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R. York Moore | The TikTok Evangelist

R. York Moore is the President and CEO of the Coalition for Christian Outreach. He also happens to have a massive TikTok following and many of his videos get up to half a million views. He is preaching the Gospel in sixty second sound bites to a generation that does not like going to church.He has over 50 million views, nearly 400,000 followers, nearly 4 million likes and most importantly, over 140,000 indications for a decision for Christ! Learn his secrets to TikTok success on today’s episode of the Evangelism Podcast.

Website: https://tellthestory.net/

Read an Article about the Future of Evangelism on TikTok: https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/426177-tiktok-evangelism.html


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
York Moore is the president and CEO of the coalition for Christian outreach. He also happens to have a massive TikTok following, and many of his videos get up to half a million views. He is preaching the gospel in 60 second soundbites to a generation that does not like going to church. He has over 50 million views, nearly 400,000 followers, nearly 4 million likes, and most importantly, over 140,000 indications for a decision for Christ. Learn his secrets to, to success. On today’s episode of the evangelism podcast,

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:52):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:17):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest with me, York Moore. Thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.

R. York Moore (01:28):
Hey, thanks for having me Daniel.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:30):
So let’s talk a little bit about evangelism. How did you get started doing evangelism?

R. York Moore (01:36):
Well, I was saved as an atheist. I went to the greatest university in America, the university of Michigan. Go blue! And when I went to Michigan and my nickname and my fraternity was Satan wrote papers against Christians, persecuted Christians. And then I became one, which is a whole, we could have a whole nother episode on just that. And when I became a Christian, I became just convinced that every single person around me needed to know the saving message of the gospel. And I was dangerous. In fact, I, I would say that my first people that I would share the Lord with, they, they were my first evangelism victims and I didn’t know what I was doing. And so just sharing Christ on campus. I started sharing Christ with my professors. With students, started a ministry of campus, save for Christ at the time before going on staff with inner varsity. And now I’m the president of the coalition for Christian outreach. But in those early days, it was just infectious. Like I would literally come home from campus with my tongue swollen because I could not stop talking about Jesus. Now, Daniel, I’ll tell you. I didn’t know that I was actually doing evangelism. I didn’t know that word. I was just telling everybody what Jesus had done for me. I didn’t even fully understand the gospel at the time.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:44):
And you have been sharing the gospel a lot on TikTok and you’ve had absolutely phenomenal success. What, what have you seen God do on TikTok?

R. York Moore (02:55):
Well, it’s been incredible. I started a year ago almost almost to the day. So July of 2021, I went on TikTok. I was so tired of waiting for live audiences to come back. And a friend of mine convinced me to start preaching on TikTok. And I like my first day. So as an evangelist, I had no idea what I was doing. I was dangerous, but immediately I began to see the impact in the organic reach. And so it’s been a little under a year now. I have over 400,000 followers. I have a hundred million plus views across my library, but most, most importantly, I have 200,000 people who have indicated a first time decision for Christ. And what’s, what’s interesting is a lot of people will wonder, well, can a 45 second video really change somebody’s life? Well, the answer is yes, but most of those people whose lives are being impacted. They’re not watching one video. They’ll be featured my videos through the algorithm, the F four U page. We’ll push it to their, their account and they’ll end up watching dozens and dozens and dozens of my videos. In fact, I like to save most of the kids that are getting saved through my TikTok channel. By the time they’ve watched me for a couple of months, they will have more theology than had they been in a youth group in person for an entire year.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:04):
What was it that really encouraged you to, to start using TikTok?

R. York Moore (04:09):
Well, like I said, I was just so sick and tired of COVID, you know, was waiting for COVID to be over and just dying to get back on that platform, that podium, wherever I could to preach Christ. And you, you know, as well as I do, there’s something electric and intoxicating, a standing in that moment where you’re giving that call to faith, seeing people’s lives, change where the spirit of the living God is stick in the room and you just know eternity is pressing in on human hearts. And I just couldn’t wait to get back to that. And so I say, I’m desperate, you know? And so I, I was on a live stream with a, a guy named Brian Barcelona. He’s a young guy’s founder of one voice ministries, and he was talking about TikTok and I had been following him on Instagram.

R. York Moore (04:47):
I was pretty excited about him. And I said, Hey Brian, I said, I’m gonna fly down to Texas and take you out for brisket. So I flew down here and took him out for, for lunch. And the course of that lunch, he convinced me that I needed to be on TikTok. And I said, I’m too old. I’m in my fifties I’m unfamiliar with the app. He said, don’t worry. All you need to do is be willing. And so I flew back home, we set up a zoom and, you know, within probably 30 minutes, I recorded my very first TikTok. It had over 2000 views. Now, now I’m seeing, you know, many that are over a hundred, 200, 500,000 views. But what was most important to me is the comments. When I got into the comments, I would hear kids say things like this. This has changed my life forever. I had no idea who Jesus was. I’d never heard this before. And they would say things even this morning, I had probably a dozen or so comments like this. They would say you’ve changed my life. I never knew about Jesus this week. I’m getting baptized. So I got my first Bible. I joined a church and these are things that, you know, before a year ago, I would never conceive of being possible through a social media platform. But TAC has changed everything.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:55):
I think this is such a amazing way to reach out to people. Young people spend so much time on their phones. I’ve got a 12 year old. He is always asking me, daddy, can I have your phone? He wants to spend time looking at videos and, and seeing fun stuff. And so everyone’s that’s under like 20 is on TikTok. It’s now all the, the older grandmas that are still on Facebook. Everyone else has moved over to these other platforms. And, and you’re there ministering to people who need Jesus and evangelists often are looking for a platform. They’re looking for a crowd of people. And here you are, every single day, you’re preaching to thousands and thousands of people. I mean, how far would most evangelists fly to preach to 500,000 people? And here you give that on a regular basis.

R. York Moore (06:46):
Yeah, I think about that every morning. I didn’t have to get on a plane. I didn’t have to sit in a crummy hotel. I didn’t have to hope the crowd showed up. I write my tos for an imaginary kid that lives in my brain. I call him Nick, he’s a 14 year old kid. He’s addicted to porn. He’s so socially, you know, he’s acceptable, you know, but he has problems at home. He has a normal struggles, but he’s open. And I think that persona, it does typify the, the gen Z students that we’re seeing coming onto our college campuses. Like I said, I’m the president of the coalition for Christian outreach and we are welcoming gen Z. I like to say that gen Z is the most available generation in American history. In fact, I believe that we’re on the precipice of the greatest evangelistic opportunity in American history.

R. York Moore (07:27):
I really do believe that. And I think one of the reasons why is that this is the most available generation. They don’t come with the same religious baggage and trauma that the gen Xers and the millennials did. They don’t come in with all of the demands and requirements of millennials. The millennial generation was a very difficult generation when we were doing campus ministry and inter university with them though, we had great success, but I think that we’re gonna have even more with gen Z. So when I write that TikTok for 14 year old, Nick, in my mind, he’s in the back seat of his mom’s SUV, he’s on his way to soccer practice or some after school kind of deal. And I have, I have a few minutes with him and I’m speaking directly to him, six to eight inches from his face. I didn’t have to get a permit.

R. York Moore (08:07):
I didn’t have to visit his school. And I had this intimate moment with Nick and the Knicks of this world they’re responding and TikTok is very different than the other social media platforms. In fact, it’s now surpassed YouTube as the most watched app. The most in-app watched time it has caused Facebook or meta to now change the Instagram and, and create reels. Youtube has created shorts, and those are responses to this algorithm based technology that TAC has really created. And for me as kind of a, just an individual it’s unheard of in the social media space, without a publicist, without an agent, without big dollars for production, I can go ONAC and I can actually grow a community care for that community and have a very large influence. And that’s every evangelist’s dream.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:56):
Let’s talk a little bit about the content. A lot of the videos that do well on TikTok is funny. Dance moves. Do you do funny dance moves or, or what are you talking about? What is the, the questions that you’re answering that is giving your audience something to stop and, and to watch this, this avatar, Nick mm-hmm

R. York Moore (09:18):
<Affirmative>. Yeah. So, you know before TikTok existed, it was a company called musically and they made their fame through trending dance, videos, voiceovers, those kinds of things. If you haven’t been ONAC lately, the whole thing has changed. It is now the new YouTube. You can learn how to garden, you can learn how to cook. You can learn how to travel. Everything that you can imagine is on TikTok. There’s a niche for anything that you can imagine on TikTok. And so what I’m teaching is very basic Bible doctrine. So I teach about sin judgment righteousness, the, the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus. These are things that, you know, you and I, we kind of take for granted. And but there is a hunger in this generation. Once they start actually putting the pieces of the story of God together and applying it to their lives, it’s electric, it makes sense.

R. York Moore (10:08):
It connects with everything that they were hoping for and longing for. And no one has been able to put their finger on it. Nobody’s been able to tell them the kinds of things that, that I’m telling them on TikTok. And here’s the thing I do preach a lot on hell, the lake of fire. I talk about Satan quite a bit. I talk about pornography all the time. And you know, if you were to go to my TikTok channel, which is just York dot more, what you would see is a very kind of click Beatty appearing account. But once you start watching the content and you get fir past the first seven seconds of each video, what I’m actually doing is preaching the gospel and teaching very basic Bible content and applying it to their lives. Number one response that I get, especially from the videos on hell and condemnation is thank you so many, many kids are telling me, you know what?

R. York Moore (10:53):
This now makes sense. I never understood the Christian message because it just didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand why Jesus had to die, why I had to be forgiven on my sin because there were no consequences for that. And when we preach the judgment of God, when we preach the wrath of God, it actually makes the entire message make sense. But we have been raised in the United States for the last 20 years to put that in the broom closet to save that for another day, right? Don’t preach the wrath of God. That’s going to turn people away. And this is the very thing that I’ve based my account on this is probably probably 50% of what I preach on is the wrath of God. And it’s leading many, many people to Christ.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:29):
Now, one of the things that makes TikTok videos be popular is the algorithm behind the, the software. And, and so can you tell me some of the things that you’ve learned that help you to work with the algorithm so that it knows that people want to listen to your videos?

R. York Moore (11:51):
Yeah, sure. And again, we could have a whole hour on this, but I would say the number one thing, the first and foremost thing the algorithm is looking for is consistency. Can the algorithm rely on you to provide consistent quality content for an audience that it knows it has for your content? So if I’m posting once a week, twice a week, five times a week, the algorithm says here’s an account. It’s occasionally good to me. I might reward it with a, a jackpot every now and then. Yeah. Yeah. But if you post three times, five times a day, and we’re only talking about 45, 50 second videos the algorithm says, well, here’s a, here’s an account that I can rely on to push consistent quality content to an audience that I already know exists. That’s number one, number two, the, the algorithm is looking for one thing.

R. York Moore (12:34):
And one thing only, and that’s watch time. The algorithm only wants to keep people eyeballs on the app. You don’t wanna migrate people to zoom. You don’t wanna say to your audience, check my Instagram. It doesn’t want any of that. If you can keep your audience engaged in the, in the TikTok app, it’s gonna reward your account more than most. The, the third thing is it does have to have a hook. I, I see so much good content on TikTok and people are assuming that it operates the same as YouTube as Instagram. The expectation for a video. If you’re not hooking your audience in the first three seconds of your video, you’ve lost them. They’re just gonna scroll. And so you gotta do something those first three seconds, that’s really gonna captivate the imagination and incentivize that person to watch, because there is an equation behind this for the algorithm.

R. York Moore (13:22):
The algorithm is looking for shares, likes comments, and follows. And there’s an equation that it puts together to say, this video is actually gonna do well. It tests it with this 100 people and then this thousand people, and then this 10,000 people. And that’s how videos actually go viral. It’s not because you made a good piece of content. You could make the very best video in the world, but if you’re not giving consistent quality content to the algorithm, it’s not gonna take a risk on you. You can make a great piece of content, but if it doesn’t have a hook, it’s not gonna be, it’s not gonna be watched by, by an audience. But once the algorithm says, okay, this has a universal appeal. It’s done well with this smaller audience. I’ve watched videos go 500, 800,000, go on all over the world, outside of the United States.

R. York Moore (14:04):
So it first, you know, focuses on the United States and then it pushes it across the world. If it has success. Now that’s not every video. I mean, many of my videos, they, they fail, but I’ll tell you this, a failure ONAC is a wild success on an Instagram. A view have 5,000 views on an Instagram, you know, real, you think, oh, it’s a good day. And you know what Instagram says, you did pretty good. You’d do it better. If you gave us some more money, TikTok, isn’t asking for money. In fact, they give me money, right? And so that’s not why I’m doing it, but the reality is bility. The organic reach on TikTok. It’s unlike anything that we’ve seen. In fact, I’d say that this is perhaps the greatest opportunity for the gospel since radio and television. It’s almost like when we went from the BlackBerrys the, as the epitome of the smartphone to the iPhone, that’s what hap that’s what’s happened. So a lot of people are making the mistake that TikTok is just the next social media platform. It’s not, it’s like going from the Blackberry to the iPhone.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:59):
What’s different about it than other social media sites,

R. York Moore (15:03):
The algorithm itself. In fact, you might remember when president Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the United States, why would, why would he do that? Right. Part of the reason why he did that is here. We have military grade artificial intelligence that had collect, collected data on American citizens banking information. When I get paid from TikTok, I have to give them a W2. They have my social security number. They have my routing number and all of that money was going over to China. It was being stored on Chinese servers. And Trump said, well, this can’t, this can’t continue to happen. So we have American investors. We have Walmart, we have Cisco, we have American investors. So now our data actually remains on the us shores. Why was that so important? It was important because the algorithm itself is a, a proprietary piece of technology that has never existed before it’s people are trying to replicate it. They’re trying to mimic it, but there is nothing on earth, like the TikTok algorithm.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:59):
And it’s so wonderful that you are able to use it as a tool for the gospel. What, what a tremendous benefit that is now, you are not just a, a talk star. You also lead a wonderful Christian ministry. Can you tell me some about what your ministry does you just recently took over as president and you have big vision what what’s coming in the future?

R. York Moore (16:22):
Yeah. So it’s the coalition for Christian outreach? It’s been around since 1972, so 50 years. We celebrated our 50 year anniversary agents recently and we’re, we’re growing nationally. And so the big difference between the coalition for Christian outreach and many other great, fantastic organizations that do college ministries, we partner with the local church. And so when we place a staff to reach a campus for Christ, that person is shared by a local church. They are on staff of the local church. And we’re reaching the campus through the local church based in Pittsburgh, but we’re expanding all throughout the country. So if you’re listening and you’re a pastor, you’re a church leader. We’d love to talk to you about partnering together, to reach the church, reach the campus for Christ.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:03):
Okay. So if someone wants to follow you on TikTok, how do they follow you on TikTok?

R. York Moore (17:08):
It’s just York dot more

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:09):
So York dot more, go follow him, see his content, see what is impacting so many lives. And then if someone wants to find out more about the ministry that you’re now leading, how can they find out more about

R. York Moore (17:20):
That? Yeah, it’s CCO CCO jubilee.org, or you can Google the coalition for Christian outreach.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:28):
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I am so honored to, to be with you that the, the ministry that you’re doing through TikTok is just so amazing. And I believe that God is going to bring many, many young people into the kingdom of God because of your ministry. So thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.

R. York Moore (17:46):
Oh my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:47):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus. And I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the evangelism podcast on apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with king ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more, but please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much. And God bless you

Evangelism Podcast Host (19:08):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.

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