Like most organizations around the world, Cru City Austin has had to find new ways to connect to people during this time of COVID19. Until March 2020, 90% of our contacts with people were face to face. Since COVID19 struck, we have had to pivot and use social media and the internet to connect. In a matter of weeks, we turned our small groups, seminars and even our outreaches from live events to online webinars and Zoom calls. Our mission and vision are the same —“To connect people to Jesus and develop spiritual leaders who will advance the mission of Jesus to impact Austin and the world”– but our strategies had to drastically change to connect with people during the pandemic.
In early September 2020, we held our first webinar with speakers Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini, who shared tips on “Fighting Fair.” Our webinars are designed to give people helpful information on growing personally, professionally and spiritually. The Ferrinis gave great advice on how to avoid fights (by listening and answering facts with facts, and emotions with emotions) and shared the importance of inviting God’s spirit into each disagreement.
In October, we hosted Dr. Tim Muelhoff virtually twice in one week. His talks, “Hard Conversations – Part I and Part II,” generated a large number of comments and questions from the 140+ participants. One of them later shared that she took the notes from Dr. Muelhoff’s webinar and shared them with a group of young leaders in her high-tech workplace and got great feedback. Another participant wrote: “I almost didn’t sign up to this webinar today but was so, so, SO thankful I did. This was a jewel of help about difficult topics and I am looking forward to the next one.”
One attendee who indicated that she was interested in growing spiritually has since come to faith in Christ after going through a basic Bible study with a local staff woman. A couple wanted more information about the local Cru ministry and started going through the same Foundations study with Cru staff and are now growing in their faith.
Because these webinars allow us to reach almost three times the number of people who attended our past Austin “in person” events, we will continue to use this powerful new tool that God has made available “for such a time as this!” You can click on the links to hear the Ferrini’s talk and Dr. Tim Muelhoff’s webinars one and two.