Coding For Jesus at #HACK Manila
Whether we like it or not, technology has already invaded the world. The Internet was born during the 1980s, and it changed life in this world forever.
Christianity has always been counter-culture for one reason, it creates culture. Throughout history, Christians were among the first who initiated outreach communities in the world, like Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Christians have been behind great transformation of nations, like Martin Luther and those who founded America and established its laws based on biblical principles and Jesus’s teachings.
Today, as Christians we are facing another obstacle: the Internet and social media. The Internet nowadays has been used not only to connect people to a broader range of knowledge but also for the spread of hatred, lies, and other sins.
Many younger people have been bullied, manipulated for sexual advances, and have become addicted to Internet pornography. Some millennials also are searching answers on the Internet and rooting their identity on social media. I have a few friends who validate their existence based on how influential they are in the social media and how many likes they garnered every day.
Now the challenge is, with so many pages and information on the Internet, how can a Christian can stand out for Jesus? Can a Christian programmer or software engineer have their own platform to share Jesus every day without being physically present with the person?
Hack and Make Disciples
I never thought there was a place for a “tech guy” in a church except working behind the monitors. As a techie guy, I never thought that we can also bring Jesus to the lost and make disciples in the digital space.
Last weekend, I had this opportunity to join the Indigitous #HACK event in the Philippines held by Indigitous. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “How in the world can Christians make disciples using the Internet and technology?” Oh boy, I was wrong!
It was my first time participating in a hackathon challenge. I had no friends there except for Jen, who signed up as well, though we have different fortes. I aim to join a team who codes for an app, who loves to make strategies or can be a speaker to pitch the product at the end of the event, which is exactly what happened!
During the event, the coordinators asked us to choose at least one challenge. There were so many challenges:
Getting involved in #HACK
And much more! As usual, friends teamed up together. I chose #gospelstorytelling as it has been my passion to share Jesus in different creative ways. For two days, even we lack sleep, our team was able to produce an output. Hooray! I was nervous because that was my first time pitching a product or project; thankfully my toastmaster’s experience paved the way!
Since it’s already late night, to make this short, “WE WON!”
Yes, we are one of the two teams chosen from our location to participate against the other global challenge winners. What a picture of grace and mercy of God for our team!
Our project is called Go+Share, which was coined from the bible verse in Matthew 28:19.
Our objective is to create a platform wherein we can reach out to the young millennials who we know are struggling with depression, anxiety, lack of purpose, and significance. We also have plans of creating viral videos that can encourage a person and develop a mobile app where we can be connected to these individuals online by emailing them and setting up webinars or online meetings for one-on-one discipleship for those individuals who want to learn more about Jesus.
We realized that since most millennials are active on social media, that is a good place to reach them. We made graphic images of their reality and several spoken poetry videos with a hope that we can connect to them without pushing the Gospel or forcing them to change. Jesus alone can change them.
I would like to thank Pangalan.com, who offered to sponsor our domain for 1 year (www.goshare.com.ph). Your generosity will reach the multitudes of souls waiting for someone who can encourage, motivate them, and share Jesus with them online.
The enemy has been using the Internet to kill, steal, and destroy lives. Why not use the same tool to spread the Gospel and spread the love to those who needs it?
I encourage you to take part also in this advocacy of “bringing the millennials back to God.” With your help, we can save many lives.
To learn more about us, like and visit our Facebook Page.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared at https://www.dhennespiritu.com/coding-for-jesus/.