I took a run yesterday after work around the lake. Runs help me cope with this journey. I pray and my heart expresses what it cannot verbalize. It reminded me of Romans 8:26-27,
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
I spend a lot of time in prayer these days. God has gifted me with this sense of powerlessness and acceptance. This morning I am struggling to put into words what is on my heart. There is so much work to be done to help the church understand online discipleship, accept it, use it well, and reach across the age and cultural divide that I feel overwhelmed. What is obvious is how this journey is not one to be done independently of the church or missionary organization.
In reflecting on this, I came to WorldVenture, not to start my own thing, but to partner with them to work with already established ministries/churches/workers and empower them to use social media, VR, and any other new technology that appears on the technological radar to share Christ through the friendships they discover, often cross-culturally and to unreached people groups. Being authentic, real, is important as online marketing tends to put the goal ahead of the person. To make disciples online is to think outside the box and get out of your comfort zone, investing your dollars and time in people online and face-to-face, not simply hitting the like button as if that’s enough. Likes are like a “How are you” as the person is heading out the door. I think we have a lot of great jump-offs from traditional ministries and churches that are doing great things with online discipleship.
Imagine how powerful the stories will be when we engage the traditional church in non-traditional ministry, especially cross-culturally? Change doesn’t come overnight. It comes with the blood and sweat of extreme effort and time. It takes education, allaying unfounded fears, and empowering people with knowledge to serve. Before one jumps to conclusions about a technology, we need to get to know it, how it works, and the positive and negative of it in order to use it well. Meanwhile, I embrace this powerlessness because I anticipate what God will do through me, through others, and definitely what He is already doing through technology.