Ronald Cram is a long time friend of mine. I was first introduced to Ron through his little booklet “Why 3 Brilliant Atheist became Christians”. It is an amazing read and you can find the booklet and more information about Factbridge on the their website.
I love working with ministry leaders like Ron! He has a passion for seeing college students know the love of Christ, he loves to grow as a leader, and he wants to help equip you to do the same. Ron was nice enough to answer some questions that he and I thought would help you! Let’s get plugged into leadership and learn more about leadership with Factbridge.
1. If you could briefly explain what led you to start Factbridge?
I was reading the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek and read the statistic that 70-75% of students who grow up in a Christian home and are active in youth group during high school go to the university and stop going to church. I knew that kind of thing happened some decades ago when I was at university but I would have put the number at 25-35% and most of those came back to the church after they married and started having kids. The authors said they are not coming back at the same rate now. That statistic bothered me so much, I felt I needed to find out why. I developed an 11 question survey to learn what the students were thinking. The conversations after the survey caused me to realize that the students were getting a biased view of the evidence about God. The students actually thought no educated adults would become Christians. So I wrote a small booklet titled Why Three Brilliant Atheist Became Christians. It tells the conversion stories of Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Allan Sandage, and Lee Strobel. The interest in the booklet was very high and so we decided to conduct some focus groups to find out if the booklet was actually changing opinions. When we learned it was changing opinions, we decided to start Factbridge.
2. What does success look like for Factbridge and what are some of the steps you are taking to achieve that?
Factbridge has no plans to start its own student groups on university campuses. Rather, we partner with ministries like Cru, Intervarsity, Navigators, Ratio Christi and more. I plan to write three more booklets for students so we can rotate them year by year. For us, success would be partnering in a meaningful way with ministries at 600 university campuses across the US and seeing our booklets distributed by the thousands on each of those campuses.
3. If you could go back in time, before you started Factbridge, what advise would you give yourself to save you time and energy?
Interesting question. I’ve just been trying to follow God’s leading one step at a time. Sometimes I think we can rush things too much when something is new. It’s good to give it some time to develop. Now that Factbridge has a much stronger foundation, I would like to see it grow much more quickly. I think the best advice I would give myself is to connect deeply with my ministry partners.
4. If someone wanted to get involved with Factbridge, how might they be able to help?
We have a volunteer team that people can sign up for on our website. Right now, these volunteers are just in Orange County. The volunteer team is new for us. I am taking them out to the university campus and letting them observe as I survey students and offer them the booklet I’ve written. This is the beginnings of a mentorship plan. My hope is that they will mentor university students and teach them how to conduct the survey and give away the booklets. We have other ways people can volunteer, such as helping us with a fundraiser.
5. What is the best advice you have ever been given and why?
If you ever feel distant from the Lord, it’s probably because you don’t know how much God loves you. See Ephesians 3:14-20. And I, a seminary graduate, didn’t realize how much God loves me until a few years ago. I think most people don’t realize. When you truly grasp how much God loves you, it’s like a massive earth-quake with thunder and lightning. It is something that has to be experienced. It cannot be explained. The apostle Paul describes it as “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.” I can’t explain it to anyone, but it will change everything about you – the way you see the world, the way you see sin, your hopes and dreams. Nothing is the same once you truly understand God’s love for you as an individual. The best advice I can give is “Seek his face!”