The Digital Church

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Today, I will like to start a series on reasons the church must engage the world with Social Media. Last month I was given the honour to preach this message in a conference organized for pastors and ministers of the gospel of Christ at Westown Hotel, Ikeja by the eChurch Project.I will like to share it as well on all my platforms because the important of the social media cannot be overemphasized as the world itself has gone digital.So we will be discussing the digital church These days, you now hear people saying “Google is the god of the contemporary” thus; when you are confused, you hear “Ask Google”. I hope you are not surprise at this… This is the more reason pastors and ministers must cultivate the habit of engaging the church on social media so that their members do not get to read other materials that are not edifying online.

It is important to understand that, one of the purposes for engaging the world with social media in moving the gospel forward is the fact that; the world is going digital just as I have said earlier and so should the end time church go, in order not to miss out in this end time! Thus, it is expedient for the church to engage the world; any church or organization that will not use the emerging technology to build the future of the church without wall; thereby expanding the gospel without limit.

Here are some of the basic platforms the church must have to keep in touch with members:
• Website
• Email address
• Blog
• Facebook page
• Fan page
• Twitter handle
• Instagram
• Google account
• BulkSMS Platform e.g.: www.gileadsms.com or www.gtext.com.ng
• Database of church members
• Direct Church line(s) for members to call in for any emergency

I will be sharing three reasons pastors and church ministers should engage online to move the gospel to the next level, then will continue next week.
1. We engage because the world needs Jesus. Paul declared he would “try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). I don’t think for a second Paul would ever have compromised the integrity of the theology he had carefully built while writing nearly half of the New Testament, but I do believe he was willing to adapt his communication style to any audience in order to be clear about the gospel. Paul’s willingness to adapt to his surroundings was the outflow of a heart that broke for people who did not yet know Jesus.
The world needs Jesus, and the very people we want to reach with the gospel are involved in social media—especially those in the youngest generations. “They’re tweeting, they’re Facebooking, they’re Instagramming, and the least goes on”. We can’t expect a lost world to come to our pasture on our terms to hear our message. We must actively engage them with the hope that is in us if we really want to rescue them. If we hope to share Jesus with them, we need to go where they already are.
2. We engage because the conversation happens with or without us. Right now, people are talking about big issues. Dialogue is ongoing when it comes to politics, economics, science, medicine, sports, technology and religion. In most areas of life, someone is leading the conversation that’s happening, and it isn’t waiting for us to catch up. The conversation is happening whether we’re a part of it or not.
In past centuries, Christians have been willing to lead the conversation about art, science and social issues. But within the last half-century, our tendency has been to retreat into our Christian bubbles, where everything feels comfortable to us. If we’re honest, we’d rather spend time talking to other Christians about the Christian life than risk engaging in conversations with people who disagree with us or have tough questions we can’t answer. It takes courage to engage, but engage we must if we are to lead the conversation about Jesus forward.
3. We engage because God should be glorified in every space. Here is a story of Rick Warren talking about a conversation he had with John Piper about Twitter. At the time, Piper had created a Twitter account but Rick had not. They spoke at an event together, and Rick questioned Piper about embracing a medium that, in Rick’s thinking at the time, dumbed down communication and fostered vanity. Piper responded that it is the responsibility of Christians to fill every space with the glory of God—even the online space. That conversation pushed Rick into tweeting, and now he is one of the most influential church figures using Twitter today.
In every space where people are talking, the glory of God should be evident. His light should be shined into the darkest corners of society. It stands to reason that if the role of Twitter and other social networks is to empower everyday people with a voice, then we should certainly take advantage of the opportunity to use that voice to point people to the glory of God.

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