Using the Great Potential of the Digital Realm in Service to God’s Kingdom

 

Much of Scripture enjoin us as followers of Christ to be united. Such analogy as the Body of Christ and the Family of God are common throughout the Bible. Yet today, while the world has grown smaller and we are more connected, there are still issues when it comes to true unison. While we no longer exist in isolated pockets, the fragmentation of our society, even Christian ones, are still an issue.

In a vision to go beyond ourselves, a group of ardent believers who love both the Kingdom of God, and are trained in and passionate about technology are coming together to work on the great prospects of using the digital realm in service to God’s Kingdom and His people.  

 

First Digital Meet-up (11th March 2017)

 

We live today in a world of great possibilities. We have an unprecedented opportunity to come as close to the Apostle Paul’s description of the Body as Christ as ever before. In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle wrote:

 

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

 

Just as the eye or the hand cannot say it does not belong to the body because it has a function in relation to that body, so it is with the Body of Christ. God has placed the parts of the Body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be (v18). In that Body, He has placed believers with various gifts.  

 

Ref: wordpress

 

Unlike the past where distances were often unbridgeable, today’s technology has enabled us to go to our computers, log on into the Internet, and have instantaneous connection with a friend from the other side of the world. But the vision goes further; to one day even reach our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who may not have constant access to the Internet and help their communities with their needs.

In today’s technological world, there are many disciples of Christ with various gifts. Some examples are web developers, social media managers, coders, UI developers, writers, designers, strategists, geeks, photographers, and film makers. There is a great potential when such people are given the opportunity to come together to serve the Kingdom of God, whether on a project for a church or for a cause.   

One of the tools for this is known as the Hackathon. In fact, the Hackathon is not a new phenomenon. Secular companies have been using it for years with great effectiveness in their business strategies. Simply put, a hackathon is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in various facets of digital development collaborate intensively on projects. But in truth, the Hackathon can also be utilised for diverse purposes.

 

A typical Hackathon (Ref: wordpress)

 

Hackathons have also been held to benefit nonprofit organizations with their technology and website needs. For example, Florida DrupalCamp’s Coding with a Cause, Chennai based non-profit Code 4 Cause, and Droplabs’ Coders with a Cause events benefit nonprofits in their locality. Some Hackathon are organised by organisations like Hack for Big Choices all around the world. Hackathons can be used to come up with solutions to local issues and problems such as addressing poverty and the homeless community.    

A group of fellow believers are tapping into these possibilities. One avenue is the Indigitous movement. With the tagline “Using Talents For God in the Digital Space”, Indigitous (indigitous.org) is a global community of Christian believers engaging with ideas and each other to advance God’s Kingdom through innovation. The organisation’s name is derived from an amalgamation of the word indigenous and digital.  

In one weekend in November 2016, known as the Indigitous #Hack, 1426 people from across the globe, in 28 global cities on a span across the United States, Africa, and Asia came together to make an impact for their locality, cities helping cities and all working together.

 

 

The previous Indigitous #Hack‘s scope was a great one. 14 missional challenges, 28 global cities, 30 supporting organisations, 67 hours of coding, 83 projects completed, and 1426 servant hackers. And it may be a real possibility that even Christians in our country can be a part of this global initiative and movement.

‘What we have today is just the start. We do not even attempt to say that we will be able to meet every need,’ shared bro Steven, one of the organisers of the Indigitous initiative in Malaysia. ‘But when a group of excited and passionate believers come together with the heart to attempt big things for God, there is a movement that will bring great positive changes for His Kingdom.’

 

NOTE: The purpose of this article is to raise early awareness for the local Indigitous initiative. The article gives brief descriptions of hackathons and Indigitous. There is plenty of information about what hackathons are on the Internet, including an article on Wikipedia. For those who are interested to know more about Indigitous, you can visit their page at indigitous.org  

 

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Jason Law

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