INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL MINISTRY
He longs for everyone to embrace his life and return to the full knowledge of the truth. (#LooseNone) – 1 Timothy 2:4 (TPT).
Whatever your ministry, you will at some point need to engage digitally. You may be fighting this idea, or you may have already embraced digital as a platform for your ministry and use one or many digital tools to reach your audience.
The Digital Ministry methodology is not about trying to convince you of the need for digital in your ministry. In my mind it would be shortsighted to build any ministry without the use of digital tools. This methodology comes from both extensive experience in the digital world and a personal revelation of Romans 12 and how it relates to Digital Ministry. So much has been written and expressed on how to best leverage social media tools, how to maximize reach and get more followers, but how do we DO MINISTRY using social media and digital tools? How do we lead people to Christ, pastor, disciple, create community, encourage, edify, exhort and share Holy Spirit moments with people on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat?
Digital Ministry is a totally different approach to simply building a brand for our ministry or church; using social media to announce events or our speaking schedule; or simply publishing content to the world at large. Digital Ministry allows us to genuinely demonstrate Christ in our daily lives in a way that we have never been able to do before. Our aim should be to create engagement with Christ that releases people to start an invite revolution. The world has used digital platforms to manipulate and to present one face and to be another (hypocrisy), but we can use it to genuinely demonstrate the power of Christ in our daily lives (Romans 12:9).
Having worked for many years in the secular world and spoken on many stages helping international companies build their brand, product and offerings on digital and social media platforms, I automatically thought that what I had learned in the secular world could easily be moved over to the ministry world, but over the years, I have come to realize one simple truth about digital ministry and it is expressed in Romans 12:2:
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. (TPT)
We cannot be caught up in the same methodologies of digital attraction that the world uses. God wants us to use whatever method possible so that we #LoseNone, but He does not want us to do it in the same way as the world. We can use tools, tips and strategies that have worked for secular brands, but our motivation is completely different, our content is divine, and our guru is the Holy Spirit.
What would Jesus’ social media strategy be? He demonstrated so much to us as to how to think differently and get outside the box. We have been asked to do ministry with the mind of Christ and not get caught up in the ways of the world.
I pray that this content will set your ministry aside, not for promotion but to render it holy, and maximize the audience that God has placed on your heart, not for the sake of success and financial partners (as important as those are), but for the sake of reaching those God has specifically called you to reach (Romans 12:6-8).
In the opening words of Romans 12, there are some themes that can help us with our Digital Ministry strategies:
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
Romans 12:1 (TPT)
Using Romans 12 and these themes, we will endeavor to marry the learnings of the worlds digital stage with the motivation of God for our ministries and create a template for you to use in building your Digital Ministry.
Brian J Gardner
Tools have changed over the past two millennia but God’s grace, love and desire to have a personal relationship with us has not.
Creativity is an expression of His nature and character in us. Digital and social media can be utilized for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Thank you Pastor Craig!