April 4, 2023

Albania Mission Receives Digital Evangelism Training

Adventist World Radio leaders train and also introduce new missionary app.

Sarah Dornelis, for Trans-European Division News
Team of digital missionaries during the training in Albania. [Photo: Albania Mission]

Albanian Mission pastors and leaders participated in digital evangelism training on March 20 and 21. Leading the training were Adventist Word Radio (AWR) representatives Kent Sharpe and Michael Dant, who also took the opportunity to share the AWR Digital Missionary evangelism application.

During the two-day training, participants learned new skills to put digital evangelism into practice and were inspired by success stories from around the world.

The AWR Digital Missionary App is an evangelism chat app, currently used in more than 20 countries, with more countries ready to adopt it in the coming weeks and months. From this platform, digital missionaries (the name given to Adventist members and pastors who use the application) can chat directly via text and audio with contacts on other chat platforms, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Signal, and Facebook Messenger. Additionally, digital missionaries can easily send Bible studies to contacts, mark the responses, and provide helpful feedback.

The app also features an automated prayer list, reminders, team management features, and an integrated searchable knowledge base. Dant, the app developer, explained how this powerful tool, in the hands of laypeople, pastors, and other leaders, could lead to wonderful results. “Digital missionaries, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are ready to flood the internet and social media with good news of Jesus.”

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Adventist World Radio representatives recently provided training in Albania to help develop digital missionaries in that European nation. [Photo: Albania Mission]

Albania’s first team of digital missionaries is excited and ready to begin, leaders said. With the application in the final process of being translated into Albanian, Bárbara Elen, a member of the digital missionaries team, believes that through this app she will make “connections and friendships with new people, demonstrating the love of Jesus to them through empathy, intercessory prayer, and Bible studies.”

Albania Mission president Delmar Reis explained that this tool will be very useful for evangelism in the country. “I see it as a project where all members can get involved and is a way of helping them connect with new people, meet their needs, pray for them, gain their trust, and find opportunities to introduce Jesus.”

As Dant explained, “Digital evangelism is relatively new, but it is already being applied in places like South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, and Croatia, among others. Albania is a country that is in a process of rapid economic and social development, and the need to innovate our evangelistic approach is increasing.”

Markelian Frashëri, Bible Correspondence School coordinator, believes this approach will allow the church to connect with people in ways that traditional evangelism methods could not. “I believe that there are people of peace who seek the truth, but there are different challenges that prevent them from committing to God. So my hope is that through this project these people can find an easier pathway to God,” he said.

Reis agreed. “We are a small field, and with [AWR’s] experience we hope to see more people in Albania getting to know more about God and studying the Bible,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.