Posted by: Brian Musser | October 30, 2017

I No Longer Fit

As a ministry at Drexel, Disciples InDeed (DID) often uses an evangelism tool called Soularium to engage students in conversation.  Soularium is a set of 50 pictures that are used to answer questions.  There is a standard list of five questions that we typically ask but at times we get creative with the questions.  The typical questions (or prompts) are:

  • Pick three pictures that describe your life right now.
  • Pick three pictures that describe what you want your life to be like.
  • Pick an image that describes what comes to mind when someone says the word “God.” Even if you do not believe in God pick a picture that describes that.
  • Pick an image that describes your spiritual journey up until this point.
  • Pick an image that describes what you wish was true of your spiritual life.

Soularium is a great tool to engage students in spiritual conversations and creates many opportunities to transition those conversations into Gospel presentations.

There is not a perfect tool, but Soularium does some really good things.  It helps Christian students listen and learn about their peers.  It gives students opportunities to think and talk about parts of their lives that are not part of everyday conversation.  Using images help students answer abstract questions.  If I were to ask a Drexel student what they thought about God most would answer, “Ummm.”  Asking Drexel students to answer that question and giving them 50 images to choose from is a much more tangible process for them.  I’ve seen friendship develop through Soularium conversations and ultimately many of these conversations are able to be transitioned into the Gospel with Christian students leading their peers to Christ.

I remember this one particular time I was using Soularium.  It was during a summer orientation fair for incoming freshmen.  We were positioned in a long corridor with 150 other student organizations vying for these incoming freshmen’s attention.  It was a very loud environment with the Chemistry club making ice cream, Rec sports having the entire rowing team there and fraternities creating a hoopla.  It was not the perfect environment to have conversations.  But we were using Soularium anyways.

This one young pre-freshmen girl approaches the table and we begin the survey.  As an answer to one of the questions she points to a picture of a teenager crammed into a high school locker.  I ask her why did she pick that picture.  “Because I no longer feel like I fit into my parent’s religion.”  First of all, the self-awareness and depth of that comment is extraordinary.  Second, I was surprised by how quickly the student was willing to share real information with me about her life while she was basically shouting her answers to me.  Usually Soularium is a 5 question survey, but when answers come back that are perfect entry points into a deeper conversation, the survey fades away and the unscripted conversation becomes paramount.

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