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Brazilian Facebook Page Showcases Adventist Churches Around the World

A three-year-old Facebook page invites Adventist members everywhere to post pictures of their churches, huge and humble, and now has attracted 240,000 followers. Creator Josue Schmidt says he is helping the Adventist community to connect through social media.

Question: What inspired you to create a Facebook page with pictures and videos of Seventh-day Adventist churches around the world?

I always wanted to do something special and to work more for God. I wanted to be a missionary and to get more involved with people. So I started to pray about it, and one day God inspired me, and I got the idea to do the Seventh-day Adventist Churches Facebook page. I always liked the Missionaries’ Letter stories, getting to know other people, places, and cultures and making new friends.

Eu sempre quis ter algo em que eu pudesse trabalhar mais para Deus. Queria ser um missionário. Ter maior envolvimento com as pessoas. E pedia em oração, até surgir esta ideia. Eu sempre gostei da carta missionária, de histórias de missões, de conversar com pessoas de diferentes lugares e principalmente fazer amigos.
 
You started the page three years ago. How many churches have you pictured so far? How many countries have been represented? How many people follow your page?

Our Facebook page has more than 1,700 posted churches in 160 countries. We have almost 240,000 followers from many different countries. Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania, Indonesia, and the USA have the largest number of followers. 
 
Nossa página tem um pouco mais de 1.700 igrejas postadas de 160 países. Temos quase 240.000 seguidores de diferentes países. Brasil, Filipinas, México, Peru, Tanzania, Indonesia e USA são os países com maior número de seguidores.

Which posts have gotten the most attention?

 
The two extremes: enormous churches and humble churches. Photos and videos of our brothers and sisters around the world have wide reach as well – they get the most views.

Os dois extremos, igrejas grandes ou igrejas humildes. Fotos e videos em que apareçam os irmãos tem grande alcance também.

How is your Facebook page different from other Adventist pages or other Adventist social media projects?

 
Our page is very interactive because we depend on the members’ published photos and videos from all over the world — we are UGC/User Generator Content. I am not aware of other religions or pages that use the same approach.

We share music and worship live videos from different places. Our page is a volunteer project; there are no funds or sponsorship.   

A nossa página é muito interativa pois depende completamente dos irmãos do mundo inteiro que enviam fotos e videos. Desconheço páginas adventistas ou de outras religiões que utilizem essa ferramenta. Compartilhamos músicas, cultos ao vivo de diferentes lugares. A página é voluntária, não tenho renda, patrocínio algum.

Do you think that your page allows Adventists from around the world to connect in a way they might not be able to otherwise? Are language barriers a problem?
 
Yes, I do. I am very glad to facilitate the Adventist community all over the world to connect with each other using the social media technology. 

I believe that there are no barriers as our brothers’ and sisters’ pictures and videos speak from themselves, connecting people and building a bridge that transcends all possible language barriers. You may understand a picture, you may sing in your language once you recognize a melody, and you even understand our brothers and sisters praising the Lord. 

Beyond that, all our posts are written in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Sim, e isso é muito satisfatório e importante. Acreditamos que não existam barreiras pois as fotos e vídeos ultrapassam as barreiras do idioma. Você entende uma foto, quando o povo canta no vídeo, você entende o louvor, entende que estão adorando nosso Criador. Além disso, as nossas postagens escritas são em inglês, espanhol e português.
 
Does it take a lot of time for you to moderate the page?

Our page has several moderators. They are great friends of mine, and they have helped me with the posts. I have a friend from Romania who has photographed more than 100 churches from his country. In addition, I have two friends who help a lot with the posting videos.
 
A página tem mais moderadores. São grandes amigos que fiz e que me ajudam com as postagens. Tenho um amigo na Romênia que já fotografou mais de 100 igrejas de seu país. Na parte de vídeos, 2 amigos me ajudam muito.

Has the page changed from how you envisioned it initially?
 
Yes, it has. 

In the beginning it was only pictures. After that, we added videos, live worships, and presentations. I was not expecting the initial project would become so huge.

As soon as you have your ministry, God calls you to get closer to Him. I prayed, and He answered me by providing the conditions to keep moving forward. He has nominated good people to support me as well.

Sim, no início eram apenas fotos. Depois começamos com vídeos, culto ao vivo, apresentações. No início não imaginava que se tornaria tão grande. Quando você tem um ministério, Deus te chama para mais perto dEle. Eu pedí e Ele atendeu. Deu condições, pessoas para me ajudarem.

What other projects do you work on?

Beyond this project, I have another ministry with other friends: it’s a Facebook page to publish videos of Sabbath School Lessons.

Every week a different pastor lectures on the weekly lesson. We publish seven weekly videos, one for each day of week. We also produce special meditations for sunset worships.

We share these videos on Facebook, You Tube, and through WhatsApp app to over 30,0000 people on daily basis. We have 90,000 followers.

Além deste projeto, mantenho com amigos um ministério de vídeos de estudo da escola sabatina.

Tem mais de 90.000 seguidores, cada semana um pastor diferente ministra o estudo. São 7 videos semanais, 1 para cada dia da semana. Compartilhamos no Facebook, YouTube e através do WhatsApp para cerca de 30.000 pessoas diariamente. Produzimos meditações especiais para o culto de pôr do sol também.

Do you have ideas for other church social media projects?
 
Yes, we do have some ideas. For now, we would like to keep increasing the involvement of our brothers and sisters around the world with our projects and continue reaching more people each day.

Sim, temos algumas ideias. Aumentar o envolvimento dos irmãos com nossos projetos e principalmente alcançar mais pessoas.

How does your local church use social media? How does the Adventist church in Brazil use social media effectively?

I am the Communication Director in my local church Novo Hamburgo city, Brazil. My church has a Facebook Page, and we use a Whatsapp app for group chat conversations. The internet and social media are excellent tools to reach more people. I believe that, overall, Adventist churches in Brazil are doing a good job using these powerful tools. 

Eu sou o diretor de comunicação da minha igreja local, temos página no Facebook e utilizamos WhatsApp. A internet e as redes sociais são uma excelente forma de alcançar mais pessoas e acredito que a Igreja está usando muito bem este poderoso material.

 

Image Credit: Josue Schmidt

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