Communicators Must Adapt Message,
More than 200 church leaders gather in Miami for media training (Posted December 26, 2012)
BY LIBNA STEVENS
, LIZBETH ELEJALDE
, and NIGEL COKE
, Inter-American Division, reporting from Miami, Florida
e need to adapt our message to make sure the world hears and understands about the love of God while using various ways and means of communication,” said Inter-American Division president Israel Leito as he addressed some 200 communicators during the opening of the church’s communication summit in Miami, Florida, November 26, 2012.
Leito challenged communicators to assist leaders in stepping out of their comfort zones to reach new heights of sharing the gospel.
“Help us come up-to-date and teach us new ways so we can adapt the delivery of the message,” he said. “The Lord is calling our attention to use whatever we have available to use this message. Whether it is through social [media], technology, whatever it is, don’t keep it to yourself.”
STEP IT UP: Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America, urged communicators to use and help church leaders to “step it up” in using all means of communication to share the message of God’s love, during the opening of Inter-America’s communication summit November 26, held in Miami, Florida. [PHOTO: Ansel Oliver]
Finding creative ways to communicate a clear unified message within the church and throughout the community was one of the main reasons for the gathering, said Leon Wellington, communication director for the church in Inter-America, as he welcomed communicators to the three-day event.
“Wherever we serve, it becomes our pulpit to share the gospel,” said Wellington. “If you are behind a microphone, in front of a camera, or holding a pen as a journalist or program producer, that becomes your pulpit to share in direct or subtle ways how Jesus Christ can make change and bring hope to troubled souls.”
It’s the kind of platform for networking opportunities, sharing use of emerging technology, and generating partnerships to better serve both the church and community throughout the Inter-American territory.
Williams Costa, communication director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, also addressed the summit delegates: “We need to be wise and discreet while at the same time bold and committed to the mission [of sharing the good news],” said Costa.
For Enoc Ramirez from Mexico City, the message was loud and clear.
“We have the need to preach the gospel in a creative, different, and contextualized way,” said Ramirez. “We know that communication in the hands of God can accomplish eternal life where there is nothing.”
For Jose Lechertier, who works in Radio Martinique, in Martinique, communicating is all about the tools used. “We have a huge opportunity to use the existing means of communication through the Internet, radio, television, and social networks, all of which are excellent tools to share the message of salvation . . . our job is to use them,” Lechertier said.
“I’m already inspired to dream big and find creative ways to share more and not be limited by what has already been invented,” said Edson Canqui, who works in south Puerto Rico.
ATTENTIVE AUDIENCE: Engaged delegates during the opening of Inter-America’s communication summit [PHOTO: Juan A. Perez]
Day two of the summit, themed
“Creative Disciples,” included a series
of presentations and seminars for the nearly 200 communicators who traveled from throughout the territory. Several spoke about their ongoing ministries
of sharing the gospel in their communities.
Representatives from Montemorelos University in north Mexico said they have found ways to offer service to the community. Along with government entities, the university has implemented different projects to address the needs of families and children in the region. “Five Steps Ahead,” “Extreme Mission,” and “School Gardens” are projects the institution has been working on each semester so the message can be shared.
In addition, the university has sent more than 15 students from the School of Communication to provide missionary service in such countries as India, Thailand, Colombia, and Spain.
One evangelistic ministry project the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union
has been involved in is providing
Bible translation and study lessons to the Mixe Indian communities in the region.
Representatives of the Jamaica Union highlighted an evangelistic online program headed by Pastor Kemar Douglas that took place earlier this year, in which users were able to interact through the use of texts and social media to vote on subject topics during a program dubbed “Connect 2012.”