The advent of digital evangelism has opened new trends and introduced new strategies that help churches establish a relationship with the community. Since the pandemic, digital evangelism exploded worldwide and was used primarily in most church gatherings, evangelistic programs, and meetings. Generations of all ages were forced to understand and migrate to the new system to be a part of an online community where they could worship and serve God despite the world crisis.
Realizing the immensity of doing evangelism online, communication leaders in Indonesia convened to train and develop strategies on how they can amplify digital evangelism, especially in Indonesia. Coming from different islands of the biggest archipelago, more than 100 communication leaders flew to Bali, Indonesia, to participate in the joint Union Communication Summit and AWR Media Training on July 5–8, 2022.
Leaders from the General Conference, Southern Asia-Pacific Region, Adventist World Radio, and Hope Channel Indonesia joined this gathering to impart spiritual guidance and technical expertise to delegates attending the meeting. Williams Costa, GC Communication director, joined virtually and sent messages of encouragement to representatives. He presented how digital evangelism can reach billions of people through different applications and strategies and the character we reflect to the world. While we focus on the importance of technology, Costa also reminded delegates about the importance of our nature as we carry God’s mission.
“I challenge each of you to be a believer who believes in Jesus. Have faith that our efforts will not be in vain, but through prayer and dedication, God will utilize every medium to proclaim His word around the world,” Costa expressed.
The emergence of smartphones defined portability, accessibility, and connectivity in different heights. This tremendous technological leap opened opportunities for the church to consider, especially in reaching people for Jesus. Neville Neveling, AWR Cellphone Evangelism specialist, encapsulates the idea of cellphone evangelism by using a messaging application called WhatsApp.
“This unconventional strategy to conduct evangelism online is reaching people exactly where they are. This strategy breaks down walls and borders and enables us to bring the message of hope straight to their personal spaces,” Neveling said. “With the right strategy, message, and platform, millions of people can be reached and hear Jesus speaking to them through their smartphones.”
Elder Roger Caderma, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, graced the event via Zoom. Due to unprecedented circumstances, Caderma wasn’t able to attend the meeting but purposed to join virtually to deliver the devotional message during the session. Caderma stressed that we all have different roles. We are created with different functions and in a way that our skills will complement each other to function according to God’s leading.
“We are one body, and God is calling us to go as one to proclaim the gospel message,” Caderma said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a photographer, a pastor, a teacher, or a leader; everyone is valuable in God’s work, and everyone has an important role to play in the furtherance of his work.”
Pastor Mamerto Guingguing II, Communication director of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, focused on our church’s identity and the message we bring to the world. Known to be a Bible-based religion, the Seventh-day Adventist Church should be frontliners in spreading the truth, especially to those seeking Jesus.
“We are people of the Bible, and it should reflect in our organization, actions, character, and content. This consistency across all mediums speaks clearly of the faith and message we wanted to share with the world,” Guingguing added.
Digital evangelism is still ascending. As technology continuously evolves, more avenues for the church to utilize in participating in the gospel mandate will arise. Communication leaders in Indonesia accepted the charge of developing alongside technology to maximize its use for the ministry.