And He gave some as E-postles, E-prophets,
E-vangelists, E-pastors, and E-teachers
for the E-quipping of the saints for the work of
service,to the building up of the body of Christ.
E-Ministry to an E-generation?
“If Facebook were a physical nation, it would now be the third-most populous on earth.” If we included all other social platforms in addition to facebook, the E-nation of the E-lectronic social realm, might in fact, be the largest nation on earth. The way we E-xecute the Great Commission may necessitate a closer E-xamination. We should not so easily dismiss the idea that Jesus would also want us to Make E-sciples.
Certainly, there can never be a complete disconnect from brick & mortar ministry, the one to one personal E-xtending of our hands in fellowship, but the E-world is a reality. How we minister to one another and those outside of the church, must include E-vangleism.
If we are all gifted, and all have individual predominant ministry characteristics, then for those of us who are active on the internet, socially speaking, doesn’t it make sense to carry that ministry into our E-spheres of influence?
Doesn’t the vast opportunity of ministry to those E-thnicities and cultures demand our attention? I am not suggesting that our E-ministries replace serving others or incarnating ourselves and being a physical Christ presence within a community, but that doesn’t mean completely ignoring the Mission E-field either.
For me, as a Missionary in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador, we have an abundance of face-time with the people of the region. Our “real-word” activities include, but are not limited to: weeping with those who weep, providing clean drinking water to those without, being witnesses to Jesus, encouraging and equipping the saints, and making disciples. Also, and quite naturally, as an adjunct to those activities, our social network (on-line community) has grown significantly. While some may have issue with spending time on the internet while I’m “supposed to be” out doing “real” things with “real people,” I can assure you that the latter would be impossible without the former. My E-xperiences out in the real world feed my somewhat E-ccentric online ministry. This could, and sometimes does, get out of balance, but thankfully I have E-xhorters to keep me on track.
Ephesians 4:11 is certainly multi-purpose in scope, but it’s principle components are service to others, equipping the saints, and the unity of the church. Certainly these components are not relegated to the physical world. They must, in our culture, be applied to our E-lives as well.
If you our gifted for ministry in E-vangelism, then you should be heralding the good news online as well. And if you do have the gift of E-vangelism, then, like in “real-life,” you should be helping others by E-quipping them and E-ncouraging them in their E-lives to E-vangelize others.
Likewise if your predominate Ephesians 4 gifting or characteristic is in the Prophetic, Teaching, Pastoral, or Apostolic, then those gifts should quite naturally E-xtend into your E-world where you can E-ncourage and E-quip them for the service of E-ministry.
Where formerly Nations or Countries were considered “closed” to ministering in Jesus’ name, they are wide open via Social Media. That’s changing. Don’t burry your social talents!
1. From “The Economist.”
2. ”Escipleship” some sources for further consideration