3 Ways to Engage Online

Francis Chan is right. Sharing a meme on social media is not digital discipleship. Having a conversation online though is digital discipleship.

First, make time to engage with people. Start with, “How are you?” or ask them about the things they have posted online. Statuses and posts are conversation starters, even the ones about food.

Second, be discerning. I’ve encountered many posts where my fingers were ready to tap out a reply, but instead, I prayed and remained silent. Debates are unnecessary and mostly useless. All they do is create a divide. Invest in the relationships of the people you friend or follow. Get to know them as a friend, not a ministry leader, a pastor, or a missionary. People want authenticity. They want to see Christ in your life first.

Third, don’t be satisfied in simply sharing a meme or someone else’s post. Share your heart about why that post was worth sharing. While keeping your emotions private may be a generational thing, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Encourage questions. Be compassionate. Put the relationship and your concern for their eternal destination above a desire to be right. Reply to them promptly in private or public.

Discipleship is a long process. My goal is to help churches build digital teams that eventually become the whole church body using social media to share the Gospel in relationship to their communities and beyond.

*If you feel led to support this work, please click here to give*

Are You Making Disciples Online?

More than once, missionaries and pastors have said, “We can’t do it all.” A pastor leads a congregation of 300 plus. Stats often say there is one missionary for every 200,000 to 400,000 people. Another said, planting churches is slow. Most churches have some sort of social media where they ask for volunteers, advertise church services, or share Scripture, but how many have engaged and mobilized their church congregants to serve online with the support of their church and missionary organizations? Are you making disciples online?

International students are swarming into our country. Refugees and migrants are streaming over our borders. The harvest has never been more ready. I’m glad I’m not the only one saying this: The church needs to train their congregation like missionaries to serve online and in the face-to-face world. We need to move away from our prejudices of social media and go where the people need to hear about Jesus through our relationships with them.

Because our pastors can’t do it all. Our missionaries can’t do it all.

But the way our country is doing social media is sending the wrong message. Can we tailor our profiles for a particular people group? Can we focus on praying for and learning about a people group, seeking them online? Can we practice self-control in what we post?

This week I’ll be posting my review of Hope of Nations by John S. Dickerson. It’s a book every Christian must read. Meanwhile, I am striving to change how we use social media, working in unity of spirit for the greater goal of sharing about Christ to every tribe and nation on earth. Even I have idols that must be tossed for a God who deserves my obedience.

*Consider becoming a financial partner by clicking here to learn more. This week I am at ICCM conference in Hannibal, Missouri.*

“You Bring Your Phone to Church?” #Christian

“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.


Support what I do by giving $25, $35, or more per month so I can continue serving the church by clicking here. 

The Bible Study Project

The Bible Study Project (from here) is going well. I am currently training two women to use technology to re-create the face-to-face Bible Study and build an online community that partners with the local church. How this usually works is,

  1. The interested person emails admin@cataclysmmissionsintl.com with a testimony, even a resume.
  2. The interested person schedules a time for a video chat. We proceed to discover what she or he wants to teach, learn about him or her, and talk about what video interface app he or she wishes to use. Normally, we go through Zoom.
  3. Another video interface is set up for training on the particular video app he or she wishes to use for the Bible Study.
  4. The first study is co-hosted with me as part of technology training. I help them navigate the technology. For every teacher, they are welcome to co-host on my Zoom subscription.
  5. After the first study, they are required to get their own Zoom or let me know what video app they will be using. Video must be used to be listed on this site. The whole goal is to get away from fragmented relationships by only using chat to building a face-to-face community.

After the person has begun their perpetual online video Bible Study, I still pop in once in a while to monitor their progress and give support where needed. The responsibility of the teacher is to,

  • Build their own email lists to continue connection with the leaders.
  • Add their signees to our Facebook group. The group allows all participants to engage each other and the teachers in questions, prayer, etc. This is where the leaders can remind them of upcoming studies.
  • Recordings are kept on the teacher’s own social media with occasionally using Cataclysm Missions own Youtube account when video editing becomes challenging (at least until I have trained them).

Currently, the two women I am training are doing weekly Bible Studies. This means I am attending two Bible Studies each week night. I work at a day job which blocks out 40-hours from my week, restricting when I can hold these Bible Studies. A third woman is rumored to be interested in this movement. I can’t train her until I am free from one of the Bible Studies. I can’t hold any day time studies until I am 100% funded.

The interest in this movement far outweighs my financial support. If you feel led to give $25, $35, or more per month in a tax deductible support, please click here. I would love your support in challenging Bible illiteracy and sharing the Gospel worldwide.


Another Hackathon @indigitous

From October 20-22, I will be joining their online Hackathon as a creative, ministry marketer, and social media person. Click on the picture to learn about locations of this Hackathon.

Pray for TRC Magazine

TRC Magazine gathers online on October 28, 2017 to discuss Christmas. We aim to engage in authentic community, especially after so much tragedy.

What does this mean? Unlike other ezines, TRC Magazine’s mission is for writers to engage in meaningful online conversation with readers, and to publish stories that may not always bring in lots of website traffic, but are God’s stories. Stories we publish reflect the diversity of the biblical Christian belief. We are united from different denominations to share Christ with the world and to talk about what it means to live as a Christian. The meeting with our volunteers and intern will need your prayers as we plan our social media strategy.

People will be missing their loved ones this year, and we want to walk with them through that grief.

Pray for…

  • Volunteers and Interns not to be too busy, too flustered, or weighed down so that they are kept from serving with us.
  • Pray for our intern who, not only assists in managing the website, writes articles, and learns social media marketing as ministry, but he is a family man with a day job.
  • Pray for God’s protection on all of us as we serve online.
  • Pray for some of us to water and some of us to harvest.

How to Act in Love

Even as I write this, I am reading political posts online that are the opposite of what Jesus teaches. Jesus did the hard work of showing up where people hung out. That’s half of the battle really. We can point the finger at others for their lack of truth, but they can point the fingers at us for our lack of love.

Love is…

  • Showing up when you say you’ll be there.
  • Actually praying the moment you say you are praying for something.
  • Auditing your social media. What is it NOT saying? Are you reflecting Jesus in your posts? Posting online is an action. Your actions need to reflect your biblical teachings.
  • Putting someone first above your preferences.
  • Altering your schedule for someone else.
  • Giving.
  • Being other-oriented.

We will fail at always loving others, but let’s try to succeed more than fail.

A Life Church post yesterday taught me how most people ought to act. Someone expressed their doubts about the Bible. Instead of getting defensive and angry with the person, the online congregation engaged the person in light-hearted, but deep conversation about faith and the Bible. It was refreshing.

As a mentor, my job becomes harder when Christians post against any people group. Angry political rants stir up anger and unforgiveness. That anger causes many people to not participate and connect with people who are different than them. With one worker for every one million unreached people, it’s imperative that the church engages more with people than against them. It’s not the worker that should do everything. The worker and the church work in tandem.

I know it’s hard. You feel threatened and America isn’t the same. But when has that ever stopped us from living differently than the world? Either Jesus will rule our hearts or our bitterness will…we serve only one master. Who will that be?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers,[a] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:43-48

Use Different Words About The Online World


When I read devotions, it’s always talking about using different words; find a new narrative in your head; because using different words will change how you think and feel. People, especially older adults, think of the online world as self-serving instead of serving.

If the narrative in your head is “self-serving,” you will spend less time on it, not use it strategically, and make that face you make when someone mentions social media. It’s not about becoming relevant as a church, but getting involved in people’s lives. You can keep your involvement simple or learn marketing to cast a broader net. I’ve found that God will direct you to certain social media apps if your heart is willing to serve.

What does serving online look like?

  • When someone posts a status that you feel the need to pray for, your timely comment, email, text, or private message is meaningful rather than just lurking. Your acknowledgment of love to that person will encourage them.
  • If someone needs help financially or with a food box, you can personally connect them with a Christian ministry in their area. Send them a private message, email, or text and start that conversation. Be their online friend while that Christian ministry becomes their face-to-face friend, walking with them in their struggles.
  • If someone becomes a believer, you can connect them with a pastor, deacon, or elder who can disciple and baptize them and ensure the “ball isn’t dropped.”
  • Encourage someone online in their goals.
  • Be an accountability partner with someone.
  • Be louder than the voice in their own heads so their identity can be aligned with Christ rather than whatever label the world pastes on them.

Communication is a big problem. People under use the tool or spend all their time marketing. Any tool can be negative, but it’s up to the church to use this tool to bring the people online into a fellowship of faith. If you don’t use this tool, someone else will.

Finding Courage

Meeting churches, picking up new clients, and telling people about what I do doesn’t come without a fair amount of anxiety as I seek out courage. When this new life becomes overwhelming, I think, “I could be a person with a regular job, not working ministry, not serving, with more time to read or bake or something.”

Yet, that person wasn’t happy. 

I am happy following God’s will in my life. I didn’t see how far He would take me when He asked me to join a church’s prayer team, then lead it. I thought stepping beyond being the wallflower was the limit of His calling. I didn’t see that He would bring me this far.

As I write, I am sitting in the lobby of the Doubletree Denver Tech Hotel among so many great people–people who have experienced things I haven’t yet. People who have sacrificed whole lives to be uprooted and live somewhere else. The common question people ask me is, “Where are you going?”

“Online,” is too simple of an answer.

The width of ministry while working full time makes my own head whirl.

  • I fear failure, but I face it with faith.
  • I fear rejection, but my skin is thick enough to take it.
  • I fear being quieted by those who who fear change, but I speak up because I can’t be quiet.

The typical length of any of my co-workers raising funds has been two to three years. I am a year and a half into this journey, having just been released in March, 2016 to raise support.

I’m looking for people who want to see the church empowered and united to share the Gospel online and who are willing to support me, even with just a small amount per month. I’m looking for partners. I’m looking for people who are tired of the status quo with how the church is acting online and want someone to get involved and train them.

Today, I picked up a new client. I will be helping him get his ministry online. It is all a part of the vision of getting the church involved in the new mission field called, the internet. It is time-consuming to train churches and people on social media, much less do it for free.

Are you with me?


Current Support: 16.12%

A Project Done


The process of taking on designing an online ministry for a church or nonprofit is this:

  1. Vision: Vision cast with the church. What is it they wish to accomplish? Write it down. Talk about it. Finalize it as this is the basis for training.
  2. Assess their technology know-how and set up a training schedule and time of release. 
  3. Implement training schedule and time. 
  4. Release. 

I am never the front wheel of the ministry, but always the back wheel. Ideally, the ministry should be taking initiative to take on more and more responsibility, always communicating with me if their ministry changes direction or vision. The training schedule is always based upon the initial vision. If that changes, so does the training.

Number four might be confusing. What does it mean to release a project?

It means, I am never part of the ministry. I am a third party coming in from the outside to help the church succeed in their vision. When training is done, I release the training wheels and close the project from any further involvement from me as a missionary. This is what I did recently.

A project has been released.

Won’t you pray for it today?