Communication Department Advisory

Communication Department Advisory: Southern Asia Division

The Southern Asia Division Communication Department Advisory was conducted from August – 03-06, 2016 at Hosur.  The Theme of the Advisory was “Exploring The Role Of Communication And Media To Reach The World”. A total of 40 delegates attended the Advisory. Pastor William Costa, Communication Director and Pastor Samuel Neves, Associate Communication Director from General Conference were the main resource personnel attending this advisory.

The presentations of Pastor William Costa and Pastor Samuel Neves focused on and acquainted us with the new initiatives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for this Quinquennium: Tell The World (TTW), Total Member Involvement (TMI) and Maximizing the Use of Social Media and Technology under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Pastor G Nageshwar Rao outlined the plans and goals of the Communication Department for this quinquennium.

Tell The World

How did the Church Develop? How did the Adventist Health Care begin? How did the Adventist Education begin?  How did it all begin?  The story of the Advent Movement brought to life by 95 actors, 157 crew members and 1000 extras is what this film is all about. This film is available in three formats: Short historical clips, a television series of six episodes and a feature length film that will be available for streaming.  The film will be released online on October 22, 2016 in multiple digital formats. Pastor William Costa said, this film is intended to be used as a missionary/evangelistic tool.

This movie allows the viewers to get acquainted with the struggles of the Advent pioneers, how they overcame the disappointment and how through it all they were led and inspired by God as they journeyed to find the truth.  This film connects the viewers with our heritage, helps every member rediscover what it means to be a Seventh – day Adventist, and in the process inspires a sense of identity in every member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It will also provide an opportunity for people who are unfamiliar with the Church to gain a deeper understanding of the denomination and its beginnings. You can visit telltheworld.adventist.org  for more information.  Pastor Williams Costa says: “God’s work will not be accomplished by technology or your ability alone but only with humility, trust in God, and Unity, God’s work can be accomplished.

Total Member Involvement: A Call To Action

It is every Christian’s calling to communicate, in all the ways possible, using all the evangelistic tools available to every human being the good news of salvation…this is the essence of Christianity.  God is a great communicator and the understanding that every Christian is a communicator is based on the nature of the commission that God has given us -  Go ye therefore… clearly the call is individual. God has clearly communicated to us what we need to do while waiting for his soon return; it is not just to attend church every Sabbath but every Adventist member in one way or the other must be involved individually in the Mission of the Church which is to win people for Christ.

Christians have taken this commission seriously and personally to reach people individually. Only within the last century has the idea that it is only the paid, professional minister who carries the main responsibility of soul-winning took root. Doing that is in a way a dereliction of our duty as a Christian.  We have taken away our focus on the main task that Jesus has given us and focus more on worldly things like money and career. The primary work has now become secondary or a spare time activity. Every follower of Christ is given the responsibility of reaching out to people — individually, to prepare ourselves and others for the kingdom. Let’s take this call from God personally and seriously. We can do nothing of ourselves. Only as we lean completely on the Lord for His direction and leading can we follow His call.  The time to get individually involved in the mission of the Church and do your part in bringing people to Christ is NOW.

Maximizing The Use Of Technology

To every generation God gives a new technology to help us do His work more efficiently.  Pastor Neves said on our part we have to be open to change in a timely manner, keep ourselves updated with new technology that is constantly being upgraded and bringing out new features and be willing to use it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that these new methods can be used to the maximum to spread God’s word.  The key to stay ahead is to make the shift from old technology to the new technology available swiftly to advance the Kingdom and not be attached to the old comfortable ways and hamper God’s work.

A unique and interesting feature of this Advisory was an interactive session in which the attendees learnt how to use the recently rolled out feature by Facebook and other technology giants called live streaming.  The attendees were taught how to use it and we had a live demo of how it is done as well.

Facebook live streaming is an interactive way to share what you are doing while you are doing it.  It allows you to broadcast and share your event in real-time, as it happens to your Facebook followers.  You just compose a status or a title for your video, set your level of privacy i.e. who can and cannot view the event.  This is how it works: You will need a strong Wifi connection, a Facebook account and need to subscribe to an event. This is a great way to create live-interactive content and the best part is that you can watch the video and comments after the event has ended.  It is a good way to have interactive participation from interested global and national audience, and to receive feedback and suggestions. However, we need to set guidelines on how to use this feature and the Department is working on preparing those guidelines.

Plans:

Pastor Nageshwar Rao outlined the plans of  the Department is planning to prepare content in native languages; extensively use SMS, E-mail Facebook, set up live streaming facility and prepare guidelines in consultation with the Division Officers on how to use it,  minister to the various needs of people by partnering with other departments when requested and help in distributing literature, organize awareness programs and rallies; produce films and documentaries provided budget, resource personnel and technicians are available; use music for evangelism; Prepare DVDs, CDs, handouts/flyers and strong motivational programmes; and conduct advisories in all the unions Every member a Communicator is what the Communication Department Envisions for the Church today. Creating Content in all forms is one of the challenges the Church in India is facing and the Communication Department is putting together training modules with the help of the General Conference to equip and train our members to create written, audio, or media content that can be used.

The devotional messages presented by the GC Personnel and the Southern Asia Division Officers spiritually energized the delegates daily.

All the presentations were very interactive, informative and interesting. Many attendees expressed their appreciation for the presentations made and said that the Advisory was educative and inspiring.

Julie Moses, Communication Coordinator, Lowry Memorial College said:  “What I learnt is that the scope of communication department goes beyond just reporting events that happen in the college but also includes write about the various challenges facing the church today and how they are affecting the Mission and create written content on other relevant topics tied to the Mission of the Church.

The new evangelistic tools as well as the new initiatives were well accepted and the attendees pledged to emphasize the new initiatives, acquaint members in their respective fields, will find and use innovative tools to circumvent the challenges of the present age and spread God’s word.

GAIN, Adventist News Network, Divine Service Message and Concluding Spiritual Message: William Costa. Reach The World: The Global Strategic Plan, 7b Mobile Communications Community. Methods of Reporting: Swapna Clive: Role of Technology in Communication. Vijay Kunturu, were the other topics presented at the Advisory. All the Communication Directors and Coordinators presented short reports of their activities and plans.

On behalf of the Communication Department of Southern Asia Division the Director, Pastor G Nageshwar Rao, would like to express his appreciation and gratitude to the General Conference Personnel for their presence and their contribution at this Advisory, and all the participants and the attendees for their cooperation in being present for this Advisory.

|Swapna Clive| Office Secretary, Southern Asia Division

About Author: G Nageshwar Rao

Director, Communication Department

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