THRED: A New Era in Outreach

Greg Koenig introduces a new digital outreach initiative by Lutheran Hour Ministries called “THRED” In an article that appeared in The Lutheran Layman (November/December 2016 pages 3-7, Greg writes,

According to recent studies of trends in religion and spirituality, the traditional trails on which people are led to faith and church are growing narrower. Fewer families are active in a church; fewer parents are teaching the faith to their children; fewer people acknowledge the Bible as a reliable source of information and guidance for living. Unchurched people have fewer friends who are involved in a church.

So how can mission-minded Christians share the Good News about Jesus if the people we want to reach aren’t on or near those traditional trails of faith? Answer: Blaze new trails.

Author and speaker Jeff Bethke encourages the same thing. “Our Gospel message doesn’t change – but our methods can,” he says. “Go where the eyeballs are.”

Where are the “eyeballs”? Online. Koenig observes that people often turn first to Google as they search for information on any number of other subjects and therefore, it’s online that we can connect with unchurched people and begin a dialogue with them. Quoting Andrew Fitzgerald, LHM’s new director of the digital outreach project, Koenig writes, “Our research also tells us that … ‘Millennials’ …  are wary of anything that smacks of our traditional idea of church – or organized religion in general.  But quite a few are open to just discovering what the Bible says – and particularly what Jesus said and did in the gospel accounts. So the words and message of Jesus are central to this outreach project.”

If you would like to learn more about this project, visit: THRED.org. (Although there is no content on the site yet) or click on the link above and read the complete article in The Lutheran Layman.

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