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Two Videos/Two Views of Church Mission

This week Adventists posted two promotional videos to YouTube which reveal different approaches for reaching people in 2011.

The first comes from New Jersey. It features the president of the conference and the pastor of the Robbinsville church promoting a series of meetings entitled Prophecy Countdown starting this month. Their promotion material states:

These dynamic presentations of Bible prophecy, presented in vibrant multi-media, bring new insight for today’s world. Understand the prophetic significance and real meaning behind the economic, political and religious events in today’s news. Recognize prophecy unfolding before your eyes. The seminar is especially designed as a community service to all people. You are invited to come as you are.

In the second video, the Portuguese speaking Seventh-day Adventist church in London, England, take to the streets to embrace the city in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. They write,

After watching a few youtube videos about the ‘Free Hugs’ movement, the South London Portuguese Speaking Church took to the streets to test the model in London. Christine, the youth leader of the church, states that: “the idea is very simple—we hold banners and signs announcing we are giving out free hugs. As people pass by, we approach them and give out a friendly embrace. That’s it!” The handful of youth courageous enough to try it experienced something remarkable. Wladimir, who isn’t a member of the church yet, reported enthusiastically: “There were less than 10 of us, but in just under an hour we gave out hundreds of hugs. People seem desperate for friendly contact — some were even moved to tears!”

This was just a trial in preparation for larger monthly events planned by this local church leading up to the 2012 Olympics. In future events the group plans to acquire uniforms and better signage. Furthermore, they will also create a website relating to their campaign which will inspire people to know Jesus — the ultimate friend. Neiva, another member of the team, adds: ‘we will print cards containing just the website address ( and leave people intrigued to visit the website and find out more.’

Which do you think will have more success—both short and longterm? What is the cost/benefit ratio?  Which uses the medium of YouTube more effectively? Do they fit their contexts? Which is more theologically correct? Which reflects Jesus’ methods? Which would you rather be involved in—give your money to support? What questions do these raise for you?

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