5 tools for building disciples in a digital world
How we define church and what it looks like is influenced by the context we live in. The church in China is largely underground and the oppression they face has shaped the church there. There are no casual church members in a place where being a part of the church could get you arrested or worse. In our entertainment culture, it’s not surprising that we have people in our churches that are pew sitters. Church should be more like a pickup game of basketball in the park than a visit to the theater to watch a blockbuster.
The goal is to help people move in the direction of engagement. One of the most obvious ways that people engage with your church is through their own spiritual journey. In a few of Jesus’ last words, he highlights the central role of disciple making in his new church. Here are a few ways that churches are building disciples digitally:
Sometimes you can’t be in person but you still want to be connected to your church. Live streaming services and events allow people to stay connected in new ways. This has been a huge help for churches that have lots of ‘snowbirds’ that only live
Now it is easy and inexpensive to record sermons and share them online and in your app. The great thing about podcasts is that you don’t have to be online to watch them. If you have a long flight, simply download the sermon to your phone and watch it later. This is also a great tool for sharing sermons, worship songs or other content that was meaningful to you. And, you can come back to it as often as you want.
My grandmother always had a little booklet with daily devotions sitting on the sink in the bathroom. Now, you don’t need to print anything (or go to the bathroom) to get access to your daily devotional. Also by connecting church-wide devotionals to the current sermon series, you can help your community take a deeper dive into the topic. Some churches even send out a push notification letting app users know when the new weekly devotion has been pushed to their phone.
Small Group Finder
Discipleship happens in the context of relationship. Using your mobile app, you can share tons of ways for people to get connected to other members of your church community. Lots of times this might be a traditional small group bible study, but many churches are using this tool to get people connected to special groups like MOPS, Financial Peace University or even just social groups.
You can’t do discipleship without a bible. Now, you can carry in your pocket more Bible resources than were found in the ancient library of Alexandria. Having this tool built into your church’s app allows you to link your sermon notes directly to the scriptures you are preaching from. These types of interactive sermon notes give the context that can bring greater life to your services.
What tools are you using to build disciples in the digital age?