South Pacific Division

Empowering Digital Evangelism, the 2024 Digital Discipleship Conference Unites Over 200 in Auckland

The event explored innovative ways to use technology to spread the gospel.

New Zealand
Juliana Muniz and Victor Kulakov, Adventist Record
The event also featured a line-up of experts in the use of media for mission.

The event also featured a line-up of experts in the use of media for mission.

(Photo: Adventist Record)

More than 200 people gathered in Auckland, New Zealand, from June 21 to 23, 2024, to explore innovative ways to use technology to spread the gospel and build community at the Digital Discipleship Conference.

Organized by the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC) with the support of the South Pacific Division and local conferences, the event was themed “What’s in Your Hand?”—based on God’s question to Moses about the staff he held—and encouraged participants to use the tools they have for digital evangelism and discipleship.  

Samuel Neves, General Conference associate communication director, who spoke at the event, said the conference was an antidote to the “procrastination of waiting for the perfect tools or circumstances” to start God’s mission.

“What do you have in your hand? Is it a phone, an old computer, or even a piece of paper? Then use that. The mission is God’s, not ours,” said Neves. “We need the best methodology we can muster, but our methods are to mission what our works are to salvation—filthy rags. So God uses whatever methods we have available, and we need to use the best there is, but salvation is a supernatural process.”


Workshops and presentations covered topics such as leveraging technology for digital discipleship, enhancing church communication and online presence, effective website planning, video production, using artificial intelligence, Instagram growth strategies, podcasting, and harnessing digital tools for community engagement and ministry.

The event also featured a line-up of experts in the use of media for mission, including Oakwood media pastor Kirk Nugent and Matthew Lucio, assistant to the president for the Illinois Conference. “Both speakers challenged the attendees, sharing their experience and expertise and setting the bar high for what is possible in digital media today,” said Kirsten Øster Lundqvist, a pastor from Wellington.

The conference organizers launched the Digital Discipleship Journey to provide ongoing support in online ministry. This initiative will provide continuous mentoring and resources for individuals and churches committed to being effective in the digital space.

“The conference equipped attendees with the skills and confidence to take their first steps or enhance their existing efforts in digital discipleship, now the Digital Discipleship Journey will sustain the momentum generated by the conference and further empower digital disciples,” said Victor Kulakov, conference organizer.

Photo: Adventist Record

Photo: Adventist Record

Photo: Adventist Record

Photo: Adventist Record

Photo: Adventist Record

According to Neves, training church members and leaders in digital evangelism is essential for the Church to accomplish its mission. “The very calling of the Adventist Church is to share the eternal gospel. This is communication. So if we’re going to fulfill our mission, we’re going to communicate. In fact, we should be the best communicators on the planet, able to explain, share, and call people to an experience with God. So it will take communicators if this mission will be accomplished,” he said.

The original article was published on the South Pacific Division website, Adventist Record.


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