This transcript has been edited for readability.
It’s great to see everyone, and I love the chatter and hearing the stories of God at work in so many different places. That is very exciting. What I want to do for the next few minutes is bring you up to speed on how the Lord has been leading our core leadership team in setting some direction for the next 18 months. This will carry us from now, the beginning of July 2023, into the end of the calendar year of 2024, so for about the next 18 months.
As a reminder, the core leadership team of Indigitous is Jonah, Simon, Priscilla, Andrew, and myself. Together, we steward this global network. We meet regularly, and we’ve been seeking the Lord for the next steps for this global network.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been praying toward what God would have us as a network do. We began discussing that on calls and then met physically in Bangkok, Thailand, in March. Since then, we’ve had some follow-up calls, continuing to pray and interact with some of you on these concepts, and I believe this is where the Lord is leading us in the next season.
Jonah (previously on the call) anchored us in our mission, vision, and values. I’m not going to take time to go through that because, one (1), all of you can read it, and two (2), because we’ve been using this for a while now. It’s on the “What is Indigitous” deck, which was posted earlier this week as a refresher.
What’s new are the statements below the mission/vision/values. In the middle section, there are three statements of strategic intent. By strategic intent, we mean directional arrows of progress or qualitative things that, as a network, we want to seek to do in the next season. Those three things that, as a network, we want to intentionally emphasize over the next season are:
- Pioneering into missional gaps
- Activating to reach and disciple
- Serving the larger body of Christ.
Let me go one by one and explain what we mean. These are meant to be broad. They’re meant to be large. They’re meant to be wide. I think you’ll find that many of the activities you’ve already been doing fit into these categories, but we wanted to specifically call them out as areas of focus. If there are a hundred things we could do, these are the three broad areas of focus we want to have in the next season.
Pioneering into missional gaps
We’ve often used the quote, “To reach people no one else is reaching, we need to do things no one else is doing.” Before this call, I was just chatting with Yomi. They’re in West Africa and have been dreaming about an innovation hub for years. To see him sitting today in that innovation hub was an example of pioneering into missional gaps. Praise God for that.
Yomi has identified opportunities to bring the gospel to new people, places, and spaces in West Africa. He realized to do that, he needs to try new things. This is a rallying cry to try and take new ground for the gospel. I believe as we seek to take new ground and try new things, our faith is going to be built in that process. Gaps are these people, places, and spaces where the gospel has not yet fully taken root.
This is not just unreached people groups, although unreached people groups are a huge example of missional gaps. But there may be people in your apartment complex who don’t yet know and follow Jesus. There may be channels where people who don’t yet know and follow Jesus hang out. I love the work, Ace, that you’re doing with the Indigitous team in the Philippines, to say, “Many gamers don’t know a true follower of Jesus. So, we’ll step into the gap of reaching gamers so we can bring the gospel to that space.” There may be content or certain formats where the gospel is not being shared as well or as boldly or as clearly as it could be, and so pioneering into missional gaps is something we want to continue to focus on as a network in the next season.
Activate to reach and disciple
We want to go beyond just telling people about what missions in a digital age looks like. We want to monitor, encourage, and accelerate people so they are actually responding and doing something about it. Sometimes, when you give a talk, you can sense that people are just smiling and nodding, but they’re never going to do something about it. That’s not what we want. We want people to act, to actually download an app and share the gospel with someone who’s never heard it before. We want to create content that brings the gospel to new people, places, and spaces. We want people to be actively living a missional lifestyle.
We want people to be — day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out — doing things that actively bring the gospel to new people, places, and spaces. We believe there are tons of digital tools and experiences to do that. And I think what COVID has normalized for a lot of churches, ministries, and people around the world is that it’s not so much about “if I should do this” anymore. It’s now, “Please help me. Please guide me in learning how to reach and engage my world. I want to, but I don’t know how.”
I think there are some specific things that we, as an Indigitous global network, can do to go beyond building awareness for what missions in a digitally connected world looks like. We can actually activate people to do new behaviors, activities, and actions that are intentionally missional.
Serving the Larger Body of Christ
And then, lastly, there are audiences, spaces, conferences, churches, and ministries that need the help of the Indigitous network. We want to come alongside these audiences in actually helping people. As they become aware, we can motivate them to be activated to actually do the “how.” There are some ways in which we can help spread the word. There are some audiences that we can engage with. There are some opportunities where Indigitous can come alongside the larger body of Christ, so let’s seek to do that pioneering and activating.
The picture I have in my mind is: what if in every city of the world, there was an Indigitous leader and an active Indigitous community to come alongside ministries, teams, churches, pastors, and business leaders, to say “This is what it looks like to do missions in the digital age in your context and your city. With the tools you have, this is what bringing the gospel to new people, places, and spaces looks like.”
I think as we show up and engage with these people, leaders, and audiences, we will see opportunities seized, gaps closed, and people activated to use tools they never knew existed but make it easy to journey with people and help them know and follow Jesus. We want to come alongside the church in lots of different contexts to serve as a guide towards that.
So now, what does this look like quantitatively? What does this look like in practice? How will we know if we’re successful? There’s some ambiguity here. There are some things that need to be figured out. We don’t have all of these things well defined. But we want to work together as a network to experiment and learn through this process.
All of these goals work together. I would encourage you not to dichotomize them. Don’t think of these goals as being attached to one of the pioneer, activate, or serve statements above, but see how they work together.
200,000 People Discovering Their Place in God’s Mission
So, 200,000 people discovering their place in God’s mission — this is the biggest and broadest activity we can do, and almost everything you’re doing as a leader in the Indigitous network is engaging with people. And part of that process of engaging with people is them discovering their place in God’s mission. For many of them, that means they will realize they have a digital footprint they can use for God’s glory. We want to encourage them to use that. That’s part of the activation.
For others, part of discovering their place in God’s mission is realizing that God has given them talent. God has written digital into their story, and there are ways they can use those skills for God’s glory, to build and create things that will help bring the gospel where it’s not. We want to invite as many people as possible to realize they can participate in God’s mission right where they are. And we’d love to see 200,000 people be in that process of discovery.
Again, this will happen through different conferences and different trainings. Sometimes, it will be thousands of people at a conference. At other times, it will be a handful of people in a community group meeting in someone’s home.
20,000 People Taking a Step to Reach Their World
We’ve been dreaming about, “What would it look like if, as we get with these larger audiences, one in ten of those people took action and became activated to take steps to reach their world that they weren’t taking before.” They said, “Hey, I realize God has a mission for me. God has good works that he’s prepared in advance for me to do, and I’m going to step out in faith and send a message. I’m going to download an app; I’m going to follow through on a commitment I made.” We want to see people taking steps to reach their world.
2,000* People Participating in Collaborative Action
(This number was amended on August 29, 2023)
We’d love to see 2,000 people participating in collaborative action. In 2024, we’ll have our Hackathon again. We’re taking a pause globally from that this year. But in 2024, we’ll do that globally again. There’s a significant opportunity with the Lausanne Movement, the Fourth Global Congress on World Evangelization, which will focus on collaborative action. What would it look like to rally a huge group of people all around the world to prototype, innovate, and experiment with new approaches and bring the gospel to new people, places, and spaces?
200 Leaders Championing the Indigitous Vision
And then, lastly, we’d love to see 200 leaders championing the Indigitous vision. Many of you on this call are already leading a handful, dozens, or tens and twenties of people who are championing the Indigitous vision. We’d love to see that spread. We’d love to see more leaders equipped to know what it means to have indigenous + digital in their context and use Indigitous as a banner to help people know and follow Jesus, and help bring the gospel to new people, places, and spaces. And, of course, our communities and leadership development are a huge part of that.
That’s where we’re headed in the next season, for the next 18 months, as a network. This is the drumbeat I will be sounding as managing director, and that our core team will be helping and hoping to serve you with.
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