Growing as Digital Disciples
Jamie Jean Schneider Domm
Digital Strategist, Social Media + Big Data, North American Division
Content creation, engagement, and distribution are not limited to the official church brand and accounts. Make it a point to reach out to young people and let them know that their talents in this area are highly valued even if they are not part of the core team. Some people just need permission and a little mentorship to realize their talents and passion for personal ministry. Everyone has social influence through texting, messenger applications, email, and social media. Encourage and inspire them to use it to build God's kingdom.
The two primary roles in which digital disciples can serve are as engagers and distributors. For this reason, I have decided to unpack the role of digital disciples here in the guide, in-between these two sections of the digital discipleship and evangelism model.
The Bible tells us to become and make disciples. God calls us all to serve in unique ways. Ellen White encourages us to:
Let every worker in the Master’s vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something out of the common course of things. We must arrest the attention. We must be deadly in earnest. We are on the very verge of times of trouble and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of. – Ellen White, Letter 20, 1893
Identify people in your church who can be digital disciples, all on their own, as a means to further the mission of your church. This allows and empowers members to engage in ministry and discipleship in ways that aligns with their passion, spiritual gifts, tools of preference, and personal style. There is a spiritual void online because we are not doing enough individually as members or collectively as a Church. The mission field is wide open, it’s our duty to share the gospel through the tools available to us.
The Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ states, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). An easy and free way to reach the nations lies in the palms of our hands. When we hesitate to make the gospel message more available, we allow our own human weaknesses and fears to get in the way of our mission. How can we justify this resistance to boldly declaring our faith online? We live in an era of religious freedom with minimal persecution in North America (in contrast to what is happening in other parts of the world). However, the predominant perception among the Church body is that evangelism is an event run exclusively by a specific set of people.
In Exodus 4:2, God asks Moses “What is in your hand?” and tells him to lead the children of Israel to the promised land. To Moses, his staff is simply a tool for directing sheep, but with God’s direction, it becomes an instrument through which miracles are performed. If God spoke to each of us today, we would answer, “a phone,” a “laptop,” or an “iPad.” Most of us have a smart phone that can be used either for distraction or for positive impact. The responsibility of every disciple is to utilize every available resource for God so at the end of the age, when we face our Master, we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!...” (Matthew 25:23). We must commit to work diligently online to share present truth, regardless of who we are and what our official role may be in the Church.
Tips and Ideas for Individual Digital Disciples,