November 20, 2020

Adventist Communicators Should Use Media to Full Potential, Leaders Say

Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

A day after Seventh-day Adventist leaders and administrators across the Inter-American Division (IAD) vowed to embrace and implement new initiatives and projects aligned with the Adventist Church’s “I Will Go” strategic mission plan, the division hosted an online communication and media advisory on November 12, 2020.

The orientation meeting drew union administrators and executive committee members, communication directors, and media staff to look at communication tools that can facilitate the implementation of strategic plans at every church level.

New Paradigm

“There is no doubt that the paradigm of corporate communication has changed over the years, forcing any organization to implement a more strategic way of moving forward than an operational one,” Abel Márquez, IAD communication director, said. That vision of moving forward strategically is fundamental, because having communication departments and media experts is not enough. “Communication must be implicit in every action, and for that, it is essential to present possibilities to the leadership continually.

“Today more than ever, the message that we have as a church should be shared, especially with so many tools and opportunities available as never before,” Márquez said.

Identity, collaboration, integration, networking, creativity, innovation, technology, and evangelism are all key to carrying out a successful strategic plan as large as the world church envisions in the context of communication, Márquez added.

Inter-American Division president Elie Henry encourages church administrators and communication staff to use communication tools and media to their full potential as they carry out the “I Will Go” mission initiative for the next five years. [Image: Inter-American Division]

“We have a special call as individuals and as a church to share the last message to the world with the tools given to us, using traditional media, new technologies, different narrating formats and styles, as well as corporate guidelines,” he added. It’s about being more conscious about the task, more relevant, simplifying efforts and collaborating more, taking creative risks, and being more innovative when the message is shared.

The four-hour advisory highlighted the advancements made in IAD through radio and television networks, digital communication, and news and journalism during the past five years.

Greater Integration and Collaboration

“It’s been satisfactory to look at the recent past and see greater integration among institutions, unions, production centers, and the division,” Márquez said. The church will only be further enriched to share more and reach more, he added.

IAD leaders were reminded to focus on mission and depend on God as the highest source of power to carry out the message of hope in a world desperately needing a Savior.

Church administrators and directors of Hope Channel International, Adventist News Network, Adventist Review, and Adventist World presented current vision plans for the new quinquennium. In addition, church leaders were briefed on the production and programming growth of Hope Channel Inter-America and challenged to strengthen their news sharing and social media network strategies as the new five-year period begins.

Sharing the Gospel

“Communication and media are having a much greater place in our lives and our ministry now,” IAD president Elie Henry said. “We must make sure we can use what's available and use it to the full potential, for we have an eternal gospel to share.”

The main task in the church is to share the message of the gospel, Márquez said. “We can say that our principal task is to communicate. That means that everyone, members and leaders, should think as communicators, putting more emphasis not only on communicating but communicating effectively,” he said. “That forces us to continually train, continually innovate, and ensure that the message can get to people in a simple and clear way they can understand, accept, and share.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.