International (MNN) — Media often gets a bad reputation. Many believers feel TV and the Internet are places where evil thrives. But maybe the real problem is the fact that few know how to use social media and traditional media for the Great Commission.
Tasos Ioannidis of AMG International says for 60 years, they’ve been using media to share the Message that can save people from sin.
“Only heaven will show how many people have been touched through media,” says Ioannidis. “God is using it in amazing ways, and when people dig in and find out how God is using it, they will be amazed.”
At AMG, “media” can take a wide variety of forms. In several countries (often those closed to overt missionary activity), they work through newspaper and Web evangelism by placing Gospel ads in newspapers, magazines, and on Web sites. The ministry also shares Christ through “traditional media” such as book/periodical publishing, Gospel tracts, and radio.
“Through media–whether it’s printed or through radio, or the Internet these days, you can enter homes that a Christian person would not be able to go in,” Ioannidis shares. “In their own home, they’ll have a chance to think and respond. God is using that in tremendous ways.”
Despite its success, AMG’s media ministry is no stranger to criticism.
“Who would think of using media to put the Gospel message [in]?” asks Ioannidis. “A lot of people think it is a waste of resources to do that, but it’s exactly the opposite.”
Social media is one such area of controversy. Many people, especially younger generations, advocate the positive uses of social media: 24/7 communication with friends, reconnecting with colleagues and classmates, finding a job, etc.
But social media carries many negative side effects as well: cyber bullying, identity theft, less face-to-face interaction, to name a few.
“Social media is just a tool. It can be used well or it can be used poorly, like a lot of things,” says the AMG President and CEO. “Our experience with social media is that it is a very powerful tool to attract people to get them to respond.
“We have a lot of people who contact us through our Facebook page in different countries, asking for New Testaments, asking to enroll in a Bible correspondence course. Also, Twitter is a great way to get the word out, share little truths. These blurbs catch peoples’ attention, and they contact us, asking to know more.”
Today, AMG uses the radio, newspapers, Internet, social media, and printed publications to share God’s Truth with people around the world. After 60 years of media ministry, the most effective methods have changed and continue to change; but the Message and impact are still the same.
“We have seen church growth in many countries around the world through media,” says Ioannidis. “It is a great, cost-effective way to put the Gospel into places you could not access otherwise.”
Access is a double-edge sword, though. Ioannidis explains, “There are countries in which we operate that are restricted, where the government tries to block the Internet sites or that proclaim the Gospel.
“Pray that the Lord will keep the doors open so that we will continue to use media for the glory of God.”
Program costs can also present significant barriers. Click here to help AMG’s media ministry overcome them.