Building Relationships Through English-Language Practice
More than 331 million people in the world speak English as either their first or second …or third language. In many countries, English has become the default “second official language”.
Spotlight is a slow-speed-English radio program for learners of English as a foreign language. Most of the content has a secular topic with Christian morals and values included. About 20% of the programs contain an overtly Christian message. The audio programs are offered free to radio stations and currently broadcast on over 70 stations.
HCJB Global developed a companion project to the radio broadcasts: Spotlight English Clubs. Local Christian volunteers coordinate a club where English learners come together to hear the weekly Spotlight audio program and then participate in conversation discussion groups.
In that way, English learners have the opportunity to build relationships with Christians and to discuss Christian ideas in a safe setting. Believers who lead the clubs can build relationships and find opportunities to share their faith with people who would be unlikely to hear about Christ in other ways. The friendships open doors for sharing about Christ. Currently the most clubs are being held in a country closed to any Christian activity!
Recent technology has made it possible for clubs to be formed through online venues and via Skype. In many places where it is a risk to show interest in Christianity, learners are eager to join Spotlight English Clubs in this way. Many are asking questions about religion, about Jesus, about salvation.
A club coordinator wrote, “The Spotlight programs have provided a safe platform for my volunteers to share our Christian beliefs with listeners of other faiths - building trust and strong relationships. This has even led to their feeling confident enough to share their problems with us, expecting prayer, some even attending church, and one young man coming to Christ!"