The use of electronic media to communicate the Seventh-day Adventist message to the world is an art form at which the church must do better, if the viewer’s attention is to be captured and held to the message, according to Clive Coutet, Jr. Coutet is the media director for Lineage, an independent project dedicated to capturing and presenting church history and mission to viewers, primarily youth. He spoke at the Warwick church in Bermuda at the end of September 2019 to audiences of 30 to 40 people.
Coutet noted that God is the Creator and is creative. “God expects our media work to be professional,” he stressed, lamenting the church’s failure to use media as well as it does other endeavors as tools for God’s work.
Using the biblical creation account as the pattern, the speaker provided God’s three-point model for successful media: infrastructure (the equipment), content (the imagery and sound) and people (the audience). Progressing from there, Coutet explained the dark side of media with the use of statistics and research, and the ill effects that they can inflict on people’s minds.
Shockingly, only seven percent of churches as a whole have programs to address one of the greatest evils in media, pornography—the ‘adult’ industry that controls all other media output, according to Coutet.
In his closing presentation, Coutet wrapped up his series by giving the raison d’être for the Lineage series of videos on the history of the Protestant Reformation and of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (www.lineagejourney.com). It was conceived to reach Adventist youth—the local focus—and to educate Adventists generally on the Adventist church’s history.
“History shapes identity, identity defines mission, and a clear mission determines the trajectory of your entire life,” Coutet said. The creators were trying to reach the general community “and reach young people who don’t like to read,” according to the speaker.
Lineage came into being in 2016 with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 1517 challenge to the papal authorities looming.
At the same time, the program has had a boost in its reach, as people of many different languages are asking to translate the series into those languages. “You have no idea how far media can go,” Coutet exclaimed. Building on that, he made repeated pleas for members to become involved in outreach ministry. “It doesn’t have to be big,” he said. “Just do what you can, but do something.”
—Coggie Gibbons, member, Warwick church