EBC pastors use WhatsApp to stay connected with their church
“My son was a church goer in his youth days, now that he is grown up adult, I am concerned that he might fall away from the faith he had in his youth. Can I give you his mobile number so he can be reached?” This is a statement from a concerned mother for her son that does not know much about technology but understands that her son can be reached by a mobile phone.
What this concerned mother suggested is a trend that has the potential to connect a Pastor with a person needing help. Cultivated technologically with the use of social media platforms available has the potential to have the presence of the “Church” to non-church goer, a busy Christian who cannot attend church and other various sceneries; illustrates a picture of presenting the Gospel to anyone in a familiar environment.
In December 2020 CRMF Tek Ministri conducted a couple of sessions to assist Evangelical Brotherhood Church (EBC) pastors in Goroka District to use WhatsApp to preach to their members. The sessions included setting up of WhatsApp accounts for each individual pastor and also two separate accounts for the English and Tok Pisin congregations for the town Church in Goroka town.
The Pastors got excited because they started to share pictures and Scripture portions to each other as part of the training. During the training we had question time to discuss the issues involved in using WhatsApp to reach out to their members. One of the biggest concerns was that not all the members have smart phones to use WhatsApp to receive Scriptures and other resources sent by a pastor.
As technology for the Church to assist Pastors and ministry leaders to utilise technology for ministry, we have identified the challenges and also the evident barriers that limits the full potential to use the current Social Media platforms available to do evangelism and preaching.
The overall concern for CRMF is that the Church leadership in the country has not realised the potential to use Social Media platforms to reach the unreached. There could be developments that we are not aware of where a Church has taken ownership to develop strategies to implement social media platforms available for the purpose of witnessing and evangelism.
According to the link below, we know that WhatsApp is being used by a lot of our people and so our prayer and goal is to assist the Church to integrate use of social media platforms into their vision and mission for their individual churches. Most of the churches involvement is basically on climate changes, natural disasters and advocates for various social issues. All this is important and so CRMF ‘s concern is that the Word of God needs to take its proper place in this age of technology where technical save and resources are available to help some know Jesus.
We appreciate the Lord for the partnership we have with EBC to assist their pastors who have picked up the vision to use WhatsApp to reach out to their members. Their next plan is to train them on how to share Scriptures and other biblical resources to those members who have semi smart and featured phones.
Below is a page taken out of their website which CRMF was instrumental in developing and it mentions the same statics that I have referred to earlier to emphasis that the Church need to make use of the opportunities available to reach its members.
We Are Social and Hootsuite’s latest collection of Global Digital 2019 reports reveals that 11% of the total population (8.5 million) in PNG are internet users. About 9.2% of the total population are active social media users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Technology has been growing and developing at a rapid rate and people in PNG have access to these technological developments.
We Are Social and Hootsuite:
You can now find that the smart phone and mobile trend have made it possible for people to access the internet. Gradually, more and more people are already using the internet and relying on the internet to look for information or to create their own social media presence and currently most churches and mission organizations in PNG do not have a social media platform or website therefore do not have a web presence. “If you do not have a website, you do not exist.” ~ Bryan Matthews, CRMF General Manager.
Due to Covid19 and its implications CRMF could be involved more in this kind of training because travel to remote locations for basic computer and technology for ministry would be limited.
Pray with us as we develop the heart concern by loving mother to bring her son back to Jesus can bear fruit in various ways beyond our imagination as we partner with EBC and other Churches in PNG to use social media to usher people into heaven.