As you walk into the lobby of Adventist Media, you’re greeted by a neat row of seven brands. There’s Signs of the Times. And Adventist News Online. There’s Psalter music. And HopeChannel TV. Signs Publishing. It is Written Oceania. They’re all there. And, let me see, I’ve forgotten what the other one is.
And that’s the problem.
We have a lot of little brands. None of which are well known in society. Wait a second. There is also Diggings Magazine. And Beyond the Search. There’s Faith FM too. But I don’t think they are even part of the seven on the wall. I’ll go downstairs and check.
OK, I’m back up the stairs, and I’m not even breathing too heavily. Sorry, Lyle Southwell, the one I forgot was the Discovery Centre.
In the past, everyone of them operated in their own little silo, with their own website, own marketing, own fundraising . . . you get the picture. Imagine the time and effort involved in creating, curating and promoting that many brands. Did we talk together? Sure we did. But were we integrated in a real, ongoing, operational and strategic sense? Nope. Signs did their thing. Adventist News Online did our thing. Psalter was its own little island. And so was It is Written Oceania. And so it went on.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
And so, Adventist Media has searched around the world for a model that will work. And they’ve found one. Not in the nosiest, most boastful place on earth. Their leaders aren’t invited to speak at our camp meetings. And English is not their first language. So you may not have heard much about it. It is Novo Tempo. Novo Tempo is the HopeChannel in South America, and it is having a remarkable impact on church growth there.
In fact, the team at Novo Tempo is widely regarded as the leaders when it comes to soul winning through media.
How are they doing it? They’ve pulled all their disparate ministries and media brands together under the Novo Tempo umbrella. And now they all work in a coordinated, integrated and strategic way—closely connected with local Adventist churches. In fact, they are so closely connected that now local Adventist churches in South America often include Novo Tempo in their church signs. The entire Adventist team are on the same page. And it’s a beautiful thing what we can do, when we all work together.
Difficult? Yes. Worth the effort? The results speak for themselves. There simply is no other place that is getting the long term, tangible, church growth from media that South America is.
“Adventist Media is all about making disciples for Christ,” says Kalvin Dever, CEO of Adventist Media. “We’re not about egos or brands, maintaining traditions or building little empires. We’re about us figuring out what works best to reach our world for Jesus. He’s coming back soon, and we have to give an account on how we’ve used the resources He’s entrusted us with. We have to ask God to lead us in our decision making and then, most importantly, be willing to accept His leading while we make the necessary changes to better reach those we’re trying to serve.”
So, what is changing at Adventist Media? “We’re moving forward with two primary brands—the Seventh-day Adventist Church brand and the HopeChannel brand. Everything we do will be under one of those two brands.”
“For example,” he continues, “we’ll continue to have It Is Written Oceania and we are developing new TV shows, but it will be coordinated as part of HopeChannel with the Discovery Centre and Signs magazine. TV programs, magazine articles, radio programs, books and courses all linked together under the HopeChannel brand. They will be integrated operationally as well. So, instead of having all these different ministry brands each in its own silo, we’re building a content rich, dynamic and integrated website where visitors can view It Is Written Oceania shows, read Signs, Diggings, and some Record articles, listen to podcasts and do online Discovery courses—all without having to switch between a bunch of different websites. By working together, we have the opportunity to build stronger, deeper relationships with people on our website. Why is this important? Because we want to to do all we can to connect our viewers and readers to a real live Adventist church in their community. It’s about making it easy for our world to get to know Jesus!”
“We’re also looking at our overheads,” says Mr Dever. “When each of our ministries does everything from A to Z, we have had a lot of functions repeated. For example, HopeChannel, Signs magazine and It Is Written Oceania have all done their own marketing in silos in the past. They have all built and maintained their own little websites, also. And we have a number of different parts of Adventist Media producing text independent from each other. Simply put, like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:21, we need the whole body working together as a team, rather than each little part spinning out on its own. We’re more efficient and more effective together. I get excited when I think of the possibilities when we work together. ”
The integration of Adventist Media comes in the wake of the South Pacific Division getting some of the departments working together in a Discipleship team. The focus is on the goal—leading more people into a life of discipleship to Christ—rather than on individual silos. “We know from South America this can work,” says Mr Dever, “and, talking to some church members about our plans, the comment often comes back, ‘why has it taken so long to do this? It’s so obvious!’ Well it requires change and change is not easy. We have a great team in the office who are passionate about spreading the message of a loving Saviour with a world who desperately need to hear a positive message. And even though change is always tough, it is also exciting. We’re moving forward.”