During the third week in April I attended a conference hosted by ACM – Association of Christian Media. The theme for this event was “Hope Must Rise”. We have been hearing so much of the “must fall” movement recently, it’s time we asked ourselves “What must rise to replace what we tore down”. We believe the answer to that question is Hope.
During the two and a half day conference we had 3 main speakers that touched on 3 aspects of media. Understanding our target audience, growing in our effectiveness and being sure of what we communicate. Now summed it up in my own words, but what I heard and learned was so much more.
Afrika Mhlophe is a pastor from Port Elizabeth and he was teaching us about cultural boxes and God’s perspective. When we talk to people we have 2 options on how to talk/interact with them. We can either talk to them in their cultural box for example white Afrikaans man or black Xhosa man, or we can talk to them as a person made in the image of God. We can get so fixated on the cultural/race box, that we often forget that people are made in the image of God and that God loves them. Changing the way I think about people will change the way I treat them.
Ron Harris has been in the broadcasting industry for over 50 years, starting with radio. Ron firstly focused on leading with excellence. Excellence is hard to define, but is easily noticed when it happens. He encouraged us to do our best and having people work with you in areas that you are weak in. Leading doesn’t mean you have all the answers, but rather empower and encourage your team to find the solution or answer. He reminded us that relying on the Holy Spirit throughout the entire process helps bring the level of excellence to the next level.
Landa Cope is the founding dean of the College of Communication for Youth With A Mission’s University of the Nations. Landa took us through 8 social domains and asked a simple question; “what is the biblical perspective on each of these domains?” The 8 areas are Government, Church, Science/Technology, Business, Family, Education, Art/Entertainment and Media/Communication. She is using 8 bibles – one per domain to highlight, gather research and gain understanding of God’s perspective on these topics. We were truly challenged by her.
There is so much more than that I could share, but I don’t feel I would do justice to their teachings. Another great aspect of the conference was networking with other organizations that use media to get the Gospel message out there. I look forward to interacting with some of them over the course of time.