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Martin Ainsworth

Martin joined the International team as our media guru. He is married to Samantha, together they have four children plus one dog and live in England. Martin is our new secret weapon, so read on to discover what he can do for you!

SO, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?

My working background is a little different from most creative professionals. I spent twelve years in social work, working with children with severe physical disabilities and their families. In 2002, I went to my local college to enquire about evening classes in web design so I could build our church website. To cut a long story short, I came home to tell my wife that I would be starting a full-time media degree later that year! I specialised in graphic design, web design and video/audio concepts, and went on to set up my own media business in graphic and web design and it went from strength to strength. In 2007 I focused the business more into video as it was being used increasingly on the web.

HOW DID YOU COME TO BE INVOLVED WITH YFC?

My journey to YFC started in April 2011 when my wife Samantha asked me the question, ‘If God offered to give you your heart’s desire, then what would you ask for?’ My answer was simple and huge – to have a media project that would engage a lot of people and give me the opportunity to travel. This seemed to disappoint her slightly; she had expected my answer to reflect a more family-related response.

The next morning JB in Thailand asked if I would be free to talk to Neil, her husband, as he wanted to enquire about a media project that would need me to travel to Kathmandu, Samoa and Kyrgyzstan to produce a promotional DVD to reflect the work done. It was a no-brainer, to be asked what is your heart’s desire and for it to be answered the following morning requires a ‘Yes!’ not, ‘Well I shall need to think about it.’ While filming and producing, I found that a lot of the staff were incredibly frustrated by their lack of media knowledge and wanted to learn how to use creative media to reflect the work that they did and to be able to reach out to young people across their nations.

After two further trips to Thailand God really showed me what I needed to be doing and with whom, and I felt that it was time to give up my business and give my time and skills full-time to tool, equip, train and develop the way YFC uses creative media to reflect the powerful work they do and to engage young people with creative social media.

WHY IS CREATIVE MEDIA IMPORTANT?

Put simply, here are six reasons why I use creative media:

1. My life is my message – I want to promote it.

2. To learn from and understand our culture.

3. To share my life experience with others.

4. I desire to socialise with my friends, family and co-workers.

5. I can lead people, in a positive way, daily.

6. I want to be where ‘the people’ are.

BEST THING ABOUT IT:

Creative Media has opened so many doors to make it possible to connect with anybody, anywhere. We can be as creative as we want to be, and use it to get a message out even if it’s just to put out a picture of us having a great time. You share your life and your personal experiences with whoever you like. creative media has no limitation or boundaries.

AND THE WORST?

With the ability to share comes the ability to over-share; sometimes saying nothing is better than showing the world what you are having for dinner again. We should think of quality over quantity. Personal and professional separation does not seem to have filtered down into social media, especially within Christian ministry.

HOW CAN WE MAKE THE MOST OF YOU?

Anyone can come to me with a vision or a dream, and I will do my best to make it happen! I think anything is possible.

But never use me to replace face-to-face ministry; the most important ministry tool is you; you are on the front line and everything that I have to offer is to complement what you do and to increase awareness of the ways of accessing the Gospel message and reaching young people everywhere, through technology, and to encourage peer evangelism.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH?

Project “Gerald” is an evangelistic portal with a difference.

Project “SOJ” the Story of Jesus App in partnership with David C Cook Publishing.

Project “YFC EYE” Excellence in Youth Evangelism quarterly digital magazine.