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Digidisciple: Issues and Opportunities for the Christian Sector in a Digital Age #IMRC14


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Digidisciple: Issues and Opportunities for the Christian Sector in a Digital Age #IMRC14

  1. 1. #Digidisciple: issues and opportunities for the Christian sector in a digital age Dr Bex Lewis, Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, CODEC, St John’s, Durham University @drbexl
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  8. 8. Christians and Churchgoing
  9. 9. The Church Front Door? For many churchgoing is no longer the ‘cultural norm’. People don’t actively ignore the church: they don’t even think about it. … With literally billions in the digital spaces, the online social spaces presented by churches need to be appealing, welcoming, and not look like they are just an afterthought: they are now effectively the ‘front door’ to your church for digital users, and you ignore those spaces at your peril. Image Credit:
  10. 10. Dr Sara Batts (2013) @drbexl
  11. 11. The Growth of the Internet @drbexl
  12. 12. "If you want to build a presence in the social media platform, then you need to be present." - @unmarketing @drbexl
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  14. 14. The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young. Social networks are the result of human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the dynamics of communication, which builds relationships: a considered understanding of this environment is therefore a prerequisite for a significant presence there. Pope Benedict XVI (2013) @drbexl
  15. 15. “Bringing the young in…?” • “Jake told the executive that he never goes directly to a brand like this man’s newspaper or even to blogs he likes. ... he reads a lot of news – far more than I did at his age. But he goes to that news only via the links from Digg, friends’ blogs, and Twitter. He travels all around the internet that is edited by his peers because he trusts them and knows they share his interests. The web of trust is built at eye-level, peer-to-peer.” (Jarvis, p.86, my emphasis) @drbexl
  16. 16. Church: Broadcast Model Image Source: RGBStock@drbexl
  17. 17. Image Source: Stockfresh@drbexl
  18. 18. New Opportunities Image Source: Stockfresh@drbexl
  19. 19. Darren Rowse, @Problogger I loved working up a sermon in the lead up to giving it. Researching,looking at what others had to say on the topic, piecing together thoughts, looking for illustrations and examples (tangents) and then practicing giving it and making the last minute tweaks and additions in the day before Sunday arrived. @drbexl
  20. 20. #DIGIDisciple those who seek to live out their Biblically-informed Christian faith in the digital space, exploring both what it means to be a disciple in the digital age, and also how the digital age affects or alters discipleship. @drbexl
  21. 21. [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) @drbexl
  22. 22. “Technology should not dictate our values or our methods. Rather, we must use technology out of our convictions and values.” Dyer (2011: 5) @drbexl
  23. 23. We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love. Elizabeth Drescher, Tweet if You Heart Jesus (2011, 127) @drbexl
  24. 24. On the Emmaus road, Jesus was recognized in the breaking of bread rather than in the exegesis of scripture. That’s an intriguing lesson to learn when so much of the web and so much of digital communication is about proclamation rather than reception. Phillips et al, 2013: 10 @drbexl
  25. 25. digital-disciple-with-changingworship @drbexl
  26. 26. It’s something about the informality and distance; the ability to pause and think, which can be difficult in a conversation; and the way discussions can pick up where they left off several hours, days or weeks later. Emma Major, BIGBible Post, 2012 @drbexl
  27. 27. Evangelism Online? 1)“Godslots” 2)“Being” online 3)Social Justice See more via @vahva @drbexl
  28. 28. Thank You! Questions? @drbexl