Most people have heard the saying church is a people not a building. Well it is never more apparent than now when regular in person gatherings have been blown up by Covid-19. Despite this disruption in our lives, God is continuing to work in people and in this world. It is through this time that something new is beginning to emerge striking a fire within others on what it truly means to be disciples and live out our spiritual lives. Churches in particular will need to find and invent new ways to share the gospel. Many have realized their ministry needs to be beyond the walls of the church into the homes and phones of people in the world. Over the last few months we have seen many concepts such as live streaming, video conferencing, drive by church, and podcast sermons. Each church has to figure out what works for them and what service they can provide.
A term being thrown around is digital discipleship. Digital discipleship refers to creating followers through online digital content. This term has been around for a while but has really picked up steam in this crazy year of 2020. It really is about leveraging technology to spread the gospel to others. One big advantage of digital church is not having a set time for people to find connection and absorb content. It can happen anytime throughout the week! Of course digital discipleship is only a part of the church but in this year it has taken on greater depths of what church is. So let's look a little closer at this topic.
Where Do I Start?
If you or your church is looking for further discipleship online then ask yourself these questions provided by the blog Rookie Preacher. These questions can also help focus churches on what content to be putting together. Remember to just follow your identify, mission, message and beliefs.
1. What do I want to know about this church?
2. What are they asking me to do?
3. What next steps are in place for me to continue growing?
Sometime we ask ourselves what can we do during this time to enhance our following of Jesus. If you are having this thought check out this blog "10 Things You Can Do As A Digital Disciple" to get some ideas. If you or someone else is wanting to take some further steps in your discipleship with Community of Christ I encourage you to contact us. If you are interested in attending an online worship with Community of Christ just click here.
There are many ways for people to connect spiritually or find content that will help their discipleship online. If you are struggling figuring out where to find online content, what works for you or what your church should do here are some ideas.
Blogs - You obviously found this blog so you are familiar with this one. Blogs can be wonderful ways to find information that speaks to your heart and challenges your thoughts with different perspectives. Find a few that work for you and follow along.
Vlogs - Video blog are just like written blogs but give an accessible way to connect with your Pastor or leaders. They provide inspiring messages and can provide extra steps for people to practice throughout the week.
Online Sermons - Some churches post their sermon audios on their website while others put it on a podcast. If you like listening to theological constructions tied with storytelling find this option. The convenience of this is really a draw as you can listen to it while at the gym, in the car, on a run, or cleaning around the house.
Small Groups - Many churches have established online small groups in a video format. These groups may be a bible study, discussion group, prayer circle, or just personal connection. Small groups can be a vital part of discipleship as it provides connection and enables people to share from their own depth and experience.
Social Media - Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & TikTok are some great places to find content that meets your need. It is in this arena where people can be impacted by a post and connected to a group within a few minutes.
YouTube Channel - Creating a YouTube channel where videos or online worships are posted can be an easy way for people to access your content and learn about what this church stands for. Even a few videos your website can point to is beneficial for viewers to see.
Podcasts - These can be another great way to have someone connect with your church and learn about what it stands for. Creating a short podcast about members testimonies, bible stories, or theological discussions can generate excitement and allow people to follow from a distance before getting more involved.
Fundraising Opportunities - Sharing online giving opportunities for members and friends to give especially to the local community are great ways to promote generosity and connect others to a major part of discipleship. There are multiple methods online for this to happen and with the use of social media people can learn about them fast.
In this changing time we have to find what works for us which may mean identifying online opportunities that continue to spiritually develop us and move us forward to encountering God in our lives. There are many churches producing online content and creating disciples of Jesus. Find what works for you and challenges your theological perspectives as you travel down this digital discipleship path.
Welcome Fall Weather! Nothing better than this time of year when the leaves are falling and their is a briskness in the air. Enjoy it!
This week take some time to search for online content that focuses you on your discipleship.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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Copyright Midlands Mission Center 2021
Community of Christ
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