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A digital disciple is a disciple who uses digital tools, primarily social media, to share the Gospel and teach people about Jesus.
So why do we need digital disciples? Why can’t we keep on being “casserole-culture” regular analog disciples?
The job of the original 12 disciples was to go out and teach people about Jesus.
Our job description has not really changed… but everything else has.
As disciples, we still need to go out and teach people about Jesus, but our audience is vastly different from the one in the first century: they’re not starting from zero, they’re starting from a wide range of assumptions and misconceptions. At best, they come with a hefty dose of apathy—at worst, a heap of (justified) pain and resentment.
The old model of discipleship is no longer good enough. We need to upgrade.
Your friends, many of them you most likely met and mostly interact with outside of church. Your coworkers. The people you didn’t talk to in high school that for some reason friended you on Facebook. Your family. Your in-laws. Your kids’ friends’ parents. The people in your Bunco group. The gang you always see at karaoke.
Instead of asking them if they want to visit your church on Sunday morning, how about showing them what your church is doing (not preaching—actually doing)? Make them want to ask you about your church.
Thanks to social media, we have 24-hour access to our friends and acquaintances. How are you using this amazing communication tool?
Are you sharing that awesome sermon podcast or blog post from last week, with a comment about the quote highlighting the part that really hit you?
Do you Tweet the sermon during the service?
Are you sharing the link to that event your congregation is having next week?
Do you “check in” at your congregation, the same way you do when you’re at the airport, or at a fancy restaurant, or going to see Star Wars for the 5th time?
Do you Instagram a selfie with your friends at Bible study? Helping with the food pantry? At whirlyball with the youth?
Digital disciples share the love of Christ online (as Ariel said, “where the people are”). They show what God’s love looks like. They let their light so shine through their posts, their photos, their tweets.
Don’t invite people to your church on Sunday because your pastor challenged you to bring a plus-one (because we’re in the middle of a stewardship drive). Make your friends want to do stuff with your church because your church is doing awesome stuff (which you show them through your awesome posts and photos online).
Make your friends want to ask you about the Jesus you follow, because that one sounds like a cool dude rather than the mean and vengeful God they were lectured about in Sunday school when they went to visit Grandma.
Digital disciples understand that “Christ has no online presence but yours.”