Extending our Reach
21 Jul 2021
As followers of Jesus, we are familiar with the great commission (Matt 28:19) ”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
But what does ‘go’ mean in the age of videoconferencing? Can we make disciples using Zoom?
Over the past few decades, the ubiquity of mobile phones and communication networks have in a way shrunk the world – people thousands of miles away can have a face-to-face chat with one or many others for little to no cost.
But what impact has this had on missions? Firstly, due to the multiplicity of connections between different cultures and value systems, I can participate in social media or watch the local TV of almost any country. Additionally, going overseas can also feel less isolated than it did in the past, because these days, you can pick up the phone and call mum or your pastor just like you did at home (providing you are in the same time zone that is!). Conversely, those who have heard are now significantly more accessible – especially those in areas where geography or persecution is prohibitive. Lastly what we do online matters – just as we can watch and interact, so can those that are opposed to the gospel!
The digital world is our new reality, and we can choose to lean into the advantages of technology and the opportunities it has presented for us to become more creative, innovative, and flexible in how we spread the gospel than ever before. Some of the most exciting developments, however, have been the creative new ways the gospel is being spread.
Media (video, audio, podcasts, online advertising) is being used to get people reading and engaging with scripture and encouraging those interested in knowing more about Jesus through online mediums such as chats. People are serving the kingdom by using technical skills to support frontline ministries. There are even folk who make autonomous vehicles people can use to get the bible into areas inaccessible by foot and even the reach of telecommunications! What a time to be alive! We can be reminded that not only has God created us for mission, He also continues to bless us with the tools and technologies we need to fulfil this calling to the nations.
- H, a Pioneers worker