Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Technology as a Discipleship Tool

Video projectors - digital sound boards - social media - web-sites - downloadable audio and video sermons - smart phone apps. Technology is a part of everyday life and is therefore a part of most every church. But we are just now discovering how to use technology as a discipleship tool.

While technology can't replace community or face-to-face relationships it can certainly enhance everything the church strives to accomplish when it comes to making disciples.

So, how can the church use technology to its fullest potential? This is the question Dave Hampson and the ministry of ARKEO is trying to answer. In his blog post, Technology is Everywhere!, Dave provides some insight that you might find helpful as you explore the world of online discipleship tools that are becoming available:
  • The transfer of truth from God’s Word to daily living still relies mainly on a lecture format. Whether it is the weekend sermon or mid-week classes or even small groups, it is the leader-focused, top-down learning strategies which are the mainstay of most church ministries. 
  • We can learn from what schools are doing to create advanced learning environments by complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, active learning strategies and learning guidance. 
  • Online learning cannot nor should it replace sermons or group study. However, technology has the potential to develop the higher-order thinking skills which are critical for living as disciples of Jesus Christ in the 21st century.
  • Online learning gives church leaders the opportunity to blend short video segments, concise text, and visual imagery so groups can discuss the content in an online discussion thread, led by facilitators. After much of the discussion has taken place, groups meet face-to-face for more in-depth relationship building and ministry. 
  • The 24/7 access to on-line content moves the focus of the small group from information transfer to information application and provides small groups with the time and ability to encourage one another to become all God intended them to be in Christ. 
As Dave Hampson states, "Every day, technology is extending its reach into every aspect of life."  We know people are already living in a technological world. So why not extend its reach into the world of discipleship? Take some time to explore solutions already available such as ARKEO's online discipleship tool. Study it, and consider the potential it could bring to your ministry of making disciples!