Using Media to Initiate Spiritual Conversations in Czech Republic
From trivial bits of information to important facts and advice, humans today tend to use the internet for almost everything. Increasingly, this is true regarding those looking for spiritual answers.
At any moment, estimates assume that 2.5% of people are actively seeking answers to their spiritual questions.
Often, these seekers are using the internet to find what they are looking for. This may be because they don’t know a spiritual person they can confide in. Or perhaps they feel embarrassed or intimidated to talk to others. So, they search online to find what they are looking for.
Yet, the internet can be a confusing and chaotic place. Billions of articles with information on every facet of every religion under the sun can be found.
But information will never be enough.
What spiritual-seekers truly long for is relationship. Deep relationship with Christ. Authentic relationship with Christ followers. And these are not nearly as easy to find.
So how do we, as Jesus followers, find and connect with people who are seeking?
In September 2020, GEM workers in Czech Republic began collaborating with two other organizations on how to more effectively reach their cities for Christ. The conversation, including many Czechs and North Americans, specifically revolved around using social media to create disciple-making opportunities.
A strategy was created with the help of Media to Movements, an organization who has been doing online outreach in various parts of the world for several years.
Upheld by a foundation of prayer, the aim is to connect with seekers by running short social media ads that address the deepest longings of the human heart. The hope is that people will click on the link in the videos to start an online conversation with a discipler and, eventually, meet in person to build a relationship and read the Bible together.
Earlier the spring, Czech believers from different cities were trained and equipped to be disciplers. At the same time, a 30-day prayer initiative was implemented in preparation for the launch.
In May 2021, ads began running in three cities across Czech Republic. The first ad centers around the question “What does it mean to belong?” On the premier day, the ad was viewed by more than 18,000 individuals, and 82% of those viewers watched it multiple times.
Since the inception of the project, Christian workers in other Czech cities have expressed interest in coming on board to expand the reach of the ads. The hope is to train workers in two additional cities soon, with more on the horizon.
Hopefully, this is only the very beginning. Especially during a pandemic, when face-to-face opportunities are limited, this innovative approach to reaching people offers a great deal of promise. More ads are being created and the team is hopeful that God will use them to connect with people in unique and personal ways in the coming months and years.
Each of us longs to see God move in our local context. This is one small way that Christians in Czech Republic are collaborating to usher in opportunities for movements of God.
About the authors:
Joel and Julie Workman, GEM workers in Brno, Czech Republic, have dreams of seeing a thriving house church network in their city. Joel is the GEM Czech Field Leader and Julie is part of the GEM Storytelling Team.