Read about how one missions team with Cru used the “Before and After” strategy through social media to start meaningful conversations with their friends.
Mission: Initiate spiritual conversations with people in our lives.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
When a person surrenders their life to Christ, they become more like Him – their life changes. Every Christian has their own story of how they have changed. “Before and After” is a way for them to share that transformation.
The main focus of the outreach is on two personally-chosen words: one to describe your life before knowing Christ and one to describe your life after you started following Christ.
Before and After is unique because you have the opportunity to explain your two words in a brief video, which can be shared intentionally on social media platforms.
Here’s what people said about it:
“ As someone who does not consider themselves very religious I really enjoyed this video. I preface not being religious because in the short 2 minutes you helped me understand what your faith means to you and how it has helped you. Also we all share a desire to perform well and be a good person, so I related to your message.”
– Tabitha (Resident Director at Arizona State University)
“It was scary…sharing my video was easy, like posting on my timeline, but when I had to send it to people individually – that was terrifying. I just embraced myself and clicked send over and over and didn’t think about it. But it was good getting to have conversations with friends that I wouldn’t usually have and a lot of them were a lot more open that what I thought they would be.”
– Matara ( Sophomore at University of Texas at Dallas)
Goal: Expose 100 of our friends to our Before and After video in hopes to start spiritual conversations.
Sharing Strategy Overview:
Send Video in a Facebook Message
Continue the Conversation
Keep sharing more of your story and try to get to sharing the gospel or asking if you could give them a call over the phone or google hangout to share a bit more about how you came to know God personally and hear more about how their summer is going.
Text the Link to a Friend
Snapchat Your Words with a Question
Post an Instagram Clip of Your Video
Post To Your Timeline
Results (based off 15 videos)
2 Hours after releasing the video
3 Days after releasing the video
Quotes from friends who saw the video:
“Because I was not raised in a Christian environment, I do not always understand what exactly it means to be Christian or what God’s role is in people’s lives, and hearing stories like yours always helps me look at Christianity in an understanding perspective.”
– Karyn (Sophomore at Arizona State University)
“I truly enjoyed your video and it made me really do some self reflection. Yesterday was a bad day for me and so your video really helped me think about the positives from the day I had yesterday and how it will prepare me for the future! Thank you for sharing! You’re so inspirational and I truly adore you as a person! ”
– Catherine (Resident Director at Arizona State University)
“Great content. Make more. Definitely”
– Jourdan ( Friend from High School)
“Nile! watched your video and that’s awesome! I’m so happy for you and to hear your before and after story is great! i’ll definitely be praying that God continues to work in you as you now live with more of a purpose! so pumped for you man!”
– Cort (Sophomore at Davidson College )
“It’s good. Authentic and inspiring. Directed more towards the actual reality of trying to follow Christ is a welcome break from the (admittedly important) perpetual defense of basic concepts that tends to characterize a lot of Christian discourse today.”
– Connor ( Recent Graduate of University of Texas at Dallas)
“I think I am at a time in my life where I do need to start accepting God into my life again. I have been lead down so many wrong paths and I know he will guide me where to go. Your words are so honest and true and have definitely opened my eyes! And the video was amazing. It put everything into perspective and really made me truly aware that no matter where I’m at in my life, he will always bear my sins and guide me to the life he has planned for me.”
– Katie ( Senior at Oakland Community college)
Reflections from the Team
“I didn’t hate it. I was definitely nervous but I’m really glad I did it. This was the first time I shared my story, especially something that was similar to my testimony, online and publicly. I liked that it showed I was not ashamed of the gospel, and it also sparked a lot of spiritual conversations I never thought I would have.”
– Jess ( Junior at Baruch College)
“It was hard. I remember making the videos and I didn’t like mine. I had something to share but it didn’t really come off the way I wanted it to. I have never shared anything on Facebook about God or anything spiritual so coming in I prayed a lot. And even though I was really resistant, everyone around me was getting good responses and it made me realize that this was a good thing and God was calling us to share our stories. It was positive after that and I got to have a really deep conversation with one of my good friends. In the end, God used me.”
– Deb ( Senior at Michigan State University)