The rest of the year looks clear if you need a speaker. I am open to come anywhere in the United States from Saturday to Sunday to meet your church and share the vision of how God wants me to serve with WorldVenture. This visit won’t cost you anything. However, I do ask for the following:
- A table to put out my material, including giving material. I am support-based which means I am also raising support to fund this vision. Currently, I am working a day job until I have raised the funds. The trip to have me speak would cost you nothing.
I usually encourage a congregation to utilize social media to support missions and their church and incorporate the vision of your church into my vision so the whole picture is presented. If you have any questions, please email me: nikolehahn (at) thehahnhuntinglodge.com.
Detours are inconvenient, but always adventurous. Traveling down I-65 towards Frankfort, Indiana, construction detoured me down highway 39. Farms and old homes lined the highway. Cornfields stretched for miles, the pattern broken only by barns and silos or clumps of trees. Some homes leaned a little and others were totally collapsed behind a row of corn. I was on my way to Antioch Church in Frankfort, Indiana to stay at someone’s home so I could speak at their church the next day and meet a community of believers.
My hosts were wonderful! They live in a firecracker warehouse. As a camper, hiker, and backpacker, I embrace adventure in all its forms. The more interesting the place, the more interesting the stories. I’ve slept in a church on the Navajo Reservation and heard the snap of a mouse trap in the middle of the night. Sleeping in a firecracker warehouse made me grin, and the generosity of my hosts warmed my heart.
Their home inside the warehouse was comfortable. Every effort to make me feel welcome was in the details even down to the hotel-sized shampoos and soaps. Wherever God brings me, I try to find the joy in the journey. Like when I drove to church in the morning, the fields looked different. Mist lay low over the cornfields. The light was different.
When you talk about social media to a country church like Antioch, you examine their website and Facebook presence. Antioch encourages a daily prayer routine. In my 11-minutes, I encouraged each one to think about how to use social media to encourage a daily prayer routine. Handouts were given to remind them of ways they can serve the globe and their community online. Their closest city is Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is 50% Hispanic and has one of the largest Burmese Refugee populations according to this website. We talked about where to find them on Facebook. More importantly, we talked about how the church will be where mission movements will happen thanks to technology. Small churches like Antioch can use social media to reach the unreached.
On my way back to Indianapolis International Airport, I took highway 39 again to I-65 and paused on this detour to snap a picture of a bridge over Sugar Creek. My role is a bridge, connecting people with technology and ministries that can help them realize the possibilities in missions. All media movements begin with prayer.
In 7 Trends Impacting the Church by Chris Railey, he says,
“We never compromise the centrality of our Gospel message, but we are always on the lookout for ways to preach it to more people.”
As a Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator with WorldVenture, currently an appointee, that quote sums up my feelings about the church and missions. The article talks about 7 trends currently impacting the church.
- We should be flexible and be ready to adapt.
- Being aware of trends helps us better serve a broken world.
The article goes over church planting trends, evolving consumer trends, etc. What I focused on was how other generations are focused on the quality of discipleship. They don’t care who writes the discipleship material, but what’s in it. One part talked about the church as an investment for a generation. Church shouldn’t be treated as an investment. Then, the article explores immigration.
- Young professionals and immigrants are moving into the cities.
- Gentrification of urban areas or urban renewal brings more expensive housing, forcing other diverse peoples to move into suburban areas. Suburban areas are now flavored by diverse points of view and other cultures.
- Urban areas face income inequality, open hostility to Christianity, and people who are more alone, detached, and divided.
Major concerns were:
- Not many Christians sharing their faith. The article says, “People are afraid of not being able to answer questions and are afraid of arguments.” With the support of our church and international workers and the internet, we can get comfortable saying, “Let me get back to you.” It’s okay not to have all the answers.
- Over-politization of everything. I loved what the article said, “Christianity’s cause is the Gospel, not a political party’s platform.”
- Our young people live in a global community with the onset of the internet.
- Is our church prepared to serve cross-culturally? We should partner with our missionary organizations to learn how. Even non-urban areas are experiencing cross-cultural ministry. It’s an ever-increasing reality.
The article gives a lot of good insight. The church can adapt without compromising the Gospel and do whatever it takes to share their faith with others. Sometimes, it just means learning new disciplines or new habits, like utilizing their smartphones and tablets for more intentional usage.
“You bring your phone to church?” John asked me somewhat surprised and cautious.
“Yes, and so do other people.” I launched into great detail as quickly as I could due to a lack of time. “One person invites people to sit with her at church. She brings her cell phone to follow along the live sermon. Our church does a live sermon and a handful of us work to inspire deeper conversation about the sermon in the comment section of Facebook. I have a new phone, and this means, it can go total silence so I can have the live video playing and be there to serve the community online without disturbing others around me.”
“How do you focus on what you are being taught?” John looked troubled.
“Before the live sermon, I used to Facebook and Twitter my sermon notes. I can easily follow along the sermon. I even use my YouVersion Bible on the same device so I can keep up. So many times, when one does handwritten sermon notes, they go into a Bible or a notebook and never are used again. Why not share what I am learning with my community? If I am wrong, people can talk to me online about that, and I continue learning; and if an unbeliever is watching my notes, it allows for the possibility of more private conversations. The whole idea is to build a community inside and outside of church. Being available to pray for and answer questions during the live sermon is no less serving than handing out bulletins on Sunday or manning the Welcome Center. Some children workers can’t even hear the sermon most Sundays because of their service.”
When I had this conversation with John, I wanted to explain so much more, but we had to part ways. The most important thing one can remember when thinking about how social media impacts missions and evangelism is how we should use it to serve each other online. You can arrange for teams of people to serve on Sunday and some to serve during the week. All online and all using their own social media. With today’s technology, you can even do so while sitting in the service (tip: if your phone doesn’t have total silence, plug in head phones or go to the cry room of your church; you don’t have to wear your headphones; it’s just a way to keep the sound off).
Let’s reflect Jesus in our conversations as it is not about growing the church, but inviting people to participate in meaningful conversations so we share the Good News with people in our communities.
Several years ago, I stood dangerously close to never walking into church again. I couldn’t pray in church. I couldn’t worship in church. I shut down the moment I walked in. The hurt was real. I kept wondering, “Are we alive? What is church supposed to be? Who am I supposed to be?” Part of my problem was being in the wrong place. God was asking me to start a movement, and that meant leaving the comfortable to become acutely uncomfortable.
So, here I am in a healthier place, loving the fellowship with other believers, and enjoying worship in church again. I’m in line with God’s will in my life and I have peace about it. But my memory of the question, “Are we alive?,” continues to drive me. How can I tap into the different talents and gifts of the church body to inspire them to serve online? How can I make these dry bones come alive? That’s when my movement (singular) became movements (plural).
Movements are ideas curated on Social Media to create online communities around a brand or hobby. The idea is to encourage conversation between people that build relationships; relationships that lead to Gospel conversations. I realized the way to begin positive change is not only through prayer and the heavy reliance on the Holy Spirit, but also to tap into the congregation–a resource rarely used by pastors to even market their own church.
It sounds easy. Set up a Facebook group, invite people, and post often to encourage participation. In all honesty, serving this way can be brutal. Social Media means bringing the unpredictable into your life. People are from different cultures, backgrounds, and are dysfunctional. Think of a family reunion and that crazy Aunt, and you have chaos coming through as notifications on your phone. Running a successful group means being the moderator.
The moderator is always the enemy–a heartless person always censoring people’s posts. What our society lacks is boundaries and when you set boundaries, they lash out. So, when you begin a movement to inspire a different way of living or thinking, or to encourage deeper prayer lives, don’t look for instant results. You’ll have to go through deep valleys and climb high mountains. You’ll have periods of, “Am I a failure?” You are not a failure. It takes time for a movement to capture people’s hearts.
Movements are ideas that take root and inspire a church body to act. How do you start a movement?
- Open a Facebook group about a hobby you like to do.
- Start a small group from a blog you write to encourage people. If you write for single again women, start a single again small group that meets at a coffee shop. The small group can be online or in person.
- Your status updates, Instagram posts, or Twitter updates should all be around your own personal mission statement for your movement.
The key is to tap into those in the church body who are open to use their favorite hobby, their educational backgrounds, or (fill in the blank) and train them on social media to build up that movement so people are inspired by them to be different. When we create community, we are being the church. When we are alive as a church body, people can’t help but notice God first. When we are sharing hope through relationship, God will use you to point them to Him.
Let those dry bones come alive!
If you would like to learn more about what I do with WorldVenture, leave a comment and I will email you. I would love to meet up with you in Phoenix. I am at 29% (give or take) support which includes a verbal support. Besides working 40-hours a week to pay the bills, I am also doing active ministry as a worker with WorldVenture.
Someone once said, “I thought all you did was write online devotionals?” When they saw one of my presentations, they said, “My head is spinning.” Another person had a better picture of what I am doing in Social Media after a presentation. Oftentimes, I meet with others to help them strategize or teach them how to share their faith online.
Originally, I wrote this as a status on Facebook when I left, after almost 11 years, a job at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, to start a full time job that would help me pay the bills better as I raise support. But it is a prayer for the global church. Feel free to share it.
Coffee With Nikki was inspired by a church seeking to grow their church and include their congregation in the social media ministry. In this episode, I talk about how to share the media your church is sharing on their Facebook. This video was created for older audiences or the technologically challenged. The idea is to show you how missions and evangelism can be done with a simple click of a button and a few words. This video will become a monthly instead of weekly occurance in light of now working a full time job on top of raising support as an international worker with WorldVenture.
The idea is to inspire the church to think of social media as one of their many tools to influence and encourage people to consider learning about Jesus and looking at church in a different way. Church isn’t dying. Anyone can see by observing online interactions that we have a communication problem.
Tonight I make my first appearance at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship as their church-supported international worker. Please pray that my booth and my words are right and that I can clearly convey the message of the vision I feel God has given me.