April 20, 2018 | Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Laura Marrero/IAD Staff
Montemorelos University’s School of Arts and Communication (ArtCom) recently held its first edition of the Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) with a special emphasis on the importance of creativity as a foundation when creating evangelistic digital content. More than 80 participants from throughout different parts of Mexico met Apr. 13-14, on the campus of the university with the theme “Creative Mission.”
For many years the Artcom school has been holding an event for students and professionals from across Mexico to focus on communication as a tool for evangelism, but this year it was upgraded to a GAiN event, said Matheus Nascimento, director of Artcom.
“We want to join that mission that we, as a church, must take the gospel to people, by using that creativity that God gives us to apply it to the mission, using the means that we may have at hand,” said Nascimento.
It was not just about focusing on communication media but about deepening the evangelistic impact necessary through social media, additional technological tools and spaces online, explained Nascimento. So the school decided to move forward to organize GAiN Mexico through the Inter-American Division.
“Having so much talent housed here in the university in so many areas like theology, health, and and of course in communication, art and design, we are pleased to be able to celebrate an event like this, here because students are preparing to serve and what better way to do so from the perspective of sharing the gospel message through social networks in a university setting,” said Abel Márquez, communication director for the church in Inter-America.
Márquez, who was one of the keynote speakers, said that it is the second regional GAiN event held across the Inter-American Division. A few years ago a GAiN event was held in Caracas, Venezuela.
Márquez emphasized that the message is most important when it comes digital evangelism and highlighted the digital initiatives led by the Inter-American Division as well as the technological and creative advances made by the church worldwide.
In addition, Márquez spoke about how to generate more connection between the Adventist brand and the public and what some creative disciples around the world are doing to be effectual in spreading the gospel.
“You must do really effective things, it could be any idea, one that does not duplicate something that’s being done but generate ideas that could be 100 percent originals,” added Márquez.
Presenters from the United States, Brazil and Mexico spoke on digital marketing for evangelistic purposes, content and journalism, the application of data for online communication strategies in the church, technologies that are trending for the mission, and more.
Rafael Rossi, communication director for the South American Division, shared through a video conference how evangelistic content is a powerful influence in South America and the importance of including prayer in the evangelistic process by these media.
Dr. Harvey Alférez, professor and researcher at Montemorelos Univeristy, spoke about data strategies, its importance and data mining. He showed case studies where data strategies such as data science, big data, and the like have been used in the church.
“I believe it is important to get together as communicators and technologists to share initiatives, share with one another, listen to what we have done from different areas and support each other in this mission of being creative in the mission of the church,” Alférez said.
Márquez agrees. “I believe that this type of event would not help if we left it at that level of just living and talking and dreaming about projects, but to take them to action at the local church, school, home, individually or collectively.”
GAiN Mexico participants vowed to put into action some ideas generated during the two-day event.
GAiN presenters also included Adventist Journalist Victor Hugo Arteaga, who was awarded with the National Journalism Award in Mexico last year; Felipe Lemos, communication leader in South American Division; David Gutiérrez, UI/UX designer at Nett; Lizbeth Elejalde, professor of Television at Montemorelos University, and program and production assistant for Hope Channel Inter-America; Kevin Zapien, UI/UX designer and faculty of the university; Geoffrey Porto, software engineer of Grupo Financiero Banregio; Robert Valencia, web media strategist in Adventist World Radio; Jasson Hernández, producer of television projects and live events; and Pastor Hiram Ruiz, public campus ministries director for the church in Inter-America.
For more on GAiN Mexico event, visit um.edu.mx