In a recent Indigitous CoffeeTalks, Russ Martin, Indigitous managing director and co-founder of Indigitous, shared about God’s calling for Indigitous and how we can play a part in what God is doing through the movement.
In 2013, the Internet was becoming more commonplace. Smartphones and social media apps like Facebook and Twitter had been around for several years. More and more of our lives were being spent in the digital space. But the Church was lagging behind, with most ministries sticking with decades-old strategies for sharing the Gospel – going door to door, sharing tracts, distributing books and DVDs. Russ was among a group of missionaries who saw that followers of Jesus needed equipping and guiding to engage the world in new, innovative ways for the Gospel.
At the same time, there were Christians with serious digital talent working for new tech startups and getting degrees in fields like computer science and digital media. These followers of Jesus needed opportunities to use their talents for God, but the Church didn’t know how to leverage them.
For Millennials and Gen Z, technology has been a normal part of their life. They’ve never known life before smartphones and social media. That means a lot of the current models and methods for ministry needed to change. “Indigitous is about stepping into that space and helping people navigate what it means to reach their world in that context,” Russ says.
Yemisi takes steps of faith
Last May, Indigitous partnered with GO Movement to take part in GO Month, a campaign during the month of May where every Christian was encouraged to share the Gospel with as many people as possible. Indigitous launched the 31 Days of Digital Outreach challenge, where there was a prompt each day for an action step people could take to help share Jesus.
Yemisi, a young Nigerian woman, decided to trust God and take part in the challenge. In the MissionHub community, she shared about the action steps she was taking. “I was so encouraged by the faith of Yemisi as she stepped out in faith,” Russ says. “ She shared how she was setting aside a specific time to pray specifically for each of her colleagues at her office. She also shared how she had designed an entire social media strategy … to engage the people that she had contact with through her social media.”
Yemisi, like many others who took part in the challenge, trusted God and used her social connections to make an impact. “That’s an incredible example of someone using their digital footprint to help others discover Jesus,” Russ says.
God’s calling for Indigitous
In Romans 15:20, the apostle Paul writes, “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard.” To Russ, that is part of God’s calling for Indigitous.
“This concept of bringing the Gospel where it’s not and seeing the Lord open opportunities for the Gospel to go forth is what I’m praying for for Indigitous,” Russ says.
Part of that means using innovative strategies to bring the Gospel to where the unreached people live. Most of the population of the world that doesn’t know and follow Jesus lives in twelve countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. They are places where it has always been difficult to do traditional ministry, but Russ thinks with God’s help, Indigitous can help pioneer into those missional gaps. “Lord, help Indigitous break through in these places,” Russ says.
But bringing the Gospel to where it’s not doesn’t just mean reaching people in those twelve countries. Though Singapore is considered a “reached” nation, there are many people in Russ’s building who have never heard the Good News. “Wherever you are today, there is a way for you to be impacting your world and reaching your world,” Russ says. “How can you use your digital footprint for God and be inviting people into your life and sharing the Gospel with them?”
I am Indigitous
When Indigitous held conferences in five continents in 2013-2014, the people who attended the conferences were given buttons that said “I am Indigitous.” This was done to reinforce the idea that everyone can play a part. Everyone has a digital footprint. Everyone has connections and influence that can be used for God. “The average adult spends 7 hours online per day. That’s a tremendous opportunity for the Gospel to go forward,” Russ says.
So what can your average Christian do to make an impact? How can they reach their world and bring the Gospel to where it’s not. To Russ, it starts with looking at your situation – your workplace, your neighbors, your family and friends, the people connected with you on social media. “Lead in the place and the space where God has put you,” Russ says. “You’ve been given a digital footprint. How do you use it for God? You’ve been given digital talents. How do you use them for God? So do something, lead something.”