When Matthew Lucio, pastor of the Peoria Church, was growing up, evangelism meant that preachers expected everyone to bring a Bible and know how to use it. He said that the assumption was that everyone in America was basically Christian, but just the wrong kind of Christian.
“We don’t live in that world anymore,” said Lucio, who oversees Peoria Adventists, a digital church planted by the Peoria Church. “We haven’t lived in that world for a long time.”
So, to reach a post-Christian, skeptical, digital audience, Lucio is launching Project Atlas, a new way of talking about Jesus in a new world. Project Atlas is a series of videos by a diverse group of speakers with the intention of feeding people’s curiosity to know more about this spiritual world we share.
“Sure, we want to persuade people that the Good News of Jesus is for them, that it will challenge and transform,” he said in explaining the concept. “But there are no catches. There is no appeal music as the speaker invites you down the aisle. We don’t want your money. We don’t have books to sell or DVDs to sell or a special offer for you if you call 1-800-555-5555. You won’t find a link to any ministry we are trying to promote. What you will find is each speaker asking viewers to donate to a charity of their choice. There’s no catch and no pressure to do anything.”
The plan is to wrestle with some genuinely interesting questions, like the environment and the apocalypse and what’s good and bad about secularism. They’ll even touch on the historical transmission and integrity of the biblical text: how do you know that the New Testament you see online is really what was written in the first century?
This first season of Project Atlas, released on May 10, has nine videos from nine speakers. You can download them all, or binge-watch them, or start a watch party on Facebook for your friends. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/projATLAS/.
Debbie Michel, Lake Union associate director of Communication