Creating Connections and Communicating Christ

The work of the Weimar Institute Media department

Clive Coutet, Weimar Institute’s Media Director, had no idea when he picked up his first camera that a childhood interest would take him around the world, into a deep relationship with God and mentoring young people in media.

Coutet leads a team of three staff and 13 academy and college students. Under God’s guidance and with Coutet’s professional media background, they have produced a wide array of content from student-developed promotional videos to podcasts to COVID-19 informational livestreams and videos.

Since his arrival in December 2018 from the United Kingdom, the Media department has undergone a complete overhaul, starting with building up all the infrastructure. New offices and updated equipment were added. Finally, the department’s studio was renovated so now there is a designed sound room for podcasts, a training/work area for student workers, and a more efficient recording space that has been used by both musical groups and musicians from the community as well as on-campus.

On the digital side, all Institute-related websites were modified and updated to make them more appealing and user-friendly. “The goal was to improve and enhance everything so we portray Christ in all we do in a professional way,” noted Coutet.

In-house projects such as a website for the college student association were added to projects with a wider audience like the TCI website and videos as well as an immunity booster series offered last Spring.

Other health-related projects included revamping the NEWSTART website and producing a 30-minute broadcast show featuring eight episodes each based on one of the eight NEWSTART principles.

Recent projects have had an online focus as the interest in and demand for the Institute’s health programs have increased. The NEWSTART Lifestyle residential program now has a virtual version called NEWSTART Online. “Obviously, it can’t include some of the in-person aspects such as the doctor’s appointments, spa or trails, but there are many people across the world can now have the information and community aspect at a very reasonable price at home,” shared Coutet. He conceptualized the framework and the team filmed and edited the 40+ videos it incorporates and worked on other components. Additionally, the Institute is now offering online CEUs for nurses’ licensure renewal via NEWSTART Online. Also, the department has collaborated in the new virtual Health Evangelism And Leadership Training for Him (H.E.A.L.T.H.) program for health coaching called HEALTH Online.

As these are just a few of the many projects handled by the Media department, it makes Media a very busy but very rewarding place according to Coutet. “I do what I do because I really thoroughly enjoy improving media, making it better and making it something that not only encourages people to want to come here but encourages them to seek Jesus,” said Coutet.

This extends to the team as well. For Coutet, “the best part of my job is working with the students..It has really been a blessing to have a great team of willing people all around me…It’s a privilege to teach these kids and see them excited about doing stuff for God in media.”

His struggles as a young person trying to find a godly creative outlet in media have given him a passion for mentoring young people so they would have a different experience. “They’ve been really excited about some of these projects like the health program and the podcast.. As well as mentoring them, I’ve learned so much from them….My goal for them is for them to see their value. To see there is a purpose in what they do and that everything is Christ-centered and without Christ as the center, there won’t be a positive outcome. You can do loads of projects; you create loads of videos and get all of the attention in the world for it but it’s very easy to feel empty without Christ. I want them to see value in putting Christ first in everything they do but especially in the media department as well. Which is why it’s really important to have devotionals together and study the Bible together. For them to share their experiences or testimonies…and build connections among the team.”

Amid all the projects and deadlines, the work of the Weimar Media team seems to best be defined as creating connections and communicating Christ. “It’s hard work,” shared Coutet. “it’s not easy but it’s a real blessing when you see someone impacted or want to change their life because of a piece of content you’ve created. So my advice for anyone who is interested in Adventist media is to first of all, give it to God and pray about it. Without giving it to God, it’s not going to have the potential that it could have so everything has to be surrendered to God. God led me on this journey. I had no idea I would be here, but I’m so grateful that I am. I’ve seen over and over again, when we give God control in our lives and let Him lead, He does wonderful things.”

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