We approach people asking them if they would like to participate in a video survey. We explain we are with Inside Out and are looking to understand better the Fort Collins community and how people think and believe. This method allows us to ask spiritual and personal questions without people being too skeptical of what we are doing.
After all, we just want to know what they believe and do not have an agenda of preaching at them. Our queries include surface-level questions about how people spend their time on the weekends to more in-depth questions about their feelings when they hear the words “Christian” or “Jesus” and how they carry out their own spirituality.
The answers we get in these surveys capture the essence of the spiritual condition and the majority consensus of how people think and believe in this area. Openness and tolerance are the most common overlying theme in the way people view the world here. While these could be desirable traits of a peaceful environment, it leaves out room for absolute truth. Many people will acknowledge the possibility of the existence of God, but they believe spirituality to be highly individual and kept personal to avoid conflict. The ideas that we have come across make up a diverse pool of belief systems including but not limited to religious pluralists, New Age enthusiasts, agnostics, Mormons, and even a couple evangelical Christians.
While each interview is eye-opening, one stuck out in particular. We approached a group of teenagers with edgy-style choice in clothing, pierced bodies and dyed hair. Their guitar-playing ringleader looked to be the oldest of the bunch.
In the middle of trying to explain to one of them the video survey we were doing, an older girl spoke up over our shoulder asking what we were doing. We quickly learned her name was Christina . She actually worked with youth at a local church and had come out there to hang out with one 14-year-old girl in particular she had been trying to reach out to, and that the groups of teens that we had been trying to survey were the young girl’s friends.
The group quickly scattered, and Christina explained that it probably was because they had been in trouble with the police already once that day and were avoiding making a scene by being on camera. Christina was trying to meet the girl in her element with the people that she spends most of her time with. After interviewing both Christina and her adolescent friend, we found that Christina could fit perfectly in the type of ministry we have been a part of with Inside Out church. She expressed a desire to talk with Pastor Nate Templin about helping him out. This was such an answer to pray for Inside Out, who had been looking for a college-aged female in the area to help them connect and to be a part of their vision of being the church to the lost and reaching those who would never set foot in a church building.
Not only did we make a great connection, but also Christina was excited because the questions we raised in our survey were going to be a great way to open up spiritual conversation with her searching friend. It excites me how God may use Christina to continue to impact that one girls life and potentially many others. I am grateful for this new friend made through what I believe to be divine appointment. Each day is an adventure, as we never know whom God will place in our path.
Student missionary correspondent Amber Cassady, a communications student at Texas A&M University in College Station, is serving in Colorado with Go Now Missions.