Since its founding in 2013, Indigitous has been a movement about empowering people to use digital technology and creative solutions to make Jesus known. Many Christians feel powerless to help people know Jesus. Indigitous equips them with powerful digital solutions and strategies that are resourced by our collaborative community. That empowers every Christian to confidently tell others about Jesus and catalyze the spread of the Gospel to where it’s not.
Since that founding, there have been a number of people who have served the body of Christ by giving leadership to the Indigitous movement, both at the local and global levels. Earlier this year, in order to better resource local leaders around the world and make it easier for people to share the Gospel, Indigitous Managing Director Russ Martin formed a new leadership team.
The new leadership team has multiple parts, led by a Leadership Core making the major strategic decisions for the global movement and a Platform Team to help empower community leaders, partners, project leaders, cell teams, and the rest of the Indigitous network.
We wanted to take some time to introduce these teams so you can pray for us, understand the big picture of Indigitous a little better, get to know some of the people behind the scenes, and collaborate with us in the future.
Russ Martin, Managing Director
Russ Martin was part of the team that founded Indigitous back in 2013. “We sensed that digital ministry needed to be championed, modeled. We know that believers needed better tools to impact their world and that there was dormant talent within the body of Christ that needed activation,” Russ says.
Russ is a Canadian citizen living in Singapore. Whether serving as Managing Director of Indigitous or in his role as the Director of Digital Engagement for Lausanne, Russ is passionate about leading the global church in digital mission in order to bring the Gospel to where it’s not.
One of his fondest memories is of the Indigitous Addis conference in 2014, when 180 delegates gathered in Ethiopia to discuss and work on the challenge of using mobile technology to reach Africa. “I loved the energy of the young people from Africa huddling together, seeking to make Jesus known in new and innovative ways,” Russ says.
As Christians, we are called to take the Gospel to every tongue, tribe, and nation. Traditionally, some of those places and people have been more difficult than others, with so-called “closed countries” barring missionaries, banning the Bible, and not allowing the church to gather openly. But those unique challenges also offer exciting opportunities.
“I get excited when we experience the Gospel crossing barriers and borders that would be difficult for it to cross in the physical world,” Russ says. “Digital channels open up new opportunities for people to experience Jesus in ways that are not possible with traditional methods.”
Simon Seow, Lead Catalyst
Like Russ, Simon Seow was one of the co-founders of Indigitous. At the time, he was asked to help lead 2-3 global gatherings for people dreaming of and working on ideas and strategies for digital outreach. “Little did I know that would slowly become the Indigitous we know today!” Simon says.
Those gatherings became known as Indigitous Classic conferences. “We had an Indigitous conference in every continent between 2013-2014, bringing together the people of God, those with unique digital talents, as well as those who are passionate about bringing Jesus to every corner of the world, using every digital means possible.”
Part worship leader, part chief catalyst for Indigitous, Simon gets excited about helping mobilize digital missionaries around the world. He has helped launch many Indigitous communities across the globe, including the local community in Singapore. “We get to play a part in helping bring the unchanging Gospel to our changing world,” Simon says.
Always missions-minded, Simon also appreciates the innovation that happens within Indigitous communities. “It’s really cool that we get to work on ideas that few people have thought of, that actually solve missional challenges, and have Kingdom impact. It is about being creative and innovative in helping to fulfill the Great Commission,” he says.
In 2015, Simon thanked one of the keynote speakers at the Indigitous Bangalore conference and was surprised by the response. “He looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Don’t thank me. I need to thank you. Now I see how God has written my story and how I can play a part in His Kingdom work,’” Simon recalls. The speaker not only caught the vision of Indigitous, but he also reaffirmed it for Simon. “It’s so thrilling for me when someone is awakened to the Indigitous vision and becomes aligned with God’s purposes for His glory,” Simon says.
Jonah Jala, Digital Engagement Specialist
If you’ve engaged with Indigitous on social media, during a Coffee Talk, or webinar, there’s a good chance you’ve talked to Jonah. A software developer, she was invited to an Indigitous #HACK event in Jakarta in 2015. “I was amazed by the possibility of helping fulfill the Great Commission by using my skills in designing and building software,” Jonah says.
She still takes part in #HACK every year. Her favorite part of the event is seeing everyone on the global connect Zoom calls.
After returning to her home in the Philippines, Jonah applied her experience at the hackathon. She sought out other people like her, Christians with digital talents and interests, and started gathering them around missional challenges. “We sought to look for our ‘tribe’ so we could also assemble to take part in this mission,” Jonah says. Currently the Philippines has some of the largest and most active Indigitous communities.
Jonah is passionate about helping people find a way to contribute to God’s mission. She loves “finding others who would like to take part in sharing the Gospel and helping others grow in Jesus through their skills and influence,” Jonah says.
It often comes back to that sense of a “tribe,” of finding a place where a person can belong and engage in what God is doing. “Hearing them say ‘I belong’ in excitement and seeing the fire in their eyes with passion, I live for these moments,” Jonah says.
Andrew Feng, U.S. Expansion Lead
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon invited Andrew Feng to be part of #HACK2020 to mentor a group of students from Texas. After the event ended, Andrew realized he had a number of students who wanted to continue working on the missional projects that had begun during the hackathon. So he started the Indigitous Serve Cohort program. “It’s a joy to invest in the next generation and accelerate their participation in global missions,” Andrew says.
From his home in Texas, Andrew now gives leadership to Indigitous communities in the United States. “What excites me most about Indigitous are the students and young adults using their skills and talents for God’s global Kingdom beyond the four church walls,” Andrew says. “We’re creating a new pathway for missions!”
For Andrew, it’s all about those new pathways, helping people unengaged in missions find ways to get involved that suit their interests and skills. “We’re building out a hub for collaboration where we can match people’s affinities and abilities with opportunities to reach the lost,” he says.
Andrew and his local team have launched four Indigitous Serve cohorts and are prototyping the process to expand globally in 2022.
The platform team includes everyone in the Leadership Core, along with the below members.
Mel Micah Catalon, Innovation Specialist
A missionary in Manila, Mel Micah Catalon has been involved with Indigitous since attending the #HACK Hong Kong in 2016. After experiencing the hackathon that year, he brought the event home to Manila the following year. “Hundreds of people joined and we recruited a lot of volunteers after that event to continue the community,” Mel says.
Mel is passionate about reaching people with the Gospel through social media viral campaigns, apps, and websites. He’s currently working on an app for online discipleship and has run many Digital Outreach events. He’s one of the people behind the Boiling Waters podcast, one of the most popular podcasts in the Philippines.
For Mel, the exciting thing about Indigitous is the opportunity to leverage our God-given talent for the mission. “It’s about serving God and helping fulfill the Great Commission through using our unique skills and talents,” he says.
“When I think of the future of Indigitous,” Mel says, “I imagine reaching and inspiring thousands of people heeding God’s call to serve Him through their talent, time, treasure and technology.”
Ann Chow, #HACK Project Lead
In 2015, Ann Chow was introduced to Indigitous when she hosted a 200-person hackathon called Hack4Missions. The event took place at Urbana, InterVarsity’s missions conference that attracts 16,000 participants each year. “This was the first time I was introduced to Christians around the world who studied and worked in the tech space,” Ann says.
Ann invited Simon to give seminars at Urbana to encourage people to become digital missionaries using technology and faith. The following year, building upon the success of Hack4Missions, Indigitous decided to launch our own global missional hackathon, Indigitous #HACK.
Joining the team from Toronto, Ann has been the Project Lead for #HACK since 2020, leading that first year through a global pandemic while making the event mostly virtual for the first time ever. “The fact that Indigitous #HACK brings 1000+ Christians together from 60+ hubs around the world every October to strategize, build, develop, and create for the Kingdom of God inspires me,” Ann says. “God is truly up to something, and it’s an honor to witness His people using their unique skills and talents for His purposes.”
God has done amazing things through Indigitous #HACK, with more than 4,300 participants in 41 countries since 2016. But for Ann, some more personal moments are the most powerful. “A favorite memory of Indigitous #HACK is when we announced that a project from Ethiopia had won the People’s Choice award. Seeing their reaction by cheering and dancing together was pure joy,” Ann says.
Jeremy Lukens, Digital Content Specialist
Jeremy Lukens became involved with Indigitous in 2014, writing occasional blog posts for the website. Jeremy has a heart for your average Christian who is unengaged in the mission and doesn’t know how to play a part in what God’s doing around the world, because he’s been there. “Missions always seemed like something for other people, not like something I could do,” Jeremy says.
Through Indigitous, he learned that anyone can be a digital missionary: If you can use a phone, you can share your faith. What’s more, he learned that the things he’s already interested in can be used for God. “God created each of us uniquely, with our own interests, skills, and passions. I think He gave these to us so they can be used for Him,” Jeremy says.
Based in Florida, Jeremy creates a lot of the Indigitous digital content, including the blog, newsletters, and video content like Indigitous PULSE. He is passionate about helping people unengaged in the mission find ways that they can contribute that fit their own interests and gifts.
Of course, sometimes there are ways you can contribute that fall outside your comfort zone, such as when Jeremy was asked to lead a workshop at the Indigitous Nairobi conference. “I wanted to say no, because I didn’t think I knew enough and I’m not a good public speaker,” Jeremy says. “But then I remembered that in the Bible, God talked to Balaam through his donkey. And I thought, if God can speak through a donkey, then He can speak through me.”
Priscilla Mageropoulos, Director of Marketing
Priscilla Mageropoulos first heard about Indigitous at a conference in 2019 where Russ was the keynote speaker. At that time, she was the Creative Director at a digital marketing agency. “I was encouraged to hear of an organization championing the use of digital spaces to tell others about Jesus,” Priscilla says.
Two years later, Priscilla joined the team to serve as Director of Marketing for Indigitous, something she describes as her “dream job.” Priscilla is excited by the potential of using all the platforms, channels, and strategies to point to Jesus in a way that meets people where they are and when they’re looking.
Priscilla loves getting to work with other organizations, volunteers, and leaders to serve the mission. “It’s so awesome to see people coming together, uniting around a vision bigger than them, to do something to lift up God’s name and make Him great,” she says.
A Filipina living in Thailand, Priscilla loves getting to collaborate with leaders all over the world. “It’s crazy and marvelous to see where God puts His people and to marvel at the privilege of being a little cog in the bigger plan of what He is doing,” Priscilla says.
Song Ye, User Experience Designer
Song Ye first heard of Indigitous a few years ago from some colleagues at OneHope. Over time, some members of the Indigitous movement were recruited to work with Song on some of his projects. Then in 2020, he joined the virtual hackathon and experienced his first Indigitous event.
“During #HACK, I was very impressed by the diversity of the network and project teams represented in the event, both culturally and professionally. The challenge requests came from all over the world, and the teams were working on topics from digital marketing to UX design to NLP,” Song says.
Song was inspired by the event. “I love how it brought Christians in the digital field together to build solutions to empower all believers in the world to share the Good News of God’s Kingdom.”
Based in Florida, Song joined the Platform Team to design digital user experiences that will help people share the Gospel with every tongue, tribe, and nation. He’s excited for the future of Indigitous. “In order to let Christians in the digital field empower the rest of the Church, the Platform Team first needs to serve and empower the Indigitous network well, and I think we are ready for that,” Song says.
We want to hear from you
It is people like you who make Indigitous the powerful movement it is. Whether you’re the leader of a local community, a #HACK host, a Digital Outreach participant, or just someone looking for ways to get involved in God’s mission, we thank God for you. We would love to her from you.
What are you doing? What excites you? Share it in the Facebook Group so we can get to know you.