4 Quick Wins for Online Church Discipleship

By Matthew Boffey

If you haven’t yet expanded your church’s discipleship to online platforms, here are four quick wins you can tackle this week.

1. Create a content calendar

It has been said that budgets are moral documents—they reveal our values and priorities.

Calendars are, too. Show me your calendar, and I will show you what matters to your church. I expect that it’s full of good things: sermon preparation, prayer, counseling, deacon meetings, and so on.

Does it include what you’re doing on social media? If your church is serious about digital discipleship, it will.

You can knock this out right now, in one minute. Start small and schedule the following prompts or posts for Instagram and Facebook:

  • Monday: “Prayer prompt: Spend a minute to pray about a need that’s on your heart for this week. Please share your prayer in the comments below so others can pray with you.”
  • Tuesday: “What did you read in your Bible reading today? Share any interesting insights; we’d love to know!”
  • Wednesday: “The week is halfway over. What are you looking forward to this weekend?”
  • Thursday: Share an interesting quote or idea from your sermon preparation, followed by something like, “More on [topic] to come this Sunday! What are your questions about [topic]?”
  • Friday: Share a passage from Scripture.
  • Saturday: Quick video update from a staff member inviting your church to the service tomorrow.
  • Sunday: Morning reminder to join your church service online or in-person.

2. Share outside video content

Here’s a very easy digital discipleship win: share high-quality content you didn’t make.

This is a win-win-win. Your congregation wins because they get fed great content. Your staff wins because your sheep get chef-quality meals you didn’t spend hours cooking. The content creator wins because they get more exposure.

Here are some ideas:

  • Desiring God’s “Look at the Book” series—brief videos where pastor John Piper shows you how he studies a passage.
  • Bible Project—hundreds of exceptional animated videos explaining books and themes from the Bible.
  • Faithlife Mobile Ed—seminary-level, accessible courses from top professors throughout the world. (This you would share internally through a subscription, not on social media.)

Look for great content to shape the hearts and minds of your congregation, and share it liberally.

3. Prompt spiritual disciplines

Why do we post? To help people know God. There is so much noise online, and it’s important for churches to cut through it.

Use these platforms to help people pivot from mindless scrolling to soul-shaping disciplines.

One crazy idea? Call your church to silence.

What if, while scrolling through your social media feed, they saw a big, bold, large-font image that said, “STOP. BE STILL FOR TWO MINUTES,” and they were invited to close their computer, turn off their phone, and practice two minutes of absolute silence?

You could also prompt spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, or fasting.

4. Recruit 3 volunteers 

For a truly robust digital discipleship ministry, you need to put resources behind it.

Get volunteers for this ministry, just like you would for any other ministry of your church.

Start with just three volunteers. Look for people of Christian maturity who also know their way around digital platforms. Rather than just give them a list of things to post, invite them to shape the ministry. Gather their ideas, and make it an opportunity for discipleship with them.

This lightens your load, and it’s exactly what pastors are called to do: equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:13).

***

This post is excerpted from the August 2020 issue of Ministry Team magazine.

Matthew Boffey is the editor of Ministry Team magazine and an editor for Lexham Press. Previously he worked in digital marketing for Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software. He is also a licensed minister, youth pastor, and musical worship leader.

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Faithlife Staff

Faithlife (makers of Logos Bible Software) is the largest developer of Bible study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing. Faithlife partners with more than 500 publishers to make more than 120,000 Bible study resources available to customers around the world. More recently, Faithlife has launched the world's first integrated ministry platform, a full suite of ministry, communication, and management tools for churches.

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Written by Faithlife Staff