Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, will launch his own Twitter and Facebook accounts on Thursday in an effort to better communicate the church’s activities directly to members and other people.
Wilson said he would use his Twitter account — @pastortedwilson — and his Facebook page — facebook.com/pastortedwilson — to share his personal prayers, favorite Bible and Spirit of Prophecy materials, information about his current outreach activities, and photos and news from his travels.
"I want to better communicate to church members some of the exciting activities of the church, such as Revival and Reformation, Mission to the Cities, Comprehensive Health Ministry, and Total Member Involvement,” Wilson told the Adventist Review.
He said church members would be directed back to their pastor, local church, and local conference for more information about those initiatives.
Revival and Reformation refers to a broad world church program that includes the Believe His Prophets online daily Bible study readings and the United in Prayer weekly e-mail readings and prayers.
Mission to the Cities is an effort to share Jesus in the biggest cities of the world, and Comprehensive Health Ministry includes projects such as community health centers that seek to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people in local communities.
Total Member Involvement is one of the newest programs to emerge from the world church. Introduced at the General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, last July, it seeks to encourage each of the more than 18.5 million Adventist believers worldwide to find ways to share Jesus actively with others.
“What a privilege to proclaim the three angels’ messages as we approach Christ’s soon coming,” Wilson said.
Wilson will have a small team of people working with him on social media. But all posts will come through his office.
Wilson, a lifelong pastor and church administrator who was elected to a second, five-year term as president in San Antonio, said he decided to join social media now because he wanted to engage with members more directly.
“It is an important way to share spiritual and outreach information in a direct manner, allowing church members to become acquainted with the many outreach and evangelistic methods available and being used,” he said.
Among other things, Wilson will use his Facebook page to answer questions about his vision for the church, his spiritual life, and his activities. People can submit questions to the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Wilson will post answers to three questions every Friday.
It is unclear how many Adventists are on Twitter and Facebook. The Adventist Church’s South American Division has the largest number of likes of any church-managed Facebook page, with more than 877,000 likes. No one knows, however, how many of those likes are from Adventist members.
The Adventist Church’s official Twitter account, @AdventistChurch, has more than 50,300 followers, making it the most popular church-owned Twitter account.
Wilson said he sees social media as “an ever-increasing factor in shaping the outreach and interchange of church members” and an effective way to potentially reach millions of other people.
“It is important to use social media to not only share important church information, but also to reach out to the millions using social media and thus pointing them to Christ, His Word, His righteousness, His sanctuary service, His saving power in the great controversy, His three angels’ messages, His health message, His last-day mission to the world, and His soon second coming,” Wilson said.