Discipleship and journeying in a digital age #Spiritus14


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13. ‘Discipleship and Journeying in a Digital Age’ Dr Bex Lewis, CODEC (10.45am)
A disciple is one who seeks to follow Jesus, grow in faith, and model Christian living. We reflect upon how discipleship has been affected by ‘a digital age’: has the medium and/or the message changed? We reflect on how it has offered space to journey together, to share our stories, and to encourage one another.

for http://www.spiritus-ne.co.uk

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  • Welcome to worship … no idea what “worship” means for you – classically people tend to think of “worship music”, being quiet/putting the devices away, etc….

    BLURB: A disciple is one who seeks to follow Jesus, grow in faith, and model Christian living. We reflect upon how discipleship has been affected by ‘a digital age’: has the medium and/or the message changed? We reflect on how it has offered space to journey together, to share our stories, and to encourage one another.
  • Dictionary.com describes it as “reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.”

    Well, I’m no big singer, and I would be encouraging you to get your devices out and drawing people in, but we’ve had to be a little creative and thinking of ways of doing this that encourage us to think about the digital when there’s no promise of any digital facilities….

    Some would say that many worship Apple ….how do we ensure that we are placing the right focus on our worship, allowing the digital to allow us to focus on God, rather than on the digital…?
  • So, let’s think about the medium/message (rather simplistically, but we’re just setting the scene) – God is a communicating God …

    The message … originally transmitted via tablet to Moses on Mount Sinai…
  • … via the Cross in the person of Jesus…
  • … through oral transmission … I discussed this with Kate Bruce the other day (specialist on preaching and the imagination) – preachers are a medium through which a message is transmitted (and interpreted)…
  • … in the printed Bible (about 400 years ago) – now in multiple translations…
  • … via other tablets (word heavy, but doesn’t have to be words) – new ways of engaging, range of interpretations, comparisons, etc. …

    e.g. I scroll through names in FB/Twitter and pray for those people … whilst other times I’ll go for a walk, and maybe take photos of things that strike me, or (rarely) share a thought as I walk….
  • How else has Got shared with us? Spend time to share with others (doesn’t have to be deep) re the mediums through which God has shared with us … If you’ve got a signal, feel free to tweet!

    Take a little time to be thankful that he is a communicating God… in whatever (socially acceptable) medium seems to work (silence/conversation/tweets/scribbles – post-it notes are available for us to stick to the stage//collect an overview).
  • So, let’s turn to the Bible… Anyone recognise this Bible chapter (presented as a Wordle, where the more often a word appears, the larger that it is)….

    Psalm 139 …
  • … beautifully summed up by Chris Juby here.

    Where can we go from God’s spirit?

    Definitely not the internet … God is a 24/7 God, and so can we be (although we don’t have the same stamina). It is not a “virtual” space, but a real space, where real relationships and real conversations are formed … and we are called to be there.
  • If computing is part of the embodied experience, then how does it fit with this verse from Romans 12:1 – everything we do online (and offline) is part of our offering to God, a part of our everyday worship….
  • … but who are we to offer ourselves?!

    We need to stop rejecting ourselves (and I do this a lot), and accept that each of us is uniquely made by God …

    … we are accepted as we are, but in journey as disciples are seeking to follow Jesus, grow in faith, and model Christian living..,, therefore would expect to see TRANSFORMATION!
  • Encouragements from a few names, well known and not so well known…
  • We are encouraged by Andy Byers to be competent in the message of God, as well as competent in digital technology…
  • Remember that we are called into community – God didn’t command the world to come into the church, but did call the church to go out into the world….

    How do we respect/value ourselves and share and encourage with others?
  • Think prayerfully about what you listen to/look at/engage with?

    What do you share with others?

    Prayerfully think of something you’d love to share more of, something you’d like to do less of.
  • What are our BIBLICAL values – how does this affect our journey, how we share, how we encourage each other. To me grace/love at heart of it…. (use pen/paper to write value – e.g. fruits of the spirit – and how think affects what we do online – worshipfully consider if want to change any of your online behaviours) – as a paper chain?!

    E.g. fruits of the spirit, truth, authority, wise use of time, salt & light, being prepared, neighbourliness, self-worth…

    Genuine/honest without narcissistic, professional without being false, but exercising discernment… (echo chambers – all news we can be outraged about – so different not included and less worthy of having a voice).
  • Link with others as well as God … share that experience, your stories, your prayers with others around the world…

    Instagram/Tweet prayers – take some time to take photograph things you see today(or draw a pic and share), or short text, or write a longer prayer & share the image online later…
  • Come and add your thoughts to our board…
  • Discipleship and journeying in a digital age #Spiritus14

    1. 1. ‘Discipleship and Journeying in a Digital Age’ Dr Bex Lewis Research Fellow in Social Media & Online Learning, CODEC, Durham University #Spiritus14 Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    2. 2. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    3. 3. Image Source: freebibleimages.org
    4. 4. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    5. 5. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    6. 6. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    7. 7. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    9. 9. Image Sourcehttp://bigbible.tumblr.com/
    10. 10. Psalm 139 by @biblesummary LORD, you have known me. Where can I go from your Spirit? You knit me together in my mother's womb. Search me and know my heart.
    11. 11. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)
    12. 12. Who are you?
    13. 13. Nelson Mandela Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Image Credit: Wikipedia
    14. 14. Kofi Annan (UN) To live is to choose. but to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. Image Credit: Wikipedia
    15. 15. [If we are…] means by which God communicates and reveals himself through his spirit, then our blog posts, status updates, tweets, artistic images, and online comments should be products of a life transformed by Christ and indwelled by his spirit. As restored image bearers, our online presence and activity should image the triune god. Byers, A. Theomedia (2013, 196)
    16. 16. @FrDavidCloake Whilst I cannot conclude my thinking in a wholly positive way, I acknowledge that great use of all of this to my own personal discipleship. I am a broader Christian, a better informed Christian, a more readily supported and sustained Christian and for that I love this digital life. If that makes me a better Christian, then perhaps its purpose is served if a purpose exists and indeed if a purpose is needed. However, I shall continue to pray that someone, somewhere, can say with absolute clarity that because of this digital community, they came to Christ.
    17. 17. SHARE/DISCUSS
    18. 18. 1 John 4:12 (NLT) No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    19. 19. SHARE/DISCUSS
    20. 20. Lord, we are sorry that we do not look after each other as we should. We abuse your creation. We misuse the earth’s precious resources. We are fearful when someone suggests something new – and sometimes we won’t even consider the change that is needed Forgive us and help us to reconsider the way we live. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com Prayer from URC event
    21. 21. SILENCE IS HELD Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    22. 22. Lord, as we develop technology to jaw-dropping levels of sophistication, Help us to use it as a tool for mission. Help us to use our brave new digital world to further your Kingdom – Bringing your love, your peace, your values To those who have yet to hear your message. Image Source: theworshipcloud.com Prayer from URC event
    23. 23. Prayer = “A practice of communicating with one's God.” #Spiritus14 #Prayer Image Source: theworshipcloud.com
    24. 24. Thank you for joining us – come and find us online: https://www.dur.ac.uk/codec