June 2, 2020

North American Division Releases Practical Guide to Digital Discipleship and Evangelism

Big Data + Social Media, North American Division

The North American Division (NAD) recently released a guidebook called Digital Discipleship and Evangelism. The book is a practical guide for digital outreach, community service, growth, and evangelism for conferences, local churches, and personal ministries.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church has historically been at the forefront when it comes to utilizing media and technology to advance its mission of sharing hope and wholeness — from print to radio to television,” said Alvin Kibble, NAD vice president for Big Data + Social Media, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Literature Ministries, and Executive Coaching, Training and Development. “Now is the time to leverage the untapped potential of digital communications for discipleship and evangelism as part of a broader digital strategy that seeks to revolutionize ministry through the use of innovative digital media.

“To accomplish this, we must start with recognizing the need for, and legitimacy of, digital mission work,” Kibble added.

The 214-page book is the product of Jamie Domm’s 14 years of experience in digital communications and marketing. Domm is digital strategist for the NAD’sBig Data + Social Media department.

Digital Discipleship and Evangelism starts by developing a model for using technology effectively in the digital world. Then, the author dives into areas important for online success. The guide explains:

  • The seeker’s journey and how to communicate effectively to a target audience
  • Digital tools and why they’re important for local outreach
  • Forming a digital discipleship and evangelism team
  • Creating a comprehensive digital strategy
  • Best practices for ministries on social media
  • Branding for local church ministries
  • Optimizing a website

The guide outlines the basics of content creation, curation, and strategy, then digs deep into “content evangelism” and how to write effectively for online audiences, providing best practices for creating strong social media posts. It also defines how to build community in the digital space and gives practical tips for community care and engagement. Finally, the book details how digital tools in the church can be leveraged as a way to reach souls through organic growth techniques and social media advertising.

“Local churches are uniquely positioned to combine traditional methods with technology to amplify the gospel message throughout the greater community,” Domm said.

Once the foundation is established, team members’ roles are outlined in detail. The guide explains the difference between creatives and distributors and the important role in communication and relationship building that engagers play.

“The section ‘Guidance for Digital Disciples and Digital Missionaries’ is a must-read for all involved in digital ministry,” Domm said. Readers learn how to grow digital disciples, engage in digital door-knocking, balance their mission work and health, and conduct a personal social media audit.

This comprehensive resource is packed with practical “how-to” tips that help the reader establish or grow their digital ministry. The guide seeks to act as a catalyst for a cultural shift toward prioritizing technology in the church at all levels.

“We must rethink how we share the gospel message to effectively utilize the innovative tools and technologies freely available to all of us. The platforms and tools will change, but the principles will not, because they are all grounded in biblical examples,” Domm said.

Through the guidebook, the NAD Social Media + Big Data department is sharing a model and providing recommendations on how the Adventist Church can embrace digital evangelism and discipleship at an individual, church, and corporate level.The book isavailable in both print and digital from AdventSource. Kindle and ePub are set to be released by mid-June.