God gave us the vision for Indigitous through an obscure prophet nearly 3,000 years ago. In 2013, when traveling in my role as a vice president with a global missions organization, I was amazed by the scope and the depth of what God was doing around the world in mobile technology. I asked God for a fresh vision. While sitting on the beach of Thailand, I turned to the book of Habakkuk, where God tells the prophet to “write the vision, make it plain on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.” That calling from God also comes with His promise that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab 2:2, 14)
Make the vision plain. Jesus was a master at communicating profound concepts very simply. If you had to summarize Jesus’ whole ministry in a 10-word tweet, it would be “Love God. Love people. Follow me. Make disciples. Back soon!” It’s that simple; our job is to make the vision clear, so that the one who reads it may run.
The harvest is plentiful. Of the 7 billion people in the world, 5 billion are unchurched and 49% of those don’t know a true follower of Jesus. As Christians, we are called to go where the people are. And where are the people? Mobile. We live in a world where more people own a cell phone than own a toothbrush. With digital, the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covering the earth as the waters cover the sea is within reach.
With the reach of digital, it might seem like we should just trumpet the Good News. But the reality is that cultures are so micro-segmented now that people won’t receive that News if it is generically broadcast. How do we ensure local ownership and relevance of that News? We trust God for local leaders and ideas to be raised up among every nation, language, and people group. This methodology mirrors the New Testament Paul’s approach. Rapid appointment of indigenous leaders in each location of Paul’s church planting teams in the New Testament minimized cultural friction by ensuring that qualified, accepted insiders handled the primary functions of leadership. This strategy greatly increased Paul’s capacity to influence hundreds and thousands, rather than merely tens and fifties.
You are those leaders in the digital space. You know how to apply the vision in your setting and context. There’s not going to be one site, one app, one video, one approach that reaches everywhere, but it’s you and your people and your tools bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ into your culture.
So I ask again: Are you a keeper of the vision?
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
- Pray about how you can play a role in this vision.
- Share your thoughts about that below.
Editor’s note: Ken is co-founder of Indigitous and Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru.