April 23, 2022

From Instagram to Baptism

Serbian digital evangelist leads teens to baptism by sharing Bible prophecies.

Vanessa Pizzuto, Trans-European Division News

Nemanja Jurišić was scrolling on Instagram just as millions of people do every day. But he was not doing mindless scrolling. He was researching! 

Aware of the strong presence of Christian organizations on the giant social-media platform, he also noticed that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Serbia was not well represented. “Why doesn’t someone do something?” was his first thought. “Why don’t I do something?” was his second. That last question fired him up to start a digital ministry that has led to more than 10 teenagers in his digital community giving their lives to Jesus.

Nemanja, a 25-year-old electrical engineering student, started his Instagram account “Prorocanstva” (“Prophecies”) in 2019. Today, nearly 5,000 people follow him on Instagram. But he says he was not looking for popularity, because his vision is driven by the desire to share the gospel in a relevant way. 

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Having accepted Jesus as the first step, Branko Jauković (left) is now studying to become a pastor. [Photo: Vanesa Pizzuto and Nemanja Jurišić / Adventist Media Exchange CC BY 4.0]

“As I read [Adventist Church co-founder] Ellen White’s counsel to go from door to door to preach the gospel,” he shares, “I was thinking, how should we do that today? Then, I realized that we could do it from phone to phone!”

At first, Nemanja was surprised to see teenagers interested in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. “I thought this was a topic for old people, but I found out that this message is relevant and is changing young people’s lives,” he says. Supported with guidance from local pastors who partnered with him, he gave Bible studies to his Instagram followers. They even went live on Instagram to preach and distributed free books like Ellen G. White’s classic work The Great Controversy and Bibles. “I am so grateful for their help and wholehearted support. It was a fantastic team effort!” Nemanja says.

Seeing the increased interest in spiritual topics, Nemanja and the church leaders organized monthly meetings where the teens could mingle and ask any question on their minds. This led to their first spiritual retreat in Zlatibor, Serbia. Almost 30 teens and young adults who had never stepped in an Adventist Church before attended the event.

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About 30 teens and young adults who had never stepped into a Seventh-day Adventist church before, attended a recent spiritual retreat organized by student Nemanja Jurišić. [Photo: Vanesa Pizzuto and Nemanja Jurišić / Adventist Media Exchange CC BY 4.0]

 “Neither they nor we could hide our enthusiasm. It was obvious that the Holy Spirit had been working in their hearts for a long time,” Nemanja said. Together, they studied the book of Job until late into the night. Realizing that there was still much to learn, the young people asked for a similar event to be held soon, to continue studying.

Nemanja says he is amazed at the impact of his humble Instagram ministry. “Some people think that to keep an Instagram ministry going they will have to post something new every day, and they will be very busy; but I post content only once a week.” 

He doesn’t spend hours planning the content either. “I read the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” Nemanja says. The results speak for themselves because, as he joyfully points out, more than 10 people have been baptized thanks to the direct and indirect influence of this ministry.

“I am amazed,” he said. “The Holy Spirit is breathing on us!”

When asked about the future of his ministry, Nemanja reflects, “My dream is to continue to preach the three angel’s messages to the entire world, to every nation, tongue, and tribe until Jesus returns.”

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