Ads to introduce Easter are up and running throughout the nation's campuses. The campus ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), features ads for Easter and other resources for students. The ads are effective, and tens of thousands of students have come to profess Christ through the web.
The headline for the Easter ad states, "Hippity Hoppity Easter's On Its Way" and has the image of a lamb tied up but conscious.
"The image is a little shocking because Easter was meant to be shocking," states the ad, which points to the lamb as a symbol for Jesus. The ad provides background on the ritual sacrifice of the lamb. "The sins of the person were symbolically transferred from the man, or woman, to the lamb. The animal was then slain, and fellowship with God was restored."
This communicated "several lessons," namely that "God loved people enough to provide a substitute to do for them what they could not do for themselves: pay for their sins."
The ad uses the verse, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" to show that "Jesus was that lamb." Ending with "Happy Easter," the ad discloses that this is the meaning of Easter.
There are a number of times a year that students are more likely to be evangelized.
"There are students that are always looking," said Tony Arnold, Media Relations Director. "But oftentimes they don't know where to look."
The ad provides them with a website, "EveryStudent.com" where more information is available.
"Many people don't really know what it's all about." He says, "Somebody may know that it's Easter, but they don't know that it's connected to Christianity." Students may come from a different religious background, or the post-modern culture where there is no connection to the Church. So "at [those] time, it's best to use this type of approach to open the conversation up. It provides a great opportunity."
In November 2004, there were 543,000 visitors to the site.
There are other ads, some related to alcohol, eating disorders, love, sex, and relationships - a whole range of topics that are especially of interest to college students, said Arnold.
"Students involved with Campus Crusade at a particular university will have an advertising campaign for a couple of weeks... Students then take those ads and make them into flyers, posters, hand them out on campus, make it into T-shirts, and advertise in newspapers to get students to go to the website," said Arnold.
The ads are designed to peak a student's interest. Usually it involves humor.
"They stop and chuckle, and then they may read the smaller print, and then say, 'Hey! I'd like to get to that website,' " explained Arnold.
The web makes it easy, private, and comfortable for those interested in seeking "Christ and God," and "In the comfort of their own dorm room, they can begin that process," he said.
The Every Student for Christ site has audio and video messages in addition to leaders' contact information. This can then lead them to contact people who will share their faith, and in the process tens of thousands have already "come to faith."