Rapidly evolving technology continues to be a driving force in the development and advancement of ministry. More and more of us are harnessing the power of the internet for kingdom purposes.
But reality says that passion for new ministry initiatives can drift and fade very quickly.
Online ministry is new. It is exciting. Technology is allowing us to do ministry in ways never before possible. But it is not easy. In fact it is really hard.
So what can keep your online efforts soaring long term? Apply these seven as an “above the fray” strategy:
1. Focus more on “why” you use technology than technology itself. Technology is amazing and powerful but it is not perfect. It is just a tool. The goal is to discover how technology can be used to facilitate your unique ministry calling and then to trust God to do what only He can do through it.
2. Augment the relational with the technological. Face-to-face, actual Christian community is still and will always be important. Experiment with technologies in ways that can enhance relational practices without being a substitute for them.
3. Keep an evangelistic perspective. Media and technology is being used to fulfill the Great Commission. The numbers of people coming to Christ online are incomprehensible. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.
4. Make the preaching of the Word central. Any church or ministry that wants to can now extend its preaching ministry with a digital distribution platform. There is much more that can be done with online sermons. We are just beginning to see streaming video used for interactive & connected ministry outreach around the preaching of the Word on tv, pc, mobile, tablet.
5. Develop measurable processes for online discipleship. Some very large evangelistic ministries and churches are hard at work in this area. Pray for breakthroughs that will benefit all.
6. Support others doing online ministry. Whether involved in online ministry or not, we should celebrate the positives.
7. Spend more time doing online ministry than discussing it. Discussing the theological relevance of online ministry is important, but it can lead to inaction. Also, don’t get hung up on what you call it. Internet Church, Internet Campus, Church Online, Digital Missions. Each name and strategy has its supporters and critics. Just decide to use technology for reaching people for Christ, then move quickly to do it. The other factors will follow.
Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.” John 4:34
These are just a few ways to keep your online ministry from fading. There is one more that keeps me going, personally. I offer it as a bonus.
Taking it to the enemy
In the US, TV reaches 95% of the homes. Radio 93%. Internet 89%.
I keep in mind that hundreds of millions of people use these media every hour of every day. Many of them need Jesus. I know that Satan is using technology to influence them, some in terribly destructive ways.
I believe Christians have a responsibility to represent Christ’s authority over all creation, including in Cyberspace.
Online ministry is not cool and trendy. It is exactly the opposite—it stands in stark contrast to that which this world can offer, but it does allow us to bring the transforming Gospel to those in the digital world that desperately need it.
Go for it and soar well.
Question: What other ways will keep online ministry strong once started?