More people today are using technology than ever before. For the church, the digital age has started to infiltrate the way people think and process information. Some people consider offline ministries to be the best way to do discipleship, but there are a growing number of people who believe an online ministry can “provide opportunities for maintaining or establishing influence” in the Christian sphere. Understanding these opportunities can help expand the number of disciples made through technology.
This doesn’t mean shifting in beliefs or changing the core values of discipleship. Rather, it means being creative in reaching people with an online platform. To help with your creativity, we’ve compiled three ways to make disciples in the digital age while holding fast to Gospel truths.
Having a heart to teach others about the Gospel should propel you to teach others about the good news of Jesus Christ. Hosting weekly Bible studies and sermons is a great way to teach people about the Gospel, but pairing the in-person teaching sessions with the digital age is a strategic way to reach even more people with the Truth.
One strategic way you can usher in the digital age is by live streaming your weekly sermons. Simply live streaming your sermons has the potential to reach more people by nearly 100 percent, 200 percent, or even more! Once your live-streamed sermon has ended, it is automatically archived so anyone can go back and watch the sermon when desired. This type of digital experience expands the church’s ability to disciple people as it expands the number of people they can teach.
How to Teach Like Jesus
The digital age doesn’t have to mean taking things online and eliminating an in-person experience. It is important to keep the attitude of Jesus when taking your teachings digital. Remember that Jesus held fast to the truth and didn’t waver when people wanted to hear something that does not align with scripture. He saw people where they were and ushered in the love of God to everyone who would listen. Even though you’re on the other side of a computer or smart device, it’s a good challenge to recognize what’s going on with your viewers and serve them through your teachings. Be brave, bold, and humble, and as a result be ready to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Verse to Meditate
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” Psalm 25:9
People all around the world have ministry needs when it comes to making disciples. Some people need a curriculum to teach new believers halfway around the world. Others need supplies sent directly to their mission field. Still, others need to be trained and equipped in the deeper truths of doctrine and theology. The beautiful thing about the digital age is that it can meet these needs and more.
On your church website, imagine a section entitled “Curriculum” that houses countless educational pieces that people serving in other countries or other parts of your city can access to help disciple those nearby. Another section of your church website can be entitled “Missionary Request Form,” for those you’re supporting to let you know exactly what supplies they need to help propel God’s message. These are just two ways your church website can be a strategic tool to assist your church in making disciples.
Another way to equip those around you is by establishing leadership and training classes through your church. By putting these classes online, you can help sharpen the minds of those making disciples so that the truths of God can grow deeper into people’s lives. Knowledge of the Gospel is vital to those who believe and creating ways to expand that knowledge is a strategic Kingdom move.
How to Equip Like Jesus
Before Jesus began his ministry he spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the wilderness and equipping himself for his upcoming ministry. When it came to his disciples, he made sure to equip them with what they needed to make disciples. When he rose from the dead, he told believers he would equip them with his very spirit so that they could rely on him in every situation. Be a reason the Holy Spirit flows into the digital sphere.
Verse to Meditate
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
When it comes to making disciples, love should be at the core of everything you do. Whether it’s promoting curriculum to the Chinese teacher across the world or live streaming your weekly sermons, love should be the overwhelming message.
One way to make sure your digital content contains the love of God is to constantly challenge yourself to love deeper and check yourself before any digital content is published. You can also have a select group of people constantly making sure the information going out from your church is sound, welcoming, and loving. This group of people can make sure all content also contains strategic ways people can love deeper no matter where they are or what they are doing to make disciples.
How to Love Like Jesus
Jesus met people where they were. He dwelled with them in their houses and their towns. This is a good challenge when it comes to discipleship because Jesus didn’t judge people for what they had done. Rather he welcomed their stories and showed them how to love God amidst their pain and struggle. We can do this by meeting with people one-on-one or encouraging people halfway around the world.
Verse to Meditate
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’” Psalm 40:16
If you want to learn more about how your church can strategically use digital content, check out our Live Streaming offering. We’re excited to help you put your message out into the world.