Last year the Indigitous Leadership Team spent a lot of time looking into how to turn Indigitous.org into a robust platform for missional project work. There were countless hours spent researching, meeting, consulting with experts, conducting user interviews, and drawing out sketches on whiteboards. Eventually we learned that we were going the wrong direction. We didn’t have the time, expertise, manpower, or funding to create a high quality project platform.
At one point while still in the middle of preparing for a massive website redesign, God reminded me: Indigitous isn’t about making stuff. It’s about making Jesus known. It’s about making disciples.
Missional projects are important, which is why we hold hackathons, have a projects section on the website, and help connect people for collaboration. But what matters most of all is making disciples. While a robust project platform would help with that, it wouldn’t be the best way to reach that goal. As a team, we began to think, what is our unique contribution really? We decided that it is facilitating connections – connecting you to people on a common mission, connecting you to strategies that are effective, and connecting you to projects on the cutting-edge of missional innovation. The connecting is where Indigitous can offer the greatest value.
To that end, we started engaging in new discussions about how to emphasize that, to do a better job of making those connections. Those discussions, which include what events to hold and how to run them, how to redesign the website, who to partner with, and more, are still ongoing, but I feel that we are now heading in the right direction. If we veer off of the right path, I trust that God will correct us.
Whatever your digital strategy is for making Jesus known, it needs to be something that is adaptable, something that can go through different iterations. Are you able to pivot when something isn’t working or when a new opportunity arises?
We’ve seen shifts in strategy pay big dividends before. MissionHub is an app that Cru developed for its U.S. campus ministry for use as a contact management system. It was difficult to use and didn’t offer much that you couldn’t get from another CMS. Then the team working on it decided to pivot and completely redesigned the app around a new value proposition. The new app doesn’t just store your contacts. It tracks their spiritual journey, suggests the next step to take with each contact, and helps you to see how God is at work.
MissionHub is now a much better app that provides a benefit for anyone in the world who wants to make Jesus known, rather than just some people involved in a student ministry for one organization. The MissionHub team was unafraid to pivot and adapt their product to suit the real needs that they felt needed to be met.
There are countless other examples from the business world. A social media company called Odeo started as a way for people to subscribe to podcasts, but when their business model was threatened by iTunes, they changed their strategy entirely and rebranded as Twitter. Suzuki started as a maker of loom machines that were used to make silk products but later pivoted to the auto industry and became one of the biggest sellers of motorcycles. Android began as a platform for cameras, but when smartphones with cameras began rapidly replacing point-and-shoot cameras, they pivoted to become what they are today. Instagram began as a complicated and cluttered check-in app called Burbn and only became successful when they stripped all elements of the app except the photos and rebranded as a photography app (they made another successful pivot when they added social features such as comments and messaging).
So what about your digital strategies? Are you able to rapidly iterate on your current strategy? If something isn’t working, could a pivot increase your fruitfulness? Change is inevitable; your digital strategy needs to be able to adapt to changes.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
- Think and pray about your own strategy. Is it adaptable? Is it in need of a pivot?