Adventist Innovation Roundup – Tuesday, December 15, 2020

In this edition of Adventist Innovation Roundup we look at innovation-focused Adventist satire, a docuseries fighting sexual abuse in church, digital evangelism in Mexico, highlights from the latest Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) conference and some tips for how to celebrate Christmas with your congregation under COVID.

This satirical piece about GC innovations is awesome. Spectrum published it over a year ago but check it out if you haven’t yet. Holographic pastors, augmented reality preaching and virtual handshakes, Adventist Alexa, etc. – this article came out well before COVID and was funny then but now it seems like some of these projects should actually happen. (In some ways, Daryl Gungadoo, the inventor AdventInnovate interviewed recently, is getting close.)

The Adventist Church is upping the ante in its EndItNow campaign against sexual abuse within the church. The North American Division recently put together ChurchToo, a three-part documentary series shedding light on the reality of abuse in faith communities and what can be done to end it. Produced by EndItNowNorthAmerica in collaboration with the Adventist Learning Community and SonScreen Films, the docuseries premiered on Facebook on Dec. 11.

From an Inter-American Division news item:

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican region recently baptized 814 people, the culmination of its fourth digital evangelism campaign. The campaign saw thousands of active church members connecting with their friends and neighbors to watch the series and enroll in studying the bible.

Coined as Project #Rescate316, or Rescue316, the message of the campaign referred to John 3:16. Evangelism efforts took place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6. Geared toward a younger viewership, the campaign was held on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, and was the latest in a series of online evangelism campaigns which began soon after the coronavirus pandemic hit Mexico.

More than 5,800 people have been baptized as a result of the four online evangelism campaigns held so far.

The annual conference for Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) was held virtually from November 30 to December 3. GAiN is a community of Adventist media professionals from around the world with a goal to “foster the use of communication, technology, media and the internet to help the Adventist church carry out its mission.”

This year GAiN had 3,000 registered participants from around the world, according to a report from Adventist News Network (ANN.)

The theme for GAiN 2020 was “I Will Go—Exploring Our Digital Future” with presentations centering on digital ministry and innovation.

New York Times bestselling author Tim Sanders spoke at GAiN. Sanders works as vice president of Customer Insights for Upwork, an online platform that connects businesses with freelance talent from around the world. He emphasized the benefits of church entities using talented freelancers.

Writer and speaker Martha Gabriel encouraged church communicators to think about how to stand out in the midst of the Zoom age and the context of media staturation.

Evangelist Mark Finley encouraged GAiN attendees to harness YouTube on the local church level. One of Finley’s congregation’s videos had done 950,000 views.

Wondering how to celebrate Christmas as a congregation in the time of COVID? The NAD Ministerial Association recommends the following:

  • Boost small group activity over Zoom. Feature Christmas content.
  • Compassion Christmas – encourage members to donate food and toys for low-income families in your community.
  • Plan an outdoor Christmas Eve service featuring walking worship. Alternatively you could do a drive-in program.
  • Drive-thru Lights & Hot Chocolate – decorate the church with lights and have youth singing Christmas carols.
  • Virtual Christmas Service – a predictable but worthwhile suggestion that is going to require quality planning.


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