A Vision for Seventh-day Adventist Digital Evangelism
The soon coming of Jesus and the mission of the church to share the everlasting gospel with the world has not changed. However, we must continue to adapt the methods we use to accomplish this task. This is especially true as we come to grips with the reality that a new generation is coming of age having lived a life completely immersed in digital media. Traditional forms of media such as print, radio, TV, and even Satellite have now been literally replaced by the phone in our pocket. This change has caused major disruption in all forms of traditional communication, and the church is not immune to its cultural effects. Unfortunately, the methods pastors and evangelistically minded laymen have been trained in (Public Evangelism, Bible Work, and Colporteur Evangelism) that worked well under the old paradigm no longer work as well today. Could digital versions of these ministries be one way of keeping the spirit of the old paradigm alive? Ellen White saw a vision in regards to her husband’s print media ministry that would later become the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald: She later wrote:
“After coming out of vision, I said to my husband: ‘I have a message for you. You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first; but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first. From this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world.’ ” – Life Sketches, 125
I believe this vision goes beyond the literal interpretation that one could apply to the paper itself and extends into the digital era we live in today. The reality of the matter is, most of our publications no longer function as an evangelistic resources and many have instead become monthly newsletters with inspirational articles geared toward current members. Coincidentally, most of our print media ABC stores are now closed. Print media used to be the cheapest way to share the message – but now through digital means it can literally be shared for free. On top of that, many of our larger media ministries have already seen the writing on the wall and are looking for ways to diversify so they can eventually flex away from the traditional mediums of radio, TV, and satellite broadcasting.
The truth is, the best person adapted to reach your community with the gospel message is you. The things the bigger media ministries are doing – you can do too. And you may be able to do it better because you know your community better than anyone else does. The financial curve has been flattened to such a degree that you can literally do it with the stroke of a keypad and the click of a button. The new media is you. Each of us can produce digital content that ultimately fulfills the vision Ellen White was given for the media ministry of our church.
This is the vision that drove me to start the Adventology podcast.
What if we could create an engaging evangelistic seminar and fit into bite-sized pieces you could listen on your commute to work, while you exercise or while you are cleaning your house? What if every episode covered an important biblical truth and effectively connected it back to being ready for Jesus’ soon return? What if the episodes were supplemented by engaging interview episodes and digital Bible study guides that further developed the truths introduced in the core teaching episodes? What if we were then able to direct listeners through the doors of a local church to experience fellowship with like-minded believers who were also preparing for the soon coming of Jesus? Would that be something you could get excited about?
I believe this vision can be adapted in every church and North America and around the world as pastors and dedicated laymen rise up to the challenge of producing their own evangelistic content. For too long we have relied on professionals to do that work for us, but now that the financial curve has been flattened we all can get busy doing the Lord’s work, sharing our own unique experience and understanding of God with our own voice. When we do this as a church collectively, imagine the beautiful picture of God that will be painted to the world!
“Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ; yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new, according to the mind and spirit of the human agent….” – Evangelism, 120
What is Podcast Evangelism?
Watch this video to learn more about the vision behind the podcast featured in the film “Adventology Story” and the reasons why I believe everyone (especially pastors) should embrace podcast evangelism. I also share what to expect as you begin your journey and the benefits that come as a result of staying committed to the vision and divine purpose behind your podcast.