We’re taking a more conversational look at 6 intersections of digital media and vibrant ministry. You can read the whole series here.
Our last post in this series is focused on “digital discipleship.” Our call to both be and make disciples is clear. In fact, Jesus is more clear in the Great Commission after his resurrection than at almost any other time during his life on earth. The Great Commission matters. Discipleship matters. The Church has been figuring out what that looks like in context and culture ever since. What does it take to live out discipleship in today’s world, in this context and culture? For an answer, let’s check back with the original twelve. What were the hallmarks of their discipleship culture?
- They were common people
- They failed often
- They followed hard
- They learned constantly
- They were sent
- They had experienced Jesus
- They were empowered
In Jewish culture, disciples followed (literally), listened deeply, and some even had more of an apprenticeship relationship with a rabbi. A disciple listens well and listens first, soaks in as much as possible from the wisdom around them, and mimics the one he or she is following. Being a disciples of Jesus, from the first call of the fisherman to today, was and is about following the Leader.
- You may have noticed a pattern by now in these posts. How we engage in digital is not different from how we engage in physical space. It shouldn’t be, because the most important pieces haven’t changed – each other and God. A discipleship culture lived out digitally is not different than one lived out inside the church walls.
- People feel most engaged digitally when they fell like they share experiences. Think like you are (or maybe you actually are) a social media manager for your faith community. What discipleship experiences could you capture and share? Think in particular about seemlingly mediocre yet high-impact things that most people could see themselves doing.
- Ideally, we’ve all got discipleship relationships from both directions. We are both discipling and being discipled. These are great relationships to play out both online and in person, giving us a chance to connect in those micro-moments that often really matter.
- Give someone a summer task as the church videographer. Their mission: capture “random acts of discipleship.” Put a video together using something like Animoto or iMovie that you highlight on your website, share on social media, and play during a service.
- Affirm discipleship actions and attitudes when you see them online (and in person). Leave a comment, repin, retweet, or share on social media whenever you think, “Oh, that was nice of them.”
- Start intentionally use a few minutes of online time, maybe even the first few minutes after logging on, not to promote something, but to disciple someone.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this Digital Faith Formation series. What has been helpful, challenging, or interesting? Have you tried anything we’ve talked about? Leave a comment below or start a conversation in the digital strategies discussion forum in our Community of Curious Leaders.