Nine years of Indigitous

Indigitous Waterloo
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In 2013, Indigitous was founded under inspiration from God’s call to the prophet Habakkuk to “write the vision, make it plain on tablets, that the one who reads it may run” (Hab 2:2). Many Christians need a vision, need something simple that they can take and try. They feel powerless to help people know Jesus.

For that reason, Indigitous was created to equip Christians with powerful digital solutions and strategies that are resourced by our collaborative community. Through that, Christians can be empowered to confidently tell others about Jesus and catalyze the spread of the Gospel to where it is not.

Over the years, leaders of Indigitous communities around the world have taken that vision and run with it, have helped others find a way to engage in God’s mission, and we’ve seen some amazing fruit. 

Recently some of the leaders in the Indigitous network looked back over that time and recalled some of their favorite experiences and some things they saw God do. Here are a few highlights.

2013

In the first year of Indigitous, we held two Classic conferences, in Waterloo, Canada on November 5-7, and in Panama City, Panama on November 20-24. Classic conferences feature several high quality speakers and a significant period of time spent working in teams on Indigitous projects. They helped launched the Indigitous global network and to help cast the vision for Indigitous and for digital missions in general.

“There were so many people that were in college and in degree programs that hadn’t even existed ten years prior in digital media and marketing and these types of things that really had no place to fit in the traditional campus ministry or church ministry or anything that was being offered,” says Indigitous co-founder Ken Cochrum. “But they had a huge amount of talent and a passion to contribute. How could we get them together?”

That vision involved using technology to advance the Gospel in new ways and giving people a fresh and natural way to be a part of missions.

“There was a way for digital connection to be present and reach out to people on their four-inch piece of glass that they had in their pocket with them all day long every day, to present Jesus Christ in a way that is creative, engaging, and could reach audiences that there was no way one centralized team could do,” Ken says. 

2014

2014 was a busy year for Indigitous. To kickstart the global network and cast vision around the globe, we again focused on Classic conferences. We held Classic events in Hong Kong, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Co-founder Russ Martin recalls how one attendee of Indigitous Addis was inspired. “One of the young men there was named Ephram. He was struck by the fact that even though feature phones were used so much on the continent for communication, there was actually no Bible in the Amharic language. And so immediately after the conference, he set to building an Amharic-language Bible for the feature phones,” Russ says.

In addition, we held our first Indigitous # events that year. The # events are smaller, more localized events run entirely by local community leaders. These events brought the vision and learning from the Addis Classic event back to their city to grow a community and inspire people to action.

Indigitous Addis
2015

Indigitous held another Classic conference in Bangalore, India in 2015. But this is also the year that Indigitous really started getting into hackathons. In October, we partnered with Code for the Kingdom for its global hackathon. Then in December, we joined the Urbana student missions conference in St. Louis, Missouri for the first #Hack4Missions event.

It was also a big year for # events. “Approximately 721 attendees attendeed 18 Indigitous # events that took place in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. We praise the Lord for that,” says co-founder Simon Seow. 

2016

In 2016, Indigitous held Classic conferences in São Paulo, Brazil, Mexico City, Mexico, and in Johannesburg, South Africa. “It was great seeing a lot of people there really excited about the vision and excited about using digital strategies to reach people,” says Jeremy Lukens, a content specialist for Indigitous.

Drawing upon the hackathons from 2015, this was the first year that we held Indigitous #HACK. “It was really exciting to see people using their God-given talents for missional projects,” Jeremy says.

Indigitous #HACK Manila
2017

The following year Indigitous #HACK returned for its second edition. “We wanted to innovate. We wanted to make it better,” says Liam Savage,  the former Indigitous partnerships lead. Instead of having every city work on the same global challenges, we empowered each city to decide what challenges to take on.

“This opened up so much creativity as teams gathered around situations and challenges that they felt in their local churches and were unique to their context. That was so powerful,” Liam says. “We changed the model. We gave over control. We let them run with things and the results were fantastic.”

In addition to the hackathon being held in 42 cities, there were 29 Indigitous # events throughout the globe. “It was just so cool to see these people organizing and discussing, sharing best practices, trying to find new ways to reach the lost in their communities,” Liam says.

2018

This year saw another Classic conference in Nairobi, Kenya. “We gathered in the Silicon Savannah with talks that highlighted Africa’s contribution to technology and the need to raise up a new generation of technologists, creatives, and leaders to use their talents for God in the digital space,” says Mel Micah Catalon, an Indigitous leader in the Philippines who spoke at the event.

There were also 14 different Indigitous # events. In addition, Indigitous #HACK returned for its third year and Indigitous returned to Urbana in St. Louis for the second edition of #Hack4Missions.

Indigitous also launched a new interactive webinar series called Indigitous STEPS. It was a 6-week virtual program designed to provide pathways and community to the digital specialist who desires to use his/her unique digital skills for the Great Commission.

2019

Indigitous’s eleventh Classic conference occurred in Lagos, Nigeria in December. “In attendance were IT experts, entrepreneurs, church leaders, missionaries, and church workers from a host of countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Togo. This conference focused on introducing digital tools for evangelism and discipleship,” recalls Yomi Adeyinka, an Indigitous leader in Nigeria.

In addition, Indigitous #HACK returned, this time slit into several different weekends. The Indigitous STEPS program also came back for its second year.

Indigitous Lagos
2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigitous launched a series of webinars and curated resources to help churches, ministries, and individuals do Ministry from a Distance. We also partnered with Go2020 to resource and equip Christians around the world for evangelism.

Indigitous #HACK returned, but this time was an online event due to lockdowns from the global pandemic. “HACK2020 transitioned to almost entirely virtual and yet we still had over 1,000 from 141 locations working on projects that promoted and furthered missions and evangelism around the world,” says Ann Chow, who has given leadership to #HACK from 2020-2022.

Indigitous launched a new monthly YouTube series called Indigitous PULSE. In that series, we look for ideas, things we can try that we haven’t thought of before; resources to build confidence, and tools that make it easier to take that first step.

2021

In addition to Indigitous PULSE, in 2021 we added another regular series called Indigitous CoffeeTalks. “Each episode of CoffeeTalks offers a glimpse of God at work through people like you and me,” says Jonah Jala, Indigitous’s digital engagement specialist and one of the hosts of CoffeeTalks.

Indigitous #HACK also returned in October, with more than 1200 participants collaborating on 65 missional projects from 115 cities.

2022

This has been another busy year for Indigitous.

The Indigitous Serve cohort created the “Who Are Frontier People Groups” booklet. The illustrated prayer guide features 31 different frontier people groups, each brought to life with an animated character, short story, information about the progress of the Gospel, and how to pray for that group. “Our students joined the U.S. cohort illustrating this prayer guide,” says Andrew Feng, the U.S. director of Indigitous. “A companion podcast and five translations are also available online. To date, we’ve sold over 1500 copies.”

“It’s really the only evangelism tool I’ve seen aimed at engaging children in missions,” says Karl Udy, an Indigitous leader in New Zealand.

To better connect with members of the Indigitous community as well as to let people new to Indigitous get to know us better, we started hosting Indigitous Open House events.

This year, we also held our first global meeting of network leaders, inviting leaders from around the world to share what God is doing and play a part in the leadership and direction of the Indigitous movement.

And, of course, there was #HACK again. This time participants gathering in 66 cities and 42 countries around the world. “Our virtual hack experience also gathered over 300 people on Discord,” Andrew says. 

Run

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

  • Join us in praising God for what He has done through the Indigitous communities around the world.
  • Share your favorite Indigitous memories with us.

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