Sam Neves is the Associate Director of Communication at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His main responsibilities are the global branding and digital marketing for the denomination. He was born in Brazil and moved to England as a teenager. As an ordained minister, Sam was a local church pastor in London for 11 years. Today he lives in Silver Spring, MD in the United States with his wife Amy and their 3 sons.
The implementation of new tools in traditional religious organisations is often met with resistance, generally stemming from fear of change or hesitation to employ unproven tools in the service of their members. After all, pastoral care has deep implications to an individual’s life and well-being so any shift to how that is offered might bring unforeseen consequences to people’s lives. Providing online pastoral care may be more convenient to the practitioner but as the literature review has revealed, there is no research into its effectiveness.
Self-disclosure makes up the foundation of pastoral care. Individuals must articulate a truthful description of what is really happening in their lives before any meaningful pastoral care can take place. Thus, the main research interest of this study is the impact of digital communication on pastoral care in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The research aims can be summarised by the following questions: