What is Digital Discipleship?

What is Digital Discipleship?  I’m sure this question has as any answers as the sands on Abraham’s seashore or the stars in the diamond studded sky.  To me, the answer is personal and it’s powerful.  It’s meaningful to me as a blogger, a communicator, a creative and an ideas machine.  It’s also meaningful to me as a professional, as I think strategically about how we, as a church, can reach out, meet the needs of our community, tell the story of Jesus and create disciples.  It’s meaningful to me as I sit in a position to help shape the role of communications in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, daring to say that it can be more than a manservant of the other departments.  Daring to say that it can stand on its own two feet and serve a role.  Daring to say that the Communications Ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be effective and evangelistic.

My Journey with Digital Discipleship

I started on this journey with Digital Discipleship many years ago, though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time.  I wrote a book published by Review & Herald called Fish Food.  There was such a long lead time from the time I finished the book until the time it was published.  Looking back, I should have started blogging back them, but I didn’t.  I waited until my book came out.  I set-up a website with the help of a friend and I posted a photo of my book, along with a picture of myself.  I set-up my Google Analytics, and I waited.

If You Build It They Will Come

I was kind of like the people in Field of Dreams – “If I build it they will come.”  Well you can guess it; they didn’t come.  I had a chat with my brother-in-law, who is a web designer about what I was doing wrong.  Was it the font?  The colors?  Was it my photo?  Should I word something a bit differently?  No, he said.  That would be all too simple.  He told me I needed content!  Content!! What’s that?  He encouraged me to start blogging. I wasn’t unfamiliar with blogging.  I had been doing it for the past few years, while living in the Middle East.  But this time it was different.

My Journey with Blogging

So I followed his advice and started blogging at fishfoodbook.com.  It took awhile before I had the courage to post my blog posts on my Facebook page.  Somehow I wanted to separate my digital self from my physical self.  I wanted to refrain from seeming like someone who just droned on and on about God.

But when I met my husband, it was the most magical, God-wrote-my-love-story fairytale.  It happened suddenly.  Many people thought I was crazy and asked me tons of questions.  So I decided to blog about the story of how we met, how the relationship progressed and how I saw God’s fingerprints all over it.

As I posted the story day-by-day, I found my friends – my readers – were captivated.  As a result of the story’s progression, people were sending me Facebook messages – asking about my relationship and how God had gotten involved.  They shared how they were encouraged.  They shared their own journeys, their challenges and their disappointments.

Digital Discipleship

I found myself regularly receiving prayer requests and testimonies in my in-box.  Prayers for relationships on the verge of divorce.  Prayers for dying parents.  Prayers for people lonely and longing for relationships.  All of this, as the result of me putting myself out there as someone who was willing to have conversations.  All of this because I was willing to let my digital self and my physical self be one.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll continue to flesh out what Digital Discipleship means to me.  This is just the beginning of my journey with Digital Discipleship – seated somewhere in the middle of my Christian journey is the moment I allowed myself to share Jesus with my online community.

Until we meet again, what does Digital Discipleship mean to you?

If you’d like to know more about the Digital Discipleship Conference, where we will be discussing discipleship in the digital space, visit our website at http://digitaldisciples.info.

Click here to register for the Digital Discipleship Conference.