A few years ago, we sat down with several college ministry leaders to tackle the issue of evangelistic effectiveness in collegiate ministry circles. As we met, we knew that some college ministries, evangelistically speaking, knock the ball out of the park. We also knew (and this may sting a bit for some), that many don’t tackle evangelism quite as well as they could. As the group pinged discussion to and fro in our war room, we threw out all kinds of ideas about what we could do to help collegians become more effective in their evangelism. It was tough and it got messy…but at the end of the day we arrived at an idea, or better said, a question: “What one concept could we champion that would help every student engage more people with the gospel?”
As the group fussed, discussed, and mindstormed together, we realized that the greatest challenge in motivating or influencing Christian students to share the gospel is simply helping them to engage people in evangelistic conversation. Most Christians know the gospel (and yes this is somewhat of a self-evident statement), but many of our college students are challenged when it comes to sharing it. It was in light of this thinking that we arrived at our goal—motivate and mobilize college students to engage more lost people with the gospel.
Enter Soularium. Developed by some artistic types in the Northeast, Soularium is an evangelistic engagement tool that uses pictures to segue regular conversation into spiritual dialogue, and ultimately, into a gospel presentation. The Soularium creators explain it this way: “Soularium provides 50 images and a few simple questions to allow you to enter and explore the lives of people around you…[it] allows you to come alongside another person on their journey by exploring where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they’re headed. Asking questions and genuinely listening can open a door to significant spiritual conversation about Jesus.”
As we thought about Soularium and its application, we began to realize that because of the tool’s simplicity, Soularium could be used in a variety of ways and in many different contexts. Further, we realized that Soularium’s dialogical approach of image-based spiritual questioning was remarkable. With a Soularium box in hand, college students are enabled to engage more deeply and relationally into the lives of the persons with whom they share. It masterfully sets the table for gospel presentation and acceptance.
Soularium is by no means a “silver bullet” of evangelism, nor is it intended to replace successful evangelism tools and methods currently in use. What is intended with Soularium is a universal, system-wide increase in the number of college students reaching into the lives of non-believers, and ultimately, leading more of the lost into the only relationship that can save. As each non-believer explains why certain pictures resonate with him or her, a dialogue opens that can allow the sharer to see into a person’s soul.
The goal of this short book is to be a guide for leaders. We’ve refined the process and script through hundreds of repetitions, with groups of all sizes and experience levels in gospel sharing. In the pages that follow, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process for training groups of students to use Soularium in a workshop style setting, and helping them take the next step in their evangelism with confidence.
To learn more about the Soularium tool, check out the Soularium website at http://crustore.org/soularium2.html.