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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




The Message Remains Relevant

Nothing’s Too Hard for God, the Assemblies of God media campaign used by many local churches across the country, is an effective tool.

“It’s having an impact nearly everywhere it’s used,” says Juleen Turnage, director of the Assemblies of God Office of Public Relations. “Lives are being touched, people are coming to Christ, and churches are seeing visitors and experiencing growth.”

The campaign is designed to help churches build image awareness in their communities and to share the gospel. Nothing’s Too Hard for God does this by focusing on eight significant life issues: forgiveness, illness, broken relationships, loneliness, fear, financial stress, loss and addiction.

“All of the issues featured in the campaign are relevant, and there is substance to the stories in terms of what God can do in a person’s life,” Turnage says. “We anticipate it continuing to touch lives and communities for at least two more years.”

The campaign slogan is based on Jeremiah 32:27: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (NIV).

The outreach has everything from ready-to-air television commercials to curriculum for small group studies. There are more than two dozen tools in all.

The campaign uses advertisements to focus on the hopelessness of each issue, and then communicates the truth that God still offers hope, even when circumstances appear humanly impossible. Nothing’s Too Hard for God directs people to the local church for help and answers.

“The videos and ads feature true-life stories of people who have experienced the pain and trauma of these issues,” says Rick Griepp, OPR resource development coordinator. “They show the difference Christ can make when people surrender their lives and problems to Him.”

All the ads and tools encourage people to see the full story at the ministry website nothingstoohardforGod.org, where visitors can watch eight-minute videos, along with a clear presentation of the gospel and an opportunity to accept Christ as Savior.

Nothing’s Too Hard for God is designed to share hope with those who don’t know Christ, but it also encourages Christians.

Based on reports from churches, Griepp estimates that more than 2,000 people have made salvation decisions for Christ as a result of Nothing’s Too Hard for God church outreaches. Pastors say the message and subthemes move hearts. The program uses a variety of media and print tools to invite people to church, where they will hear the message and see the campaign unfold.

In addition to customizable Nothing’s Too Hard for God commercials and advertisements, there are radio spots, postcards, billboards, brochures, roadside banners, neighborhood yard signs, posters and newspaper advertisements.

The AG National Prayer Center has produced seven daily devotionals to provide depth and insight into each of the eight subthemes (56 devotionals in all). These and other helps are available on the resource website: www.nthfgcampaign.ag.org.

Participating churches can wrap up the campaign in as little as eight weeks or keep it going for a two-year period. A sustained release allows for fresh content to be released every three months.

In conjunction with the program, pastors are encouraged to incorporate testimonies from their own people that correlate with each given topic. Pastors can use sermon helps and starter outlines as well. Compelling videotaped testimonies averaging eight minutes in length are available on each of the subthemes as a lead-in to sermons.

Longer versions of the taped testimonies, with pause points and discussion notes, are available for group home study use. Those sessions are led by video host Scotty Gibbons, student ministries director at James River Assembly of God in Ozark, Mo.

Among those featured on the videos are a drug runner who became a church planter, a blind man who was healed, a survivor of the World Trade Center terrorist attack on 9/11, an athlete delivered from drug addiction, and a man who lost his entire family in a bus crash.

Griepp says Nothing’s Too Hard for God isn’t too complex or expensive for any size of congregation, small or large.

“A church can run an effective campaign on a meager budget by simply inviting people, showing the videos, and conducting the services,” Griepp says.

Some AG congregations have joined together to coordinate a synchronized outreach across their city or district by purchasing major media advertising together and doing everything else separately.

A printed media planner guide is available to walk churches through the entire process of conducting a campaign.

Nothing’s Too Hard for God allows congregations to get a strong message out in their communities, one that shares hope and speaks volumes about the power of God to change hearts, heal bodies and restore lives.

Email your comments to pe@ag.org.