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Using Technology for the Gospel: Embracing the Digital Mission Field

Originally posted on November 24, 2023 @ 3:38 pm

The world is rapidly changing. Technology has become an essential tool for nearly every aspect of our lives, and that includes sharing the Gospel. This article explores the transformative potential of using technology for the Gospel, exploring how it can enhance outreach, provide theological perspectives, and overcome challenges while connecting with a global audience. Let’s explore the world of using technology for preaching the gospel.

What is technology?

According to Merriam-Webster, “Technology is the practical application of knowledge. Technology is using your knowledge to create something that makes the world a better place. Using a spanner is technology; a wheelbarrow is technology and many other tools that make living more comfortable. Many Christians believe technology has to do with the internet and digital space alone but this is false. Technology is more than that.

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The Gospel and Technology

While Jesus was leaving the disciples, he gave them the great commission. He instructed them, to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Today, technology provides the means to reach these nations more efficiently and effectively than ever before. With tech, we can preach the gospel to different people around the world even when we are sleeping in our homes. This blog is a way to preach the gospel to people who aren’t even living in Nigeria or even Africa.

The use of technology for the Gospel finds roots in the New Testament’s emphasis on communication. The apostles used written letters (epistles) to teach, preach, and encourage distant congregations. Similarly, today’s technology serves as a modern form of epistles. Instead of writing letters that may take time to reach the readers, we have phones and, the internet, and we can even reach ourselves through video calls.

Technology allows for the translation of scripture and Gospel messages into a multitude of languages, enabling outreach to previously unreached people groups. It aligns with the biblical narrative of breaking language barriers at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). One of my visions for this blog is to reach as many people as I can; that is why this blog has a translator that can allow you to read the blog post in your native language.

Bible verses about Technology Use

While the Bible was written long before our modern technological advancements, its teachings can be applied to various aspects of life, including technology. Here are ten verses that do not mention technology directly but, can offer insights into its use and the principles surrounding it:

1. Proverbs 4:7: “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

This verse can be applied to technology by emphasizing the importance of using it wisely and gaining an understanding of its use.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

This verse encourages individuals to use technology in a manner that glorifies God, considering the impact and purpose behind its use. God is particular about our intentions.

3. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

 It highlights the importance of seeking guidance and knowledge, even in the use of technology, and not relying solely on personal understanding or desires.

4. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

This verse encourages people to focus on using anything for purposes that align with the qualities mentioned in this verse.

5. Ephesians 5:15-16: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

 It reminds individuals to be mindful of how they use their time, including their engagement with technology.

6. Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Applying this to technology suggests that the use of technology in our work should be in alignment with God’s principles.

7. 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”

This verse encourages moderation and caution in using technology, being mindful not to let it control or consume us.

8. Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

This verse underscores the idea that even our use of technology should be done in a manner that reflects gratitude and devotion to God.

9. Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

 While not directly about technology, this verse highlights the importance of God’s guidance in our lives, including how we navigate and use technology.

10. Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

 While focused on evangelism, it can be applied to technology by encouraging its use in spreading positive messages and serving others.

Using technology for the gospel
Photo by George Milton

How to Effectively use Technology for Preaching

1. Effective use of Social Media

Social media was created to bring people together, creating a connection between people that ordinarily may not be possible. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide an incredible opportunity to reach a diverse audience. Sharing scriptures, devotions, and personal testimonies on these platforms can foster engagement and spark discussions. You can use social media to talk about your Christian beliefs and build a community of people who share your Christian beliefs and faith.

Although, there are many negatives on social media; we can use it to preach the gospel and shed light on the nations.

A knife is used to perpetrate evil, it can also be used during cooking to cut food items and create a beautiful yummy experience. Like the knife, social media can be used for negative and positive. You decide what you want to do with it.

2. Online Sermons and Worship

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was impossible for churches to gather members due to the pandemic and many churches took their services online. The digital age has enabled churches to stream services and sermons online. This not only caters for the needs of those who can’t attend in person but also extends the reach of the Gospel beyond the confines of a physical building and more people can benefit from the word of God.

3. Faith-Based Apps and Websites

Websites like Beautiful Roses Nigeria and others are ways of using tech to propagate the gospel. The development of faith-based apps and websites offers resources like devotionals, study guides, and prayer tools. Believers can access these resources anywhere, making it easier to nurture their faith daily. Many times, when I’m trying hard to remember a scripture, I usually turn to bible apps to search for the keyword and it works for me.

4. Visual and Multimedia

Many times, parents find it difficult to explain biblical events to children in a way they will understand. Using technology to create animated videos of different bible stories makes it easier for children to understand and relate to the story. Over the years, my children have benefitted from various content creators who use their skills to create beautiful and animated images and videos.

5. Online Communities and Forums

One of the ways technology can be used to preach the gospel is by creating online communities and forums where Christians can relate, interact, share testimonies, encourage each other and ask questions without fear.

How to overcome challenges faced in using technology for the gospel

1. Balance Online and Offline Ministry

While technology is a powerful tool, it should complement, not replace, traditional forms of ministry. The challenge lies in finding the right balance between online and offline engagement. I believe many people are superficial on the internet which is why many believers need to be grounded in a physical church where they can physically relate with other believers.

2. Ensure Doctrinal Soundness

The digital realm can be a breeding ground for false teachings. Carefully reviewing the words read or heard is essential to ensure that the Gospel message remains doctrinally sound. I always love to refer to the Berean Christians (Acts 17:10-12) in this case; we must be committed to reading the word of God and weighing what we hear with the standards of the scripture.

3. Avoid Distractions and fake

The ease of access to endless online content can lead to spiritual pretence. There is so much content on the internet that goes against the principles of God, some aim to mock the scriptures or deny the power of God. It is vital to encourage Christians to avoid distractions and focus their gaze on God and not on what is randomly available on the internet.

Some Ways you can use Tech for the Gospel

1. Webinars and Virtual Bible Studies: Webinars and virtual Bible studies offer a dynamic way for believers to engage with scripture and discuss faith-related topics in real time. You can host webinars with other Christians sharing the word of God and having a bible study session together.

2. Podcasts and Online Devotionals: Podcasts and online devotionals provide audio content that can be conveniently integrated into daily routines. A podcast is especially good for people who love their privacy or people who are camera-shy. They offer a medium for spiritual growth on the go.

3. Engaging and Spirit-filled Video Content: Engaging video content, whether in the form of sermons, documentaries, or short inspirational clips, has the potential to captivate and convey the message effectively. You can share messages that inspire you with others, create your own videos or record sessions with other people.

4. Blogs and Websites: Do you love writing? If your answer is yes, then consider owning a website. After I learned web design, I decided to design a website where I could share spirit-filled articles with other Christians. I am not only a website designer but a Christian content writer using technology to spread the gospel.

5. Managing your church’s social media platform: If you love creating content anonymously, consider joining your church’s media department. You can join other tech enthusiasts like you to use social media to spread the gospel.

Benefits of Online Communities for Christians

1. Build Meaningful Discussions

Online communities can improve meaningful discussions around faith and life’s challenges. This environment allows for the sharing of personal experiences and encouragement. I have discovered that people tend to share their experiences anonymously online because they know no one knows them.

2. Provide Pastoral Care and Counselling

Digital platforms can be used to offer pastoral care and counselling services, providing support to those facing emotional or spiritual struggles.

3. Connect Believers Globally

Technology breaks down geographical barriers, connecting believers from diverse backgrounds and locations; and promoting unity within the global body of Christ.

4. Reach Unreached People Groups

Through technology, the Gospel can reach remote and unreached people groups. Missionaries can access areas that were once considered inaccessible. The first time I had readers from countries where Christianity is not accepted, I was very happy. It encouraged me to write more, knowing my message was reaching the world.

5. Disaster Relief and Aid

In times of crisis, technology can coordinate disaster relief efforts, mobilizing volunteers and providing crucial aid to affected communities. Tools like drones can be utilised to study the area and understand the extent of disaster; making relief efforts more coordinated.

6. International Collaboration and Mission Work

Technology facilitates international collaboration between churches, ministries, and organizations, amplifying the impact of collective mission efforts. These days’ mission organisations can have a Zoom meeting to discuss how they can be effective, eliminating the need for travelling and schedule hitches.

Some forms of technology are indeed evil because they can only be used for morally reprehensible purposes. Sex robots are one example. While these tools are morally neutral in the sense that they do not possess moral agency, they do have moral value, and we will be judged on how we wield them.

Using technology for the gospel of Jesus
Photo by Ola Dapo

The Future of Tech and the Gospel

As technology continues to evolve, Christians must embrace innovation while staying true to the timeless message of the Gospel. It is crucial to adapt to new platforms, communication tools, and trends to remain relevant in the digital mission field. Tools like artificial intelligence can be used to create a more robust message and plan contents while acknowledging the impact of the Holy Spirit.

Final Thoughts

The positive use of technology for the gospel represents a powerful and transformative opportunity. With a solid theological foundation and an understanding of the challenges and benefits, the Church can reach a global audience, connect with individuals in need, and bring the message of hope and salvation to an increasingly diverse online space. We can embrace the digital age to spread the gospel and use technology as a tool to fulfil the Great Commission and make disciples of all nations.

Finally, I remember a time in Nigeria, where some churches saw television as evil but they have understood the benefit of this technology and are using it positively. It is time the church arise and win souls online before the devil destroys them online.

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