November 8, 2018

First-ever Center for Digital Evangelism Established in the Philippines

Edward Rodriguez, Southern Asia Pacific Division News

In line with the Adventist World Radio’s (AWR) continuous effort in sharing the Good News to unreached people groups, the Southern Asia-Pacific headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church recently inaugurated the first-ever AWR Center for Digital Evangelism in Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

The first of its kind, the Center for Digital Evangelism (CDE) purposes to connect to radio contacts leading them to in-depth learning about Jesus through Bible studies and online evangelism, finally leading them to baptism and discipleship. As more CDEs are planned to be established in other regions of the world, AWR seeks to partner with Adventist regional offices and institutions to advance the growth of the church’s online influence.

Karen Glassford, AWR Center for Digital Evangelism director, leads in a prayer of dedication of the new center at the Southern Asia Pacific Division headquarters in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. [Photo: Southern Asia Pacific Division News]

It is also the objective of this center to utilize social media as an additional tool for evangelism. Social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Youtube, Instagram, and a lot more are some of the avenues through which digital evangelists can reach out to a vast population within this existential space.

Administrators and guests from the AWR head office, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and union officers were present during the inauguration and ribbon cutting of the Adventist World Radio Center for Digital Evangelism.

Citing the significant number of calls and text messages received daily through ongoing radio programs and social media outlets, AWR desires that these communication efforts by listeners and seekers “will not fall down the cracks” but will serve as the beginning of their spiritual journey.

“There are thousands of people around the world, intentionally listening to our programs, but most of the times it ends there. We need to find a way that we can connect to them, make friends with them, and make them feel they are cared for. That is where the Center for Digital Evangelism comes in,” said Kyle Allen, vice president for Adventist World Radio.

“We have not been responsive to thousands of people who connect with us daily from different parts of the world after they have listened to our programs. The Center for Digital Evangelism will serve the purpose of responding to comments we received within minutes in multiple languages,” Allen added.

After successful efforts in Africa, in the Philippines, and in Japan, AWR leadership saw the need for this center to be established to cater to the growing needs of listeners.

“The first phase of this Center for Digital Evangelism focuses its attention on India and the Philippines. A pioneering group of 4 to 8 digital missionaries will head to the Philippines for a year of mission,” said Karen Glassford, AWR Center for Digital Evangelism director. “They will be trained to facilitate evangelism over the phone and on how to make each call count for more conversations in the future,” she added.

“One radio program can lead to engagement, which can then lead to offering a prayer or studying the bible. There is an unlimited possibility of sharing Jesus with just one call,” Glassford shared.

Glassford is the newest addition to the Adventist World Radio family as she was hired to assist in the continuous development of the institution through the Center for Digital Evangelism.

The CDE will commence its operation in January 2019 when all logistics, permits, and digital optimization of the call center hub will finally be up and running for evangelism.