Click the “I’m Interested” button and fill out the form at the bottom of this page to explore how God might call you to be a part of His global mission through digital engagement. Then read through our summary introduction on this page.
We live in a digital world. Of the 8 billion people in the world there are over 5 billion mobile phone users and over 5 billion internet users! Globally, those 5 billion internet users spend an average of more than 6 ½ hours a day online. In addition to this, more than 4.75 billion people in the world are using social media with an average usage of more than 2 ½ hours a day. Digital engagement is all about missions and meeting people where they live – which in today’s world includes the digital spaces where people live.
Reaching the nations through digital engagement can take a variety of forms. In some locations Gospel and other Biblical content including videos, audio files, articles or even the full text of the Bible is loaded on to micro-SD cards which are then distributed and can be used in mobile phones to view that content. Printed Gospel tracts and other printed items are distributed with QR codes which can be scanned by a mobile phone leading the person to specific Gospel content online. Digital engagement mission teams often establish a brand in the local language which might be something like “Who is Jesus?” An evangelistic website and accompanying social media channels are then set up with that branding and loaded with content that shares the Gospel and disciples Believers. Other teams use WhatsApp or other messaging platforms to set up groups for discussing Jesus, doing seeker Bible studies, discipleship and staying connected to groups in between meeting times. Finally, many mission teams are using paid advertising on leading social media platforms or through Google search ads to broadcast the Gospel message and find those who will engage in online conversations.
On any given day about 2 ½ percent of people are open to spiritual or religious change based on research done by social scientists. That openness however can be for a limited time. The value of digital engagement is that we can be available when someone reaches that point of openness. When a person who is open to change sees a Gospel advertisement in their social media feed or does a Google search for a life question they are dealing with we can direct them to a website landing page or other content and invite them into a conversation. Often it can take several such contacts but once they begin to message back and forth with a digital responder, we have the opportunity to guide them in their search.
One common tactic in digital engagement is simply to ask people how we can pray for them. As they share their needs with us, and we begin praying for them, we can also point them to Scripture that relates to their life situation. The key here is not to simply become the spiritual answer people for the seeker but rather to point them to God’s Word which they can read or listen to and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their heart. Digital responders or digital filterers become that guide with content and resources available to help them on their journey. Believers who speak the same language as the seeker may be paid responders or volunteers and use online systems to manage conversations and keep track of seekers on their journey.
Secular marketers often speak of a “funnel” as the process through which consumers move from awareness of a product to purchasing it. In digital engagement we apply many of those same principles in a missions setting as we help to first reach the lost with broad seed-sowing of the Gospel message through digital content. From those first contacts then we guide those who are interested to watch more videos, read Bible passages or articles, or listen to audio clips. The funnel begins to narrow based on how interested the contact is in learning more about Jesus. Our digital responders respond to interest forms or direct messages to begin conversations and filter for those who are ready to meet with someone face to face to talk about what it means to follow Christ.
Only God can draw someone to Himself (John 6:44) but we find a person’s willingness to meet with someone face to face to talk about Jesus to be a great indicator of their sincere interest. In countries where there is strong opposition to the Gospel and persecution this can be a delicate process and requires much prayer and discernment. God has helped us through experience to establish some best practices to protect those who meet with seekers but there can always be some risk involved. Someone near where the contact lives, either a national Believer or expatriate field team worker will set up the meeting in a coffee shop or other public location. We call these Believers who meet face to face, “multipliers.” The multiplier may often ask the contact to bring a friend with them who is also interested in Jesus. The multiplier’s goal as they connect face to face with the contact is to further explain the Gospel and lead them to make a faith decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Often this process can take several meetings while the contact is still also engaging with more digital content either shared by the multiplier or on the original channels where they first connected with us.
Our command from Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded us. By default that means our goal is to make disciples who make disciples and this is the likewise our goal in digital engagement. Our process continues from first reaching the lost through digital content with advertising or organic channels, then as people engage with our content our digital responders guide them to view more content and learn more about Jesus until they identify those who are ready to meet face to face with a multiplier who the digital responder connects the seeker with. With ongoing meetings and the sharing of more digital content, the multiplier works to lead the seeker to faith in Jesus Christ and then either directly begins discipling them or brings the new Believer into a new discipleship group or discipleship process of an existing church.
Since the new Believer began this journey through digital engagement, digital content and tools can continue to be a vital part of their ongoing discipleship and walk with Christ. While face to face discipleship groups are preferred, online discipleship groups are still used in some settings. But even when face to face group meetings are established, digital tools and content can enhance the growth of the new Believer and strengthen community in the groups. Discipleship apps are often used as a means to share content within the group as well as something as simple as a messaging group for the group to maintain contact and encourage one another between meetings times. Worship resources can be shared for groups using websites, social media channels or distributed with micro-SD cards. Online courses and learning management systems are used to provide group leaders and pastors with additional training. And Believers are further trained on how to use their own digital presence to share the Gospel with their family and friends so that the process continues and multiplies. Mission teams also use online tools to track groups and Believers and identify where multiplication is happening as well as to locate new areas where additional efforts are needed to get the Gospel proclaimed.
We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.