#HACK2021: From disruption to digital missions
Mervyn Lee, Co-organising Lead, #HACK2021 // September 21, 2021, 4:45 pm
“The world may be in lockdown, but the Gospel is not.”
That was our pitch for #HACK2020, but it still holds true today.
The missional objective of the Church to make disciples of all nations has not changed and has stood the challenge of time.
In 2020, the Church scrambled to adapt to the new norms – large corporate gatherings were discouraged, cell groups had to meet on Zoom, and missional engagements were reduced or their plans had to be scrapped.
The experience was similar for me.
I had planned to visit Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics and engage in some of the local evangelistic efforts. But this was tossed aside with the postponement of the event and heightened travel restrictions.
COVID-19 did not just upset the status quo of mission-sending communities; it created an upheaval to our existing practices and transformed the way that we think about missions.
Indigitous Singapore sent out a survey to gather responses on how missionaries (from churches, mission organisations and our community) have been impacted by COVID in the past year. We found that:
While the resiliency of our mission strategies have been been challenged, we also saw some interesting developments and how our communities have emerged stronger:
In Acts 2, we witness a new thing that God was doing among the believers who all together in one place. Where God’s people converge, His Spirit fills the place.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit was so great that the disciples began evangelising and bearing witness of Jesus to the multitudes in their different languages.
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47b)
This reality isn’t one that is distanced from today. We’re so well-equipped with many talents and technology, more than we can ever imagine.
“… the Church is also placed in the same context to define its pathway.”
Leaders, educators and professionals in their own domains contribute to the shaping of our societies, while the advancement in sciences help bridge the multi-cultural divides and facilitate information sharing.
Perhaps if we converge we can witness the same reality again, where the Holy Spirit can empower us to witness to many.
In the spirit of Acts, this is the convergence we seek:
- Being brought to the feet of Jesus, where our pathways with Jesus connect.
- Continuing to meet, break bread and eat together, praising God, enjoying the favour of all the people and seeing how the Lord is adding to our number daily those who are being saved.
- After being separated for a time, returning to the normalcy of community and worship life, in eager anticipation of greater things that God will do in us and through us.
This could also be the inflection point for Christian communities or individuals who are seeking a revival in our missional engagement.
Lately, the Singapore government announced that it was moving from a pandemic to endemic phase.
By the end of the year, it plans to lift most of the COVID-19 restrictions and encourage the population to resume some sense of normalcy.
In the same way, the Church is also placed in the same context to define its pathway.
Will we return to the normal, or could this spark an opportunity for an extraordinary encounter with God and a transformation of how we can be the Church?
Going back to my Tokyo Olympics plans, after a few attempts last year to pilot some form of digital missions engagement, it seemed that God had put my plans on hold.
But from October–December 2020, the pieces of the puzzle came together when an e-mission team was assembled by a leading church in Singapore, in collaboration with our Japan partners, to run a digital, evangelistic campaign for Christmas.
I learnt many lessons through this first-of-its-kind mission engagement, but what amazed me most was the convergence of the Christian volunteers.
At Indigitous Singapore, we strongly believe digital missions can be for every Christian who is a missionary at heart.
Over the past years, I have heard feedback from fellow Christians that feel they lack the technical abilities to contribute to a digital mission or hackathon.
Therefore, in this year’s #HACK 2021, not only does the Solution Building track provide a more non-coder-friendly environment, we’re also offering a new Digital Mission track for first-timers and experienced missionaries alike.
#HACK 2021 is a place where Christians can converge, experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, use the gifts God has given us to serve the body of Christ, and be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
If you’d like to join hundreds of Christians from all around the world to share His Good News, more details of the virtual hackathon organised by Indigitous are available here.
THINK + TALK
- Do you see opportunities amid disruptions?
- COVID-19 or not, The Great Commission calls for a response from each of us. Are you making disciples of all nations?
- How can you use your God-given gifts to share the Good News?