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The Media And The Missionary Work: What Connection?

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By Mercy Arogunjo 

In this ever-changing, technologically driven world, media play an increasingly larger role in the way people communicate with each other. 

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

Mass media, as defined by Lorimer and Scannel II, involves transmitting information to large, often unknown audiences. 

With new media, people can interact in real time, both orally and visually, without face to face interaction. 

On the other hand, missionaries are known as Christians who travel to a different cultural context to proclaim the Gospel. So, missionary work involves sending individuals and groups of Christians believers, called Missionaries to different nations of the world, to do simple tasks and still make an impact that lasts, while delivering the Gospel message simultaneously.

They go to proclaim the Gospel by helping, serving, and caring for different nations. They build friendships, learn an entirely different language, and serve with a compassionate, inspired, and motivated heart.

Since the beginning of modern missions, missionaries have used a variety of media to communicate the Gospel to the nations and to communicate with other Christians across the globe.

Missionaries have long used writing to inspire people. 

The printing press revolutionized society as a whole. It certainly impacted the way Christian Missionaries performed their responsibilities. Among notable examples of this were missionaries like William Carey, who used journalism for evangelism purposes, and printing Christian publications in the native language of his audience. 

Missionaries like Clarence Jones have also used the radio in spreading the message of Christ to the local people.

The invention of new media, especially social media, has helped missionaries more in the aspect of knowing to some extent the nation they are going to. It also aids easy communication with their audience and even with their loved ones at home. They now use social media to even send gospel messages to millions of people within seconds and also get feedback from them. 

Some missionaries who contributed to the personal communication in 2010  had at least one complaint about new media, but they uniformly agreed that the positive additions outweigh their negative concerns. 

Several missionaries agreed that new media allow them to communicate with a broader audience than traditional media. With e-mail, they are able 

to send updates to anyone for free, rather than having to pay postage and being limited by the number of home addresses they had for supporters. 

Also, with Facebook, they are able to communicate with them despite not having their e-mail address.

The missionaries saw the voluntary nature of new media as a benefit to their communication as well. Rather than snail mail or even e-mail, in which the missionary sends information and the receiver may feel obligated to take part in the communication, now the missionary can post information on a blog or facebook page and people can choose whether or not to participate and give feedback. 

The Logans started their missionary career writing newsletters, but they soon realized people weren’t reading them. It was too much information, and people weren’t interested because it was too much. Instead of that, the missionaries now communicate using short snippets.

When missionaries communicate information using new media, the person at the other end can receive that information and give feedback immediately, even if they are 8,000 miles away. 

They no longer need to wait weeks for letters to be delivered and then another few weeks to receive a response. They can communicate as fast as their Internet connection will let them. Because of this immediacy, the missionaries agreed that they communicate far more than they did before these new media came to be.

Whether it is giving a weekly update on a project or sharing an urgent need, missionaries are able to communicate more through new media.

The missionaries noted that partly because of its immediacy, new media allowed them to feel connected to their life back home. Particularly through Facebook and Whatsapp, they are able to share life with their loved ones overseas.

For missionaries with a small budget, the low price is a strong benefit of new media. Internet phones, though not free, are relatively cheap for international calling: “We can pick up the phone and call anybody around the world without

thinking of spending much, just like the way it used to be in the 90s. 

The other new media; e-mail, Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, and YouTube are completely free after the cost of Internet access. This low cost allows missionaries to communicate as much as they want, even on a low budget, in a way that they never could before.

The TV and radio that the missionaries use before have been replaced with YouTube and podcast messages.

Nevertheless, some of these people still use the TV and radio, though it won’t reach a large audience. The YouTube and podcasts have helped the missionaries to send visual and audio messages to people across the globe.

The media has greatly helped in the part of keeping in touch with the nations they have visited and even the ones they are yet to visit. They constantly send messages to them just like Apostle Paul did in the old with the people of Corinthians and other nations. The relationship continues even after a mission work might have been completed, thanks to the media.


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