Stories are all around us says Dustin Comm, whose The Media Story: Why Your Church Needs Media to Engage Your Local Community eBook is being released today, October 9. The compendium shows how to use media and aims to engage local congregations in telling stories of their faith community in order to inspire and to witness.
There are perhaps billions of stories being told on earth just today. They encompass our lives. In fact, all of us are part of the overarching human story, which has been going on for a long, long time. But sometimes because stories are our existence and pervade everything in our consciousness, we don’t notice them. And yet stories are the most powerful vehicles to influence our communities. Is your church harnessing their power? Are you truly telling your story the way you want it to be received?
Engaged in many and varied mission endeavors, Seventh-day Adventists have been using a variety of media to proclaim the Good News. As a church, we take it for granted that media – the print, radio, TV and the Internet with its numerous products – is an ally in Adventist proclamation. Observers of the church’s media interest and engagement as part of our mission efforts have also recognized us in these endeavors.
However, often on a congregational level such interest is being generally considered to be a job for the corporate levels of the church. Media production is expensive and requires the engagement of those who know more, is one reason often cited.
Dustin, who lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, and attends LifeSource Fellowship of Seventh-day Adventists, grew up in Sacramento, CA and graduated from Pacific Union College with degrees in Theology and Television & Film Production. He has served in Calimesa, California, as a pastor for media and youth ministry, producing creative media content for the congregation and local community.
“Knowing that often times church media folks may never get media experience outside the church, I decided that I need to gain real-world media experience and took an opportunity in broadcast radio at Mile High Sports Radio (AM 1510 | FM 93.7) in Denver, CO as a producer/host,” he tells NewsNuggets.
Early in 2015 after a year of prayer and soul-searching for where God wanted him next, Dustin recognized that God was calling him to combine his passions of ministry and media moving forward. “In my research and study, it became clear that the church was missing a huge opportunity to engage its local communities at a deeper level by infusing media into their long-term outreach campaigns,” he said. “My passion is to help churches understand why and how to integrate media into their outreach,” he added.
The Media Story is a community of churches who are innovating, experimenting, failing, and learning how to infuse media into their physical evangelism efforts. Dustin explains that studies show churches engage their communities best when creating media in step with their outreach.
Your church is telling a story whether it realizes it or not. Consider these few questions, he comments, “What is the story received by the community? Do you understand what your church is known for in the community? Do you feel pressure to use media in your church, but don't know where to begin? Does your evangelism feel unnatural or forced?”
The Media Story teaches churches how to tell their story (the way they want it received) by creating media in conjunction with their community outreach.
The eBook is being released on Amazon for its Kindle platform, and the iBooks store. On his Blog, the author offers additional expert advice on a variety of aspects covered in his eBook.
As with any approach that involves the church in media, often the initial reaction may be to consider The Media Story as a "how-to for media ministries." Dustin reacts that “this is not accurate in my mind. What I think of when someone says that [it’s a how-to] is really that it just covers the technical side of buying equipment, how to shoot church services, editing, streaming, broadcasting, etc., The Media Story is a philosophy for reaching the community outside the church walls by infusing media into the church's outreach.” ”The eBook is not a technical guide. That would be one misconception,” he adds.
The Media Story: Why Your Church Needs Media to Engage Your Local Community, received a pre-release praise from several media professionals, including Phil Cooke, filmmaker and media consultant. The author of Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media, Phil Cooke said “it’s time [that] churches and ministry organizations got serious about using media to reach their local communities. It’s the language our culture speaks, and the vast majority of your congregation and surrounding community are already telling their story through media. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend Dustin Comm’s new book.”
Engaging in its presentation, Dustin Comm’s eBook can be referred to as hope for many a minister and for Christian communicators ready to be involved with an Adventist story through media out of their local church. For more information: themediastory [Rajmund Dabrowski; Photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]