When someone like Bill Gates presents a list of books he is reading this summer, people pay attention. More importantly, his choices influence others towards his worldview. The church, in general, according to some sources are losing its influence on the world. This trend can change, but only if we stop limiting ourselves.
Fast Company wrote,
“One of the world’s most revered painters and thinkers was largely self-taught and didn’t let the technological restrictions of 500 years ago limit his conjectures about how the world around him might work.” Bill Gates suggested a book about Leonardo DaVinci. Recently, a pastor at a local church shared his own book suggestions.
Pastors and people like me are expected to share what they are reading, even our faith journeys through reading the Bible, but as I explore digital discipleship and talk to people about supporting WorldVenture by supporting my position within WorldVenture, I find unusual roadblocks in sharing the vision of digital discipleship.
- People get an opportunity to share their faith and, like handling a hot potato, try to give it to someone else more qualified quickly. Maybe they doubt their own capabilities and lack some confidence? My typical response: Trust in the Holy Spirit to give you an answer in your conversations. There’s no harm in saying, “Let me get back to you on that.” Come to the conversation as a learner, too. Learn together. Friend them online. You don’t need to have all the answers right now.
- Ageism. A recent article about Liv Tyler reported how she feels like a second-class citizen in Hollywood. The roles for top movies go to much younger actresses. 32 and 38-years of age are considered “old” according to that article. Age and how people view age affect even the church. Our Senior Adults hold a special place in my heart. We are quickly losing their wisdom as the age gap widens between them and the younger crowd. Social Media gives our Senior Adults an opportunity to remind their grandchildren and “spiritual children” about their faith journeys and that God is indeed real and alive. When the topic is brought up about social media, many back away from it. Social sites like Facebook and Instagram are not just a way to see what the others are doing, but a chance to interact, share our faith and have real conversations. Refrain from automatically hitting the share button. Share your story. Be you. Be personal. Learn how to be discerning in what you share.
- “We’ve Always Done it This Way Before.” In the article by Fast Company, the quote that struck me the most was how Leonardo Da Vinci, “…didn’t let the technological restrictions of 500 years ago limit his conjectures about how the world around him might work.” Many digital discipleship programs are showing up on the web. The church doesn’t lack the opportunities to learn digital discipleship, but many, many ministry leaders all share the same roadblocks to mobilizing their church. Social media is polarizing. People go from anger to apathy regarding its use in missions and evangelism. I’m interested in teaching our partner churches, allies, and individuals to team up with their church and have their church team up with WorldVenture (or other missionary organization) for a massive movement of discipleship–unity in one purpose. Teaching the solid Christians within the church, mobilizing the retired missionaries to think about serving from home using that knowledge they have gained, and connecting those who know a second language. Don’t limit yourself. Continue to live with hands open to whatever and wherever God leads you.
Bill Gates shares his summer reading list. A pastor or worker may share their reading list, thus creating solid, online conversations. What about sharing your reading list this year? What about sharing what you are learning to tease out some conversation about tough topics? The world is changing. Church and missionary organization should work together for greater results. Tap into the knowledge of social media experts and start with the small stuff.
Your first step should be in prayer.
**If you feel led to support this work, please go to this link to start your financial partnership today. You can also use the contact form here to send me a message and arrange a meeting to talk more about this supported staff role. I am only at 34% support. I cannot serve this new role with WorldVenture without full funding. Help me and you help WorldVenture and its workers. Contact me for a full list of duties this new role has for me to do.