While on a mission trip in India with YWAM, Jae Lee felt God speak to him through John 17:21, when Jesus prays for believers to “all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” God then gave him the word Zion, which means “the gathering of the Holy people.”
Through his experience in Silicon Valley working for Dropbox and Facebook, Jae had noticed that in such workplaces, it was very difficult to find other Christians. “How can I gather if I don’t even know if fellow coworkers are believers?” he asked. Many Christians in the tech sector feel pressure to keep their faith to themselves and few are outspoken about their beliefs. Jae saw this is a problem, expressing his belief that God wants to be involved in every part of your life, including your hobbies and your work. For those reasons, Jae was inspired to create a platform that connects Christians working in the marketplace, a platform that would eventually become the Zion app.
The Zion app helps people connect with those that are relevant to them. He hopes the app will help Christians find fellowship in the body of Christ outside of their local church. Jae has a team of dedicated volunteers working on the app, whose day jobs are for a who’s who of tech companies, including SAP, Airbnb, Microsoft, GitHub, Dropbox, LinkedIn, and more. He stresses, however, that the app is not just for those working in tech. The volunteers meet once per week to keep work on the app moving forward.
Jae and the team launched the MVP (minimum viable product) of the app in April and are continuing to work on improving the experience and adding features. The same week that the app was launched, Jae noticed a post from a Facebook employee who was excited to be able to meet another Christian at Facebook who was going to be working on the same project, calling the discovery an “answered prayer.” To Jae, this is why he felt called to create the app. Citing Matthew 18:20, he says, “Where two or three gather in His name, there is Christ.”
As Pastor Paul Taylor wrote in our blog, it’s important for Christians to bring God into the strategic discussions that tech companies are making regarding ethics and how to reach this and future generations. “With the decisions that these people are making to reach 2 billion people, we want believers and churches to form and Jesus to be invited into these decision-making places,” Jae says.
Jae believes that everyone is called to minister and evangelize, not just the clergy or those working in full-time vocational ministry. “If you’re spending most of your time in your work, there’s a high chance that God might be calling you to minister in your workplace,” Jae says. By connecting people in the workplace with other Christians with similar jobs, interests, and passions, Jae hopes to empower those Christians to minister in their places of work.
Though the MVP for the Zion app is available now, the team needs help to continue improving the app. The biggest need is for more engineers. The team also has a need for people with skills in marketing and graphic design. “The more people we have, the faster we can move,” Jae says. Anyone who wants to volunteer on the project can reach out by emailing the team at email@example.com.
In addition, Jae needs more people to join the app, test it out, and make connections.