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Guest Blogger: E-phesians 4:11, E-ministry for E-quipping The Church Through Social Media?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in discipleship, guest blogger | 13 comments

Guest Blogger: E-phesians 4:11, E-ministry for E-quipping The Church Through Social Media?

I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.

(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)

Today’s post was written by Miguel Labrador. You can connect with Miguel via his Facebook profile, his Facebook page “Making Disciples,” Twitter (@Missionaries), or his blog “God Directed Deviations.”

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E-phesians 4:11, E-ministry for E-quipping The Church Through Social Media?

~

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.

~

Ephesians 4:11,12
E-Ministry to an E-generation?

~

If Facebook were a physical nation, it would now be the third-most populous on earth.“[1] 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 are 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.

[1] From “The Economist.”
[2] ”Escipleship” some sources for further consideration

Miguel Labrador


13 Comments

  1. 4-23-2012

    I have been wrestling with a desire to blog. My husband keeps encouraging me to, especially when we discuss understanding messages from God that come through dreams and visions over time. Often we hear and read what others in the transitioning movements of his body are saying that are similar. I Question if my sharing could even add strength to the healthy growth and transitions I am already seeing promoted through the web. Scripture does exhort us to let several prophesy that we all might be edified and to allow such to be judged by the body. With e- ministry, I am concerned about the lack in an e-social network that can have the appearance of fellowship only and thus not have feedback. I have thought about asking those whose blogs I follow and respect, such as you Alan and others if they would have the where withal to give feedback within that context of mentoring. I try to hear from the varied e-ministry gifts of teachers, apostles, evangelists, pastors and prophets and am always grateful for feedback on comments I have made.

  2. 4-23-2012

    Thank you alan, i connected on miquels blogger and wrote yet not ablout this post a diffrant one that he has written but thank you a lot of insight there from miquel
    Howard

  3. 4-23-2012

    Dori, if the Holy ghost in you is leading you to do this and from what i read The Holoy Ghost is prompting you to write. I had the same thoughts of doubt before I got to blogging and really no one has responded and that does not matter. For I found that when I blog i am getting out what God has put in me. then i can re read and see if i am walking by the flesh. this has been to me god’s way of showing me truth and others if they so see. So Dori go ahead as led and see. Remember this: one cannot discover new oceans without taking their eyes off the shore, God is the one that shows the truth through ones mistakes. And I have made many and God has been faithful and shown this truth I am talking about.
    Howard

  4. 4-23-2012

    Dori, I think many of us have the same concerns as yourself. “I am concerned about the lack in an e-social network that can have the appearance of fellowship only and thus not have feedback.”
    I am experiencing a great deal of personal spiritual growth online in the virtual world. Jesus will not allow any of us, to get sucked into the abyss of isolation from humans, if we are truly following him. I considered blogging, but after talking with Alan, I have opted for Face Book. There are many advantages there. 1) It free, 2) It is very simple to follow, or comment. 3) Millions of everyday people Face Book, who do not, or may never know what a blog is.

    Check out my page, and personal profile:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003677051659

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Was-Church-Gods-Idea/320908594630019

  5. 4-23-2012

    Alan,

    First, thanks for the opportunity to guest blog. Secondly, as you know, I am always thinking about Ephesians 4:11-13. I recently spoke with someone who couldn’t accept the fact that these gifts were still active until “we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

    So be it. I find it interesting that the internet is one of the most fragmented expressions of the church, but likewise, and perhaps its greatest opportunity. Al Molher just released an article entitled, “The Deep Limitations of Digital Church.” it can be found here:

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2012/04/20/the-deep-limitations-of-digital-church

    It doesn’t discuss ministry per se, but the state of the church online. I am very interested in what other readers have to say about E-ministry and its perceived E-ffectiveness.

  6. 4-23-2012

    Funny I just started my blog today! And after being burned by church this might be my new ministry! Very encouraging, thank you!

  7. 4-24-2012

    Miguel,

    Thanks for allowing me to publish your post and for following up with comments here! I’m sorry that I have been away and have not been able to take part in the discussion.

    Everyone,

    Thanks for taking part in this important discussion!

    -Alan

  8. 4-29-2012

    Hi Alan and friends,

    Good article and discussion. If I may, here is a video I put together that illustrates why it is important that each follower of Jesus establish a presene online where they can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.

    http://www.morethancake.org/archives/1679

    Blessings all,
    Joe

  9. 4-29-2012

    Guess you just can’t say it Enough!
    I have always believed that whatever medium is available to use, we should take appropriate advantage of it. There is nothing wrong with using current technology – we have used TV for years, as well as radio, even back when they were the hot technology for their days.
    Social media is a great way we can Encourage one another and Edify one another, Even if the one another’s are Essentially strangers. It gives us opportunity to not be Excluded from what the Lord Exhorts others with.
    I think I have further Exhausted this E-trend.

  10. 4-30-2012

    J.R. and John,

    Thanks for continuing to discuss this topic. Perhaps another good topic would be to consider ways that we should not use social media.

    -Alan

  11. 4-30-2012

    That would be a good one Alan. I would have to think on that. Do you have some specific ideas in mind?

  12. 4-30-2012

    J.R.,

    I don’t have anything specific in mind. The mention of the use of television media above prompted my question.

    -Alan

  13. 12-3-2012

    Paul used E pistles to communicate as an E postle.

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