International (MNN) — A symposium was recently held to teach ministries about the most effective ways to use media, with a special focus on East Africa.
The symposium was hosted by a branch of the Far East Broadcasting Company known as the International Center for Media Studies (ICMS). The program was based on extensive research conducted by ICMS specifically to help ministries make the most of their resources while reaching as many people as possible with the Gospel.
With the knowledge gained from the symposium, many ministries have a better understanding of what technology works and what doesn't.
They also have come away with the knowledge that some forms of media are even more highly-respected in the third world than in the West. For instance, in East Africa, radio is considered more credible than most religious leaders, and it is therefore more trusted. (To learn more about the research found by ICMS in East Africa, click here.)
This kind of information helps ministries like FEBC to focus on the importance of a medium like radio for certain regions.
ICMS Executive Director Robert Fortner says that, overall, ministries took away "a recognition that there are tools available to try to assess the effectiveness of the investments they're making," therefore helping them to be better stewards of not only their money, but the privilege of spreading the Gospel.
ICMS knew that the information they provided would not be accurate for every ministry attending the symposium. "We know there's not ‘one size fits all,'" says Fortner. "But we also know that there are tools out there that can help people to make effective choices and to use these new technologies to improve their own work in the developing world."
ICMS will be conducting extensive research on media in Cambodia and Turkey this summer and will hold another symposium in October 2009. To learn more about the work of ICMS and the next symposium, click here.