Tag Archives: fellowship

Leveraging Online Discipleship

“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Everyday, more and more people are coming to Christ over the Internet! It’s a truly amazing phenomenon! Who would have ever imagined that people would be giving their lives to Christ over twitter, through church portals on Facebook, and via church apps on their iPads?

The church’s challenge today is to effectively reach out and meet the needs of these new (and often returning) online believers. In our digital age, as more churches deploy digital technologies (including streaming live services on smart phones, and establishing internet campuses) there is an increasing need to extend discipleship training into the digital space beyond the traditional walls of the church.

The church’s online presence will continue to direct people into the church’s physical sanctuary to fellowship and connect offline. However, a new and unique church community of believers is emerging on the Internet – an online community that needs to be ministered to by qualified ministry professionals, familiar not only with the Word of God, but also knowledgeable about online networking, social media platforms and strategies, and the latest web 2.0 technologies! In no area is this need greater than in discipleship.

Christian discipleship is the transformational process that turns a believer into the person God wants them to be. It’s the calling of every believer – to follow in the footsteps of Christ!

We are instructed by Jesus, in the Great Commission, to make disciples. A disciple is a student or adherent of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Discipleship is the process of learning the teachings of Jesus, internalizing them, and then acting upon them.

The discipleship process begins with the believer desiring to be a disciple of Christ.The believer, with the help of the Holy Spirit, then learns what Jesus taught, follows through by living out those principles in his/her daily life, and finally passes them on to others.

The discipleship process can be described as eight distinct steps: 1) interest, 2) awareness, 3) decision, 4) commitment, 5) application, 6) inculcation, 7) transformation, and finally 8) replication.

Extending discipleship online (i-discipleship) through relational e-learning, enables churches and ministries to disciple more people, more effectively, locally, as well as,  globally. And, financially, the cost of i-discipleship is much lower than traditional discipleship strategies!

For more on effective online discipleship check out the following resources:

God is calling you to transform the world – one person at a time. What better time to start than right now?

How are you using social media to leverage online discipleship?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under bible study, christian, christian social media, digital, innovation, ministry tools, networking, social media

Meeting Face-to-Face

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrew 10:25

It is so easy to get drawn into our mobile devices and computer screens in doing social media, especially ministry work. Streaming video of worship services, online tithing, and tweeting scriptures are all great innovations. In many ways they help to enrich our spiritual lives. However, let there be no doubt, nothing replaces face-to-face fellowship!

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) simply augment our face-to-face ministry. It does not replace it. The laying on of hands cannot be done online. The early church devoted themselves to the apostles’  teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and prayers. Acts 2:42  Christians should talk together, worship God together, and  enjoy each others’ fellowship!

The Internet and social media are fantastic tools for connecting people, both online, and in real life! But, it’s not enough to just sit in front of the computer screen, or engage on the Blackberry. It’s also about getting out and meeting people, breaking bread together, and serving others in person, face-to-face. There is a spiritual blessing in maintaining that vital human connection!

When connecting exclusively online, it’s easy to become depersonalized. Sometimes, we might say something online that we might not say in person. Face-to-face Christian fellowship is a powerful means of grace! ” Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (New Living Translation). See commentary.

While digital social media offers great tools to share the gospel, we definitely should not forgo the blessings of meeting up in real life fellowship.  Acts 2:46-47 

And finally, we all look forward, with great anticipation, to experience the ultimate meetup, when we’ll meet out Savior face-to-face! 1 Corinthians 13:12 (See commentary.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under christian social media, digital, Faith Based Media, networking, web 2.0