,” Cochrum says.

“We haven’t poured a huge amount of money into marketing or anything. It’s just interest [in the Gospel].”

Praise God for equipping His people to share the Gospel in new ways. Pray for those who encounter Christ for the first time. Partner with Jesus Film Project here to reach people online.

“[There] is a country in the Middle East, it’s among several that are extremely high risk… the first report I got was that 9,000 people from that country subscribed to a YouTube channel for Arabic church; now, the number’s over 30,000,” Cochrum shares.

“People are hungry. They’re thirsty for information, and they are finding ways to get it.”

Header image courtesy of Jesus Film Project.

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