During our first Faith Group Online session, a participant shared how thankful she was to be finally connected to our church even though we only see each other through Google Hangout. She’s from Quezon City and a devoted listener of the Faithful Podcast. After weeks of joining, she visited the church, worshipped with us and met our pastors.
Today, people “go” in digital ways. I listen to and read some of my Faith Group member’s prayer requests, small victories, and experienced heartaches during the week over a social messaging app. We then discuss everything personally, once a week over a Faith Group fellowship to physically study the word and pray together.
How are we making disciples as we go our digital ways? Are we getting our offline discipleship efforts online? This is about using the tools “as we go” and make disciples: to welcome people to Christ and teach them to obey him.
Digital discipleship should simply be treated as a growing piece of the disciple-making on & off screen. It’s certainly not a substitute for face-to-face meetings, church fellowships, and the like. Remember, we’re supposed to make disciples as we go—and we still “go” in offline ways, too.
Here are some ways that can help us use the electronic media in raising-up our disciples.
- Encourage the use of Web or Mobile Apps. The YouVersion Bible App is useful in picking up the verse of the day or if you’re looking for new devotionals. It’s available free online or mobile.
- Set-up messaging groups on your mobile phone or social messaging app. Regularly send verses & insights from your daily devotions and Bible reading. Ask questions to engage in conversations during the week.
- Explore the use of Voice and Video Messaging Apps. A chat or a text is sometimes not enough. Our disciple might need to hear our prayers and encouragements during the week. FB Messenger, Google Hangouts, and Skype are some of the widely used applications.
- Make the weekly Bible reading, family altar and devotional guide available through a Social Media Group or send it to your disciples through text or email. This can encourage them to read the Word, meditate on it and share it with others too. Constantly present opportunities to draw the Gospel closer to them daily.
- Ask them to listen to the Faithful Podcast or create a Christian music playlist on Spotify or Youtube and share it with your disciples. Allow the Sunday Word and songs minister to them during the week. You may want to discuss insights from the Word when you meet or to learn a new song together.
We have the Great Commission to make disciples as we go about our daily lives (Matthew 28:19-20). We need to diligently & efficiently think of ways to make disciples using the electronic media that our disciples use all the time. But it doesn’t mean we leave behind the physical aspects of discipleship to focus on ‘trendy’ methods.
In fact, if we’re doing it right, not one person will notice the “upgrade” of our discipleship techniques. And if all of us carry out it well, “digital discipleship” won’t be a thing in a few years. It’ll just be known that when we raise-up disciples, we make the most of the digital opportunities available.