The COVID-19 pandemic has led the church to venture into a variety of new avenues of ministry, and digital evangelism is one of them. Local churches worldwide were forced to delve into the seemingly unlimited possibilities of digital evangelism and how it can provide a highway for people to know Jesus. Adventist World Radio (AWR) rallied to this opportunity and used digital evangelism to partner with local church radio broadcasters.
After two years of being on lockdown, AWR’s ongoing broadcast resulted in outstanding results, overcoming the fears and worries of the pandemic, and moving to bring the gospel message to the forefront, ministry leaders said.
AWR in the Asia-Pacific region held its quinquennial advisory from July 19 to 24, 2022, six years after the last advisory. Delegates from more than 20 countries joined the advisory in Bangkok, Thailand, which was themed, “Broadcast to Baptism: No Walls, No Limits, No Boundaries.”
AWR leadership brought together administrators, communication leaders, and radio broadcasters from four divisions (Southern Asia-Pacific Division, South Pacific Division, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, and Southern Asia Division) to learn ministry strategies in the field, become acquainted with successful digital evangelists, and establish a network of digital missionaries within this region.
Timothy Saxton, AWR regional director for the Asia-Pacific region, said this advisory would prepare delegates to discover various digital ministries in the field that will help them resonate with the Bible message in their respective fields of mission. “The key point that each digital missionary should remember is to draw everyone to Jesus. The collaborative work of digital evangelism through radio, TV, print, cellphone evangelism, and social media should bring people not just to the message but ultimately to Jesus Christ,” Saxton said.
AWR leaders from the Adventist Church’s world headquarters joined the advisory to witness the developments of radio ministry in this part of the world, including AWR president Duane McKey and his wife, Cathy; AWR general vice president Ray Allen; and AWR vice presidents Kyle Allen, Cami Oetman, and Kent Sharpe. Besides Saxton, assistant to the president Robert Dulay and Louis Torres were also present in the advisory.
The advisory featured breakout sessions on a range of topics, including social media evangelism, team management, establishing community radio stations, and more. Testimonies from radio evangelists from several parts of the world were also highlighted at the gathering.
On Saturday (Sabbath), July 24, McKey drew attention to God’s work through AWR and how the network of radio evangelists is reaching out to people in the least reached areas around the world. McKey shared stories of people who accepted Christ as their Saviour. In the past five years, several people with challenging backgrounds decided to leave their past life behind and move forward in faith because of what they heard through a radio program in the island mountains of Mindoro, Philippines.
As a result of ongoing broadcasts worldwide, five individuals surrendered their lives to God in baptism to cap the five-day advisory. These five newly baptized individuals, who were from Mindoro, are just part of the group of more than 800 former rebels and minority residents who have accepted Christ on the island, leaders said.
The next regional AWR advisory is planned for the same location in 2027.