A Glimpse of How God is Working to Enable Digital Missions

It is easy to think of missions as doing the work of crossing cultures and sharing the gospel with people, that our working is what missions and ministry are all about. 

We can tend to think about it in terms of the ‘what’s and ‘how’s, rather than the Who. Granted, there are plenty of things to be done as a part of this process, but the danger lies in worrying ourselves more with the busyness of doing ministry than watching for where God is moving.

Missions (and ministry) is a synergistic work of the Lord and His people. As part of the Commission, God is actively at work bringing people into relationship with Himself all over the world. And amazingly, He invites us into that work as well. As much as God is committed to His work of redemption, He has chosen not to do this work without us, engaging us as part of His redemptive plan. We share both the responsibility and a joy of getting to be a part of this process.

It’s easy to forget, with all the work to be done, that missions (and ministry) is really not about what we do, as Dr. Tennant said. Missions is instead about what God is doing. We simply get to enter into that work. And as Henry Blackaby describes in his study, Experiencing God, our responsibility is to watch and see where God is working and join with Him in it.
A Glimpse of How God is Working to Enable Digital Missions
It is so important that we take the time to wait, watch, and listen for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the world.

Recently, God has been showing me a great deal about where He has been moving in the world related to Digital Missions. Here are a few of our observations:

1. Facebook announced that they now have 2B monthly active users. That is about 27% of the world’s population using a single website to connect with others all across the globe.

2. More than 50% of the world now use the internet. Whether accessing it through hardwire connections at home, local cafe wifi-hotspots, or through their mobile devices, more people are coming “online” each and every day.

While that does not mean that everyone that is covered by the cellular network has a mobile device to access it, it does mean that they have the ability to in the future when/if they do. And over 84% of the world’s population has at least mobile-broadband access.

Along those same lines, amazing work is underway to enable more high-speed internet access all across the globe by huge tech companies like Facebook and Google. Both of these companies have projects to increase high-speed internet access to people all across the globe (Facebook: Aquila, Alphabet: Project Loon). 

Why? Because the only way for their companies to increase the number of people using their products globally is by increasing internet access all across the globe. Kind of a crazy concept, right?

Why do all of these statistics and stories about technology and internet access matter? 

Because these changes represent a MASSIVE shift in global culture and in the history of the world. Now, more than ever before, we can access more information and more people at greater distances with greater individuality/personalization than we ever have in the history of the human race. In many ways, these technologies are at a point that conversations can happen online in real and personal ways with people all across the globe.

Historically, if we wanted to cross cultures to tell people about Jesus, there were really only two ways to do it: reach out to your local community to find people who have migrated from another country/background, or travel to another country yourself. The Lord has already been using both of these methods in significant ways for the past few hundred years. But now, with these advancements and the adoption of these technologies globally, a new opportunity presents itself to the church. If you paid close attention to it, you might have even noticed a biblical name/parallel in one of the internet projects (more on that later).

Never in the history of the world has there been the capability to connect and engage with so many people through a single medium. As we look at these global cultural shifts through a missional lens, it would appear that God has been allowing these transitions to occur for a very important reason: to facilitate the fulfillment of the great commission by flattening the world

What if the Lord permitted these advancements to occur to enable the global Church to go out further, faster, and easier? 

  • How could and should we steward these new opportunities to reach the world for Him? 
  • How do we facilitate evangelism, discipleship, multiplication, and church planting in a digital era? 
  • What could constitute a digital church?

These and many more are all questions that come to mind as we ponder the things that God has already been doing in the world, His Commission, and how we can join Him in that work. 

There is a lot left to explore in this new world of Digital Missions, but it seems that there is already a great deal of work that the Lord has done to prepare us for this new wave of missions and ministry in the digital era. It’s an exciting time to be a part of what God is doing in the world.
A Glimpse of How God is Working to Enable Digital Missions

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One of the primary goals of Oudney Patsika is to use media to change the cultural narrative. He aims to impact today’s culture with more accurate, responsible, and positive media stories about Christianity and the Church. Get In Touch Today!
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