College of Human Sciences

Empowering the church to spread the gospel effectively in the digital era

The Unisa College of Human Sciences' School of Humanities, in collaboration with the Fohloza Foundation, held a Church and Media Seminar, which aimed to emphasise the crucial role of the media in facilitating the spread of the gospel. The event, held at Unisa’s Muckleneuk Campus on 1 June 2023, brought together influential ministers, church leaders, ecumenical organisations, media practitioners and leaders of various fraternities to share insights on the significance of content, media training for churches, and the intersection of faith and media today.

Prof Gift Baloyi from the Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, who was the facilitator of the Church and Media seminar

In the modern era, where technological advancements have transformed the way information is shared and consumed, the church faces the challenge of adapting to these changes in order to effectively spread the gospel. The seminar shed light on the importance of the church utilising the media to disseminate its message. It further enabled discussion on strategies and insights for navigating the digital landscape while maintaining the integrity of the church's teachings.

Importance of content in media outreach

Byron Tae, from Trinity Broadcasting Network, emphasised the significance of content in media outreach. Drawing on his extensive experience in the media industry, Tae highlighted the need for churches to deliver compelling and relevant content that resonates with today's diverse audience. By employing various digital platforms, such as social media, podcasts and streaming services, churches can effectively engage with individuals who may not be reached through traditional means. Tae also underscored the importance of crafting content that conveys the core principles of the gospel while appealing to the interests and concerns of contemporary society.

Representing the South African Council of Churches, Mathume Masha, reiterated the importance of media training for churches and their leaders. She remarked that in an age of instant communication and 24/7 news cycle, it is crucial for church representatives to be well prepared to manage media interactions effectively. Masha discussed various aspects of media training, including message development, interview techniques and crisis management. "By equipping church leaders with the necessary skills, they can navigate the media landscape confidently, ensuring accurate and positive representation of their faith communities," she explained.

The intersection of faith and media

Savita Mbuli from Growth Media

Savita Mbuli, a renowned media personality from Growth Media, shared her personal journey and highlighted the symbiotic relationship between faith and media. Mbuli expressed how her involvement in the media industry shaped her spiritual growth and allowed her to find solace and peace within the church. She highlighted the importance of churches maintaining their integrity in a media-driven society while simultaneously adapting to the evolving landscape. Mbuli further discussed the inner workings of the media industry and offered insights into how churches can effectively engage with and navigate this space, ultimately conveying their message of hope and salvation.

Therefore, the seminar stressed on the importance of adapting to the evolving media landscape without compromising the ethics of the church's teachings. It urged churches to embrace the opportunities presented by digital platforms and to equip church leaders with effective communication skills, among others. As the church endeavours to fulfil its mission in the digital era, the seminar served as a catalyst for empowering the church to effectively spread the gospel and impact the lives of individuals in today's technologically connected world.


* Written by IHlubi Veli Mabona, Marketing Assistant, College of Human Sciences

Publish date: 2023/06/09

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