Phase III launched on 6 March 2016. With the support of almost 700 churches it included new web media, a nationwide drop of ‘The Jesus Connection’ booklet and three weeks of TV ads encouraging people to attend church.
2014 marked the bicentenary of the arrival of Christianity in New Zealand, at the invitation of Ngapuhi Rangatira, Ruatara. He invited his friend, the Rev Samuel Marsden, to start a settlement in New Zealand next to his Pa (named Rangihoua) in what is known of today as Oihi Bay near Kerikeri. The first Christian message was preached on Christmas day 1814 to a crowd of 300 or more Maori, with three families (the Kings, Kendalls and Halls) then staying on to begin the work with Maori, supported by Ruatara’s people. The NZ Missionary story is largely unknown, and is far more positive than most could imagine. 2014 was viewed as a fitting time to begin this project for this reason.
Eight questions in eight minutes about the Hope Project with Dave Mann – project coordinator.
The goal was much bigger than having more people in our churches.
Initial media impact: While some were impacted by the booklets, others were impacted by the tv ads, others by web media, and others by their conversation with Christians.
Wider impact: Ideas remain in conversation for months. Booklets remain in many houses for years. And impressions remain in thoughts decades!
The first two phases of the Hope Project were very well received. More than 2 million NZers connected with the TV ads in each phase. More than 1.4 million homes connected with each of the three booklet. Well more than 50,000 ‘no circulars’ homes had booklets personally delivered to someone at the door with each media effort. More than 130,000 people engaged with web media, with social media in addition, which was amped up in the second phase. More than 160,000 spare booklets were sent out upon request in each phase of the project, and well more than 50,000 church people were prepared by their pastors to engage the conversations – including more than 650 churches who formally partnered, coming from all Christian denominations. To the right are snippets of amazing feedback we received.
Quick read: 10 top-line achievements of the Hope Project
The five year, three phase Hope Project has now concluded — and we celebrate over all that God has done in Aotearoa through this united effort.