Chasing the Light with Dave Adamson
With 600 million monthly users and 300 million daily users, Instagram has quickly grown from an app to being a social network, business and commerce platform and for some, a place to share their faith. Dave Adamson, a former magazine editor and TV sports reporter, decided to use his passion for photography to help his little girl. He started using photos he had taken around the world to teach her the Bible. Adamson, a pastor at North Point Ministries oversees the church’s social media channels and North Point Online. He started posting his photos on Instagram, and it quickly grew. After thousands of people from around the world follow his daily devotions on Instagram, he decided to put together a book, Chasing the Light.
Adamson shares how he went from being a successful reporter to moving his family to New Jersey to be a pastor.
“When I started working as a sports reporter, I was 19 years old and believed I had the best job in the world. I never had any intention to become a professional Christian. By my late 20s I was on television and my career was going up and to the right. I assumed I would always work as a TV sports reporter. I was so successful in fact that ESPN called me from Connecticut and wanted to offer me a position on Sports Center. I interviewed for a week, and when I was offered the position a few weeks later, I assumed I would simply take it. It seemed like a layup. But that’s when God got side-swiped my wife Meg and I with the idea of full-time ministry. After praying about moving with ESPN, we felt clearly that God was telling us to turn the position down. More accurately, God told my wife we should turn it down, and since I trust that she hears from God, I agreed!
So there I was, stranded with no idea what to do after turning down what I thought was my dream job. So, I reached out to a pastor in New Jersey who I had been listening to on podcast to ask his advice. To my surprise, he emailed me back and asked me to call. After two phone calls and a video call, he told me he had been praying for a person with a background in the media and pastoral heart, and he believed I was the answer to his prayer. He flew Meg and I over to New York and promptly offered me a position as creative director and church online pastor. I accepted and we sold our house, our cars and most of our possessions to move our three daughters to New Jersey!
It was the last thing I expected to be doing … but it’s now the only thing I can imagine myself doing.”
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.” Psalm 19:1-3
Adamson recalls how he started using his photos to teach his daughter who struggles with dyslexia about the Bible and what made him decide to put this book together.
“Our youngest daughter loves church and Jesus, but has always struggled with reading the Bible due to her dyslexia. So I started spending our breakfast time together showing her prints of the photos I’ve taken around the world, and linking them to biblical ideas and stories. I used the photos to tell the story or biblical concept. What I saw was that she not only understood what I was teaching her, she could also recalled the story and application hours later. She had learned it through the images. Not surprising when you consider that thanks to social media, images are the language of the 21st century.
So I decided to put the photos and devotions I shared with her on my Instagram account as a permanent record for my three girls on everything I know about Jesus. I didn’t realize and could not have predicted that my Instagram would take off as a result, but I soon had 5000 followers, then 10,000, then 15,000. I now have over 24,000 people reading my devotions each morning. That’s when a publisher approached me to put them in a book. I didn’t plan on it. I didn’t pursue it. The devotions and images just seemed to resonate with people like they did with my little girl. People were encouraged and challenged … so they kept recommending my work to others.”
Adamson opens up on his hope for the book.
“My hope really is that people will take a step in the spiritual journey as a result of reading these devotions. I hope they get new biblical insight. I hope they read the stories of the Bible a little differently because I try to give them some cultural and historical context to the ancient stories. I hope they get ideas on how to pray tidally apply their faith and biblical concepts. I hope the images in the book act as a type of parable that gives people a deeper understanding of scripture.”
Be a light on social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube or another platform, take opportunities to share your faith. It can be an inspirational photo with verse, video clip from a Sunday message, or retweeting one of your favorite speakers. Don’t feel like you have to create content, there are lots of great resources out there that you an simply share from your platform. You never know the impact that you can have. The things that we share often go beyond our circle of friends and family as others share, regram and retweet. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you his divine inspiration.
Be obedient. From career choices to discerning God’s calling, it can often be difficult figuring out what God wants you to do. Take time this week to get away from distractions. Silence your technology and spend time praying and seeking God’s direction. As He reveals his will, it is important to be obedient to his guiding and direction.
Get creative. When you are faced with a challenge, look for other opportunities or solutions. Pray and ask God for vision. Also, take time to ask others who might have gone through a similar challenge to see how they responded.
For more info on Dave Adamson’s book, click here.