February 3, 2023

Trans-European Division Launches Digital Evangelists Forum

It is a vision of sharing the gospel with more impact and power than ever, leaders said.

David Neal, Trans-European Division News
Frida Pascal-Röhken and Doreen Lohr at GAiN Europe 2022. [Photo: Trans-European Division News]

What is a digital evangelist? Take a quick search of Google and click on the first link and you discover the role of an employee in the business world highlighting the virtues and need for communicating digitally. The emphasis is clearly on the word digital.

In contrast, in a first for the Trans-European Division (TED) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a group of digital evangelists met to find ways to support and help each other, through a Zoom conference on January 24, 2023. In their case, driving their passion was not so much the word digital as the word evangelism.

Hosted by TED associate media and communication director Vanesa Pizzuto, whose vision it is to create a TED network of digital evangelists, the initial meeting was about discovery. Who is already sharing the gospel through digital media? Can we find ways to work together and support each other? What resources are available to support our respective ministries? These were some of the questions asked.

First in the room was Finnish Union communication director Timo Flink, who also leads Hope Channel Finland. With a vast library of wide-ranging video resources, his ministry demonstrates a commitment and consistency in ensuring that the gospel goes to the people of Finland and beyond.

With just as much enthusiasm and passion for sharing Christ, Irish Mission communication sponsor Iain Irvine has for many years managed the Belfast Adventist church web page and the streaming of its worship services, but now wants to move into developing videos and, in order to create new content, set up a writing club.

Responsible for internal communication in the Swedish Union of Churches Conference is Frida Pascal-Röhken, who has expanded her ministry by searching for content suitable for evangelism. Currently creating a video series involving young adults who share what it means to follow Christ in terms unchurched viewers will understand, Pascal-Röhken is also planning to create a verse-by-verse podcast on the Gospel of Mark. Likewise, South-East European Union executive secretary Želimir Stanić is looking for resources and content to help young adults study the Bible.

As participants shared, Scottish Mission communication sponsor Weiers Coetser noted a reality in his experience. “We tell good stories, but our creative media output at this stage is limited.” He is hoping that through the group networking together, he will be able to develop these skills.

Winner of the 2022 Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) creative video competition Doreen Lohr shared how she built her own website to talk about her faith with the title, “Christian but Practical.” In addition, she shares the gospel on TikTok and YouTube. Lohr is hoping that through this new network she will be able to connect with fellow TikTokers to grow together in ministry and create fellowship.

Evangelists have always needed to be equipped with resources to fulfil their mission. As it is no different for digital evangelists, time was taken to explore the funds available from the TED through its Mission Board. The TED has resources available and continues developing them so that creatives feel supported in their outreach and mission projects.

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