What Is Digital Missions? Ministry for the Digital Age

I’m a bit late writing this article; it probably should’ve been written several years ago. Since Indigitous started in 2013, we’ve been talking a lot about digital missions. We invite people to be digital missionaries, to take part in digital missions, but what does that mean?

Indigitous global leaders Liam Savage and Russ Martin recently took part in a Facebook Live event to help answer that question.

When we talk about missions, we mean sharing your faith, making disciples. That command comes from Jesus himself to all Christians, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18).

Even so, most Christians don’t actively engage in missions, and the majority have never led anyone to Christ. Many Christians feel powerless to help people know Jesus. Indigitous’s mission is to equip you with powerful digital solutions and offline strategies that are resourced by our collaborative community. This empowers you to confidently tell others about Jesus and catalyze the spread of the Gospel to where it is not. But how can you engage in digital missions?

You have what you need in your pocket

“Many people feel like, ‘Okay, missions, that’s something where I have to go to another country, maybe learn another language. I have to leave everything behind,’” Liam says. “That’s not true. If you have a phone, you can do missions.”

To Liam, digital missions is using technology you’re already using for other things and applying it to making disciples. It’s about “using technology that’s available to us that everyone has in their pocket,” Liam says. That technology, whether an app, website, video, blog post, podcast, or whatever, helps you connect with people who don’t know Jesus, share your story and your walk with God, and disciple others.

The new Roman road

“In the early days as the church grew and the Gospel spread, the apostle Paul used this new technology called a road,” Russ says. The Roman empire built roads throughout its territories to make travel more efficient. Paul and the early disciples took advantage of those roads on missions trips from village to village, territory to territory. “I think of digital missions as this new Roman road, where we’re using all the available digital channels – content, experience, technology … in order to bring the Gospel to new places and new spaces where it’s not.”

Digital missions will look different depending on the context. You will use different tools and strategies in a boardroom than in a rural village. But while the execution is different, it’s still about leveraging the technology you have to help people come to know Jesus.

Empowering Christians to share their faith

Back to the problem statement, due to fear, uncertainty, lack of training, and other factors, many Christians feel powerless to help people know Jesus. “That should not be,” Russ says. “If you can write a text message, if you can share a video on social media, then you can bring the Gospel to places it’s never been before.”

If you’re feeling inspired to start engaging in digital missions, but don’t know where to start, we have a few resources that might help you. There are two recent episodes of our Indigious PULSE video series that you should check out – “How to Get Started in Digital Missions” and “How to Use Social Media for God.” If you’re in a small group or have a few friends who would like to join you, you can also try the Zumé Training. We also recommend people new to digital missions sign up for our email newsletter, which has a lot of tips, resources, and best practices.