By Austin Oduor
Photos by Abel Musungu
The day started like any other Saturday at the very quiet and serene Umoja church grounds as seasoned and fresh media enthusiasts trooped in for the first ever media planning and harvesting session bringing together 20 representatives drawn from the different congregations within Nairobi Christian Church.
Austine Oduor took to the floor with an opening prayer and address giving an overview of the event as the proceedings came alive with very inspiring presentations.
Charles Omollo took the group through the current leadership team, casting a vision for the Media. He encouraged the team to Walk by Faith, noting that what we have started is not small before God and it requires our persistence and faith. He noted that the Media belongs to God so we must rely on God. He referred to Proverbs 16:1, the motives are weighed by the Lord so God has an idea of how this will work.
Simon Muia gave an inspiring and powerful session on the history of the church media team, its humble beginnings in 1989 when Nairobi church was planted and began its mission of evangelizing the whole world, singling out Rayola Osanya, now based in the New York City Church of Christ for his passion and heart for the media.
Rayola who was in the mission team that planted the church in Nairobi served the church Media with all his heart and he was self-driven. He was later to be assisted by Valentine Lamar, also based in the US. This spirit of giving that the two of them demonstrated has been displayed over the years by all those who have served in the Media team in different capacities. The team has grown and with time it has reached where it is now.
He also commended Patrick Kulubi, Jarrett Odwallo, Tewolde Woldu, Simon Muia, Davies Mwashighadi, Austine Oduor, Janet Nzisa, Pierre Jacobs, Oscar Ondatto, Gilbert Wandera and many others for the parts they have played in getting the media team to where it is now.
Simon offered to give graphic design tutorials for those interested to help them serve the church in much greater ways.
Lincoln Njogu did a presentation on web design, stating that the new International Churches of Christ East Africa (ICOCEA) website will reflect the ICOC churches with the theme colour of red.
Austine Oduor presented on content collection on Audio, Photos, articles and videos. He laid more focus on articles and pointed out that Media is about influencing people and it is a powerful evangelization tool that we have to draw people to Christ. He urged the members to read, “Telling the Truth” by Marvin Olasky to help them understand their role as communicators reporting about the Church. This will expand their understanding and expectations when it comes to Christian Journalism.
Steve Onyanga, an electronics engineer with over 20 years’ experience, took the group through the P.A. and sound management system. He clearly pointed out the areas that the church needs to address with regards to the church P.A. and sound management.
Oscar Ondatto presented on Revenue Collection and Office Space. It was proposed that the Media team will move to occupy the current HOPE office space in Umoja. He emphasized that online presence is key in this new found role and urged the content team members to subscribe to WIFI in their respective locations as it has become very affordable.
Charles emphasized that all the people have served voluntarily and we are now moving to a level where we have started looking for funding to help the Media team grow. Our vision is for us to have the Media employ disciples on fulltime basis to run it effectively.
Albert Nashon facilitated the discussions and gave key pointers to guide the action plan in line with the presentations and question-and-answer sessions that came immediately after each presentation.
The team later broke into three groups: content, which was later changed to editorial team; photography team; and graphic and web designers. They committed to ensure that the church media coverage will be vibrant to enable more people to come to the knowledge of Christ and project the church as part of International Churches of Christ (ICOC).
There are plans to have the Media training carried out in all our churches across the East Africa region.