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

Audience-Centered Strategy

March 2024

Audience-Centered Strategy

Starting with Love

Cheryl Boyd
Global Vice President, Digital Strategies


If you have spent time with anyone in Digital Strategies, chances are you have heard us say, “Behind every screen is a person. Behind every person is a story—and that story matters to God.”

As we work to radically accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission across all audiences, we’re motivated by our love for Jesus and our love for people. We follow in Jesus' footsteps as we engage with people in light of who they are and the story that has brought them where they are today. 

Jesus didn’t engage with everyone the same way every time. He had a mission and a purpose that reflected His love for people. He made each of us one of a kind, and he invites us into an intimate relationship that reflects our uniquenesses. 

One of our greatest challenges in ministry is to keep our focus on our love for people. In our efforts to accomplish the mission, do our jobs well, and reach our goals, we can give in to the temptation to put ourselves and our accomplishments at the center rather than allowing the love of Jesus to flood our hearts and compel us to love the people He’s called us to reach. 

Do you see the difference? If I love people, I won’t find my identity in how they respond to my evangelistic strategies. I will try to understand them better and let the Holy Spirit guide me in expressing His love to them through our interactions. If I love people, I will have patience in our interactions. I will look for ways to help them understand the love of Jesus and give them space to respond to His invitation in their time. I will not give up on them or walk away if they disagree or even respond rudely to me. 

What does this kind of love look like in the digital world? It can be tempting to blast out our message and hope that it makes a difference in people’s lives, but that does not communicate the heart of Jesus. Instead of centering our strategies and messages, we can start with love. As we cultivate a heart for Jesus and continue to make space for Him, His love will move us to love people. We will begin to pray for the people in our missional gaps and for the followers of Jesus who are not yet multiplying disciples. We will take a posture of curiosity to learn more about these people and pray that God will move in their hearts and change their lives. We will understand the painful experiences that have resulted in walls of resistance to God’s love. We will relate to their dreams and desires for themselves and those they love. And we will move towards them with kindness and mercy to help them experience the love of Jesus in words and terms that speak to their hearts. We will invite them into a relationship with Jesus and connect them with people close to where they are—geographically and culturally. They will experience God’s love through us and have the opportunity to join a movement of people who love Jesus and love people like they have been loved. 

What a joy it is to be a part of God’s family and His mission! Digital Strategies allows us to make this kind of love available to anyone, anywhere, anytime they want to be a part of it. I can’t wait to share more with you about new ways we can help you love people God has called you to reach more effectively. Stay tuned!

Together with you,


February action step 1

Building an Audience-Centered Culture on Your Team

Melissa Rike

Senior Digital Strategist, Global Digital Strategies


To be more audience-centric in our ministry approaches, it is important to develop an audience-centered team culture. Thankfully, everyone can contribute to this, not just the team leader! One of the key things a team can do to have an audience-centered culture is to practice compassionate empathy together. 

Compassionate empathy is about understanding a person’s predicament, feeling with them, and being spontaneously (by the Spirit) moved to help if needed. It is concerned with intellect, emotion, and action. This is what Cheryl was modeling above in her article. So, how might a team practice compassionate empathy together? Hold the audience(s) you are trying to serve in mind as you read these recommendations: 

  • Take time to pray for your persona/audience regularly as a team. Allow God to move your hearts for them.

  • Ask yourselves, can we explain from our audience’s point of view what they care about and why? Can you sit with that in compassion rather than judgment? 

  • Create visual cues in your workspace that remind you of your audience. For example, the GodTools team has little framed pictures of our persona, Behati, to remind us to pray and consider her as we do our work.

  • Do user research! I recently heard this said, “Research is the action part of empathy. It’s what we do to identify and understand the perspective, experiences, feelings and motivations of the people we are designing for.”  

  • Regularly review your analytics as a team. As one colleague told me, “Analytics are the voice of your audience.” Be sure to check out Matt's story to see how this can affect your team!

  • Create margin as a team. If you discover something new about your audience and the Holy Spirit moves you to help in some way, having margin on your team will allow you to be more responsive to the Spirit and love/serve your audience.

If you read anything in this list that you want to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 

 We would love to hear from you, too! What are some of the ways you and your team intentionally build an audience-centered team culture? Let us know in either our WhatsApp group or in our Workplace group! We can benefit from learning from one another.


Feb action step 2

Key Questions for Data Storytelling

Matt Brodie

Data Storyteller & Creative Communications Department Co-Manager, Power to Change Canada


As a data storyteller, I design and build data-based tools that give the people in our ministry a window into what God is doing and what He might be leading us to do next. Here are two questions I find useful in this work; I hope you can use them, too.

First, I ask, "How might we get to know the people (audiences) we’re serving?" Sometimes, that audience is the people for whom I'm designing reports, like in our ministry's Snapshot Survey.

We run this Snapshot Survey twice a year, asking students across Canada how they experience our ministry. My job: summarize the results in a way that's accurate and actionable for the staff and students leading our local and national-level ministries. So, those staff and students are my audience for this project. I serve them with data they use to serve all our students (our ministry's audience). 

I produced some reports with our limited resources, then humbly asked the people using them: How can I make them more useful for you? One insightful answer: "Make it an infographic that a student leader can see on their smartphone." So that's what I did! A downsized Google Sheets report, exported to PDFs—and done!

And there you see the answer to my second question: “How might we use what we learn to serve our people (audiences better)?”

One more example illustrating both of these questions, where our primary audience is our website users: 

Through some simple Google Analytics reporting, we discovered a possible disconnect between our actual audience and our ideal audience—Canadian students in our ministry. Specifically, most people came to our site from search; most people weren’t visiting from Canada; and the most popular pages are blogs about 1 John, not anything specific to P2C-S.

Our team investigated further, launching a usability study with actual students. This study confirmed our suspicions: our students don’t use our website much. That realization led us to our current project: build a new and better site! 

And I'm diving deeper into Google Analytics to make sense of the journeys people are actually taking on our site. I hope to keep unearthing insights that lead to audience-centered decisions.

May these simple questions and brief examples inspire your journey in Spirit-led, curiosity-driven, effective service of the people God places within your reach—whether you reach them through a report, a web page, or a conversation!


Feb action step 2


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