In 2020 if you want to reach an audience with your message, social media is a must. Today, 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers, 77.5 percent of Gen X’ers, and 90.4 percent of Millennials are actively using social media. Users spend an average of three hours daily using social networks and messaging.
Using this background, members of the Adventist Theological Society (ATS) brainstormed how best to share ATS members’ mission with a broader audience. “We want to reach theologians, clergy, and laypersons with information ATS members provide,” says Rahel Wells, president-elect.
The ATS leadership explored how best to engage its website and Facebook page. In November 2019, the ATS Executive Committee approved Wells’s proposal to hire a part-time social media director.
“We are working with Nathaniel Gibbs, a doctoral student at Andrews University, to coordinate the ATS social media presence,” says Wells. “As a pastor and theologian, he can serve as the bridge between theologians and church members.
What’s Your Platform Choice?
Gibbs is conducting groundwork exploration into which social media platforms to use and prioritize. “I’d like to see Facebook become a place where there can be an interaction between laypeople and scholars,” says Gibbs. “Future options may include a private group where members can receive information about the society’s activities and news content.”
According to Gibbs, attracting the attention of university students is a priority. “We will seek ways to engage both undergraduate and graduate students with our social media content,” he says.
To do this means discovering what platform they frequent most and providing content in those locations. New content doesn’t need to be created, just repurposed from publications, productions, and programs. “ATS offers many resources including the Perspective Digest, the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, the ATS newsletter,” says Gibbs. “Sharing the availability of these through different outlets helps users know what is available and where to locate it. We also hope to grow additional digital content in the future.”
Making and Deepening the Connection
“We are seeking church members who want to study deeper,” says Wells. “As a centrist voice, ATS demonstrates that theologians can connect lay members with Adventist theology in the presence of solid Adventist scholarship.”
All ATS members are encouraged to like and follow the ATS Facebook page. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/adventisttheologicalsociety7/.