Despite 2020 physical limitations, GAiN event showed that God is still at work, leaders said.
Due to the coronavirus, the 17th Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Conference was held virtually from November 30 to December 3, 2020. Three thousand people registered from the Philippines, Ukraine, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, the Caribbean, Russia, and many other countries.
GAiN is a community of Adventist media professionals from around the world, whose goal is to “foster the use of communication, technology, media, and the internet to help the Adventist church carry out its mission,” according to its website. For the past 16 years, the network has held annual conferences to “educate, train and collaborate on finding new ways to reach communities” with the gospel, according to AdventWeb. The conferences are organized by the denomination’s Communication Department and the Office of Global Software and Internet.
The theme for GAiN 2020 was “I Will Go — Exploring Our Digital Future,” a title that leaders believe mirrors the strategic focus of the Adventist Church. The conference featured testimonies from people succeeding in ministry in the digital world; short reports from world church regions; and training sessions by experts who shared best practices and tips.
Keynote presentations included remarks by Tim Sanders, a New York Times bestselling author. He is vice president of Customer Insights for Upwork, an online platform that connects businesses with freelance talent from around the world. Martha Gabriel, an internationally acclaimed writer, author, speaker, and researcher, also presented.
Sanders spoke specifically on the benefits of hiring independent contractors. Referencing Melissa Valentine from the Center of Work, Tech, and Organizations at Stanford University, Sanders said that in the future, many organizations are going to transition to a smaller core group of “full-time team members who bring all the specialized skills in at the cloud level working on demand. And, since [the organization] is only paying for consumption … they actually get more people working on their problem.” This allows organizations, such as the Adventist Church and its entities, to produce a higher volume of quality material faster than they would’ve been able to create otherwise.