Set Your Goal

You want to be effective in digital ministry. Set SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely).

Know Your Audience

How to create a persona, based on research, educated assumptions, and real experiences. to help you in digital ministry.

Social Media Basics

Best practices and key tips as you get started in the world of social media for ministry.

Create a Journey

A content journey is taking your user through a digital journey, step-by-step, going from one call to action (CTA) to another.

Intro to Analytics

Analytics can help you see where God is at work in people’s lives online, and evaluate the effectiveness of your digital efforts.

Put It All Together

Final instructions for a new digital strategist.

Marketing to Expand Your Reach

This section provides training and resources to help you grow in your marketing capabilities.


Find playbooks for using and leading with analytics, webinars, and step-by-step guides for using our Cru analytics tools.

Social Media Management

Find training and how-tos for managing your social media channels as well as running social media campaigns.

Email Campaign Management

Find helpful resources to help you get started with Adobe Campaign and to run your first email campaign.

Content Management Systems

Cru supports two content management systems that can host your website: Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and WordPress.

Learning Management Systems

Find helpful resources to help you get started with the right Learning Management System (LMS) to fit your training needs.


Worksheets and diagrams to help you plan your strategy


What does THAT mean? Find the answer here!

Measuring Fruitfulness

How we define and measure fruitfulness in the digital ministry context

Cru Digital Ecosystem

Directory of the supported apps and sites we use for ministry

The Digital Download

Artificial Intelligence

November 2023

Reflection and Resources

What Does Laundry Have to Do with AI?

Cheryl Boyd
Global Vice President, Digital Strategies


Every Saturday I set time aside to do my laundry, and I recently stopped to think about the impact of the washing machine. It may feel like a chore to do my laundry, but the reality is that a machine is doing the work. I sort, feed the machine some detergent, move wet clothing from one machine to another (or onto a rack to dry), fold, and put my clean laundry away. While the machine does the hard work, I can take on other tasks. 

Technology makes hard tasks easier. It frees us up to use our time and energy on things that matter most. It is a tool for good… unless it is not. 

Until recently, AI was seen by most people as a futuristic technology that promised more than it could deliver. In the past few months, however, it has evolved beyond making your emails easier to write. Not only is it exceeding our past expectations, it is blowing our minds with results we never imagined would be possible.

If even leading engineers are struggling to keep up with the evolution of the machines they created, how do we make sense of the impact AI can have on the Great Commission? Some of you are thrilled by the possibilities and are experimenting with new technology as soon as it is available. Others of you are taking a more cautious approach, wanting to understand more about how it works and what the results might be before you dive in. Neither approach is wrong. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, let me suggest a few thoughts as you consider how you use AI for ministry. 

First, pray for wisdom. 

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you …” (James 1:5).

God is not nervous about AI. It does not overwhelm or confuse Him. He is eager to give you the wisdom you need to know how and when to use it. You can trust Him to guide you. 

Second, seek understanding. 

“... All these men [from the tribe of Issachar] understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Like the men of Issachar, pursue understanding. Learn what you can about AI. The wisdom God gives you through His Holy Spirit will help guide you as you learn. This requires a posture of humility and it takes time. 

Last, look at the fruit.

“A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit” (Matthew 7:17-18).

Does your use of AI lead to deeper relationships or isolation? Are you finding yourself relying more on the Lord or are you taking “spiritual shortcuts?” Is AI freeing you up to spend more time on the things you value most, or are you just becoming busier? Or lazier? 

I have a choice in how I use the time saved by washing my clothes with a machine. The machine is not responsible for my choice. It is neither good nor bad. The same is true with AI. It is powerful and impressive. It can give us more and more opportunities to help people know, love and follow Jesus. It can also distract us and cause pain if we use it carelessly. 

Kejdis and Rudina Bakali shared great tips and resources on using AI with social media in a recent Learning Lounge. In the days to come we will have more events and resources about how to use AI for ministry. Look for the posts on our channels and join us as we trust the Lord for wisdom, continue learning, and evaluate the fruit of our approaches. 

Read Jon Vellacott’s article below to learn more about our governance and guidance for AI.

Together with you,


resources action step

Decoding the Ethics of AI

Jon Vellacott
Director of Global Technology


AI is everywhere. New applications emerge every day as this rapidly growing technology finds its way into every part of life. It is also on our minds, especially as we don’t know how far AI will evolve and what the implications will be on our society.

This video shows a church in Germany that has started holding services entirely led by AI — including the sermon. As you can imagine, this has triggered a wide range of responses.

How do you feel about AI? Even within our organization there is a very wide range of emotions about this topic. Some people are more comfortable with AI than others. But it is important that, as we pursue the opportunities that AI affords, we take care to love and respect those with whom we are engaging.

For those of us who are old enough to remember when the “World Wide Web” erupted onto the scene back in the 1990s, this feels very similar. There was much concern then about ethics and how the Web was going to replace jobs and be a cesspit of depravity. And to be honest, those concerns have proven to be justified. But at the same time, the internet has been a powerful tool and our largest and most significant mission field. 

The question was not, “Should we use the internet?” It was, “How should we use the internet?”

So it would be a false dichotomy to present this topic as AI vs. Ethics. We need to pursue both AI and ethics. To help with this, the Digital Council has created a couple of documents to help guide us as we think about how to ethically implement AI. The first document linked below focuses on creative uses of AI and Virtual Reality in ministry. The second document walks through six principles on the use of AI for productivity and some related data and privacy implications.

What are your thoughts on the ethics of AI? How are you considering using it? How are you intentionally pursuing the ethical use of AI? What healthy boundaries have you put in place? Let us know your thoughts on Workplace.


jan action point 2

Expanding Capacity with AI

Travis Todd
East Asia Digital Strategies Leader


Artificial intelligence is here to stay and is the next big thing happening in the internet space. So much has happened over the years to make this possible, and we are just starting to see its uses. 

Just the other day, I took a picture of what was in my refrigerator and asked AI what I could cook with those ingredients. That was right after I watched a TikTok from a dad saying the hardest thing about being a grown-up is trying to figure out what to feed your family every night. Well, AI just helped solve the hardest thing about being an adult! 

I personally believe there are a lot harder things to being a grown-up. One of those as a Christian is connecting with people and talking with them about Jesus. I love to have spiritual conversations, but I am limited in the number of people I can personally initiate with face to face. That’s one of the reasons I started using digital strategies to reach people with the gospel. 

There are more than 200 million people in my part of the world. They are the people in my missional gap and I want all of them to come to know Jesus! So I started using the internet and, over the years, I’ve seen over 600,000 people indicate a decision for Christ. There is power in digital strategies.

Last week, we had a video clip from Jesus Film Project go viral with close to 6 million views in a few days. Thousands of people asked questions about Lazarus being raised from the dead, and our account had over 40,000 new followers because of that one video. My team has a lot of work to do now to connect and engage with these people. 

Now, imagine if we had AI set up before a video goes viral. When people add our account, AI could send them a direct message asking a question about the post that was released earlier that day. It could start a conversation to engage with them on a deeper level and ask if they would like to connect with a real-life person. Then the team would work with those people who want to be connected and are ready to have deeper spiritual conversations. Or we could connect them to local fellowships and churches around the country.

AI is helping us engage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with thousands of people each day. I don’t have a team that could do that. Just like I didn’t have a team that could go face to face and tell 200 million people about Jesus. 

The world is constantly changing. Now I look at social media and algorithms and the internet and search engine optimization to find agile ways to reach people. But getting in front of people is hard. I want Jesus in front of as many people as possible as often as possible so they can see who my Savior is. 

When I was first in East Asia, if you told four people about Jesus, one became a Christian. In late 2019, one out of 14 became a Christian. It was a numbers game. Tell more people about Jesus, and more people become Christians.

You can think of social media and the internet the same way. Get Jesus in front of more people, and more people can believe and know him as their Savior. Give them the option to choose. We are using AI to help write articles and social media posts, and to create memes and pictures. While it once took us a day to create and share one, we now can create as many as we want in a day. With the help of AI, we do 5-8 posts per day. 

AI is a good assistant that doesn’t complain or get sick or tired. Just ask it to create stuff for you and keep giving it directions until it gives you something that works. 

While AI is helpful, you don’t want to automatically send out what it creates to the world. Just like any new team member, you still need to check its work. Read it and see if the content reflects our beliefs and values. Does it communicate the heart of Christ and your ministry well? 

Right now, we’re working on a chatbot that will engage with people who come to us from our posts or our ads. The chatbot has our materials, knows our Cru values and can respond to their questions. I hope to have more chat options available by the first quarter of 2024. For now, we’re experimenting and testing to see if these options allow us to connect with people in a way that is spiritually responsible. Is it loving and does it connect people to our movements through real relationships rather than leaving them isolated? 

AI is a tool that can help us. We all feel like we need more volunteers and workers. Used appropriately, AI can be a valuable resource for ministry. 


My Experience with AI Tools

Rudina Bakalli
Digital Strategies, Global Church Movements VP Team


My journey in online ministry dates back to 2001 when, as a newlywed, I moved to post-war Kosovo to serve together with my husband, Kejdis. 

While in Kosovo, we noticed that people were resisting the gospel in face-to-face meetings but that there was a great openness online. Through the years I have experienced the transition from mass media to web to social-media-based ministry. 

I am not a techie. I’m a communicator who finds great joy in connecting an audience with the gospel message and seeing them grow in their understanding of Jesus. I always look for simple tools like social media that help me meet people where they are. You will find me where conversations are happening.

That has required a constant learning attitude as well as quickness in responding to an opportunity because technology is changing rapidly. And I have never been as excited as when AI entered the world, because AI has made it easier than ever to create content in a short amount of time. You can create a text or even get ideas for a curriculum in a matter of seconds. 

There are many AI tools, but I have been mainly using ChatGPT and Canva to create engaging daily social media posts. I also consult ChatGPT to further develop ideas or give me a frame for a seminar or topical study. I can then continue designing it by adding a personal touch or my signature.

Prompts are key in using ChatGPT in an effective way. The prompt is the sentence command you give to ChatGPT. A more specific and descriptive prompt will generate a better result. For example, instead of asking, “Create seven social media posts,” the prompt can be, “Act as a Facebook page content creator and create seven engaging daily posts that address love from a Christian perspective. The posts should target 18-25-year-old users who do not believe in Jesus but are open to discussing life and spirituality.” 

You can add as many specific descriptions as you want to your prompt. You can generate new responses or even ask ChatGPT to develop or further expand the idea or any of the posts. You can also ask ChatGPT to suggest images that would go well with each post. After I check the given material for doctrinal or historical errors, I then continue building and scheduling my post on Canva.

This process has given me joy. I feel like a tailor in a workshop full of a vast range of materials and supplies where the limit is the sky.

I believe that AI is a gift to help us take the gospel to the ends of the earth. There will be those who use it to advance their evil causes, just as they use systems like mass media or transportation to accomplish their evil plans. But that should motivate us as sons and daughters of light to go faster and shine brighter in the dark places. Because many people are spending hours online and, if we are not there, others with their evil purposes will be.

Every day we are witnessing the impact of harmful ideologies in the minds and hearts of young people. Our online presence is not only crucial, it is urgent. We are like those special forces going to dark places to help souls come to Jesus. 



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