The Place and Function
Of A Cyber Church in a Cyber Age
Redefining the Church in an Information Age,
by Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
Seizing the moment of opportunity
One important lesson I have learnt in life is that new season often come with various kinds of challenges and opportunities. The issue, however lies in our perceptional ability to precisely discern and judge things through the wisdom that is from above, so we can turn to our own advantage what may present itself as the enemy’s scheme. Opportunities are disguised in trials, challenging and even in fear in some cases. The fear of the unknown is really what hinders us from taking advantage of the various opportunities heavens is opening up and presenting to us especially through the World Wide Web and its various social media platforms.
my journey into the world of computer
Moving into the next phase of the Lords agenda for the church means that we must learn how to go down to Egypt and recuse those enslaved by the spirit of Pharaoh. In some cases, our apprehension over situations we are not familiar with is highly rooted in cultural or religious beliefs. For those of us who are not early in life expose to the world of knowledge and information may react to things in a different way to people who have been exposed, and have leveraged themselves through extensive traveling opportunity. You may find what I am about to say funny, but this is a true story of myself.
When I finished my bible training in 1991, I was offered the opportunity to go learn computer illiteracy course but I rejected it. My main reason for the rejection was built on the fact that I’ve been already informed that the anti-Christ was going to use the computer to destroy the world. Since my view of computer knowledge was already established on its negative impact on people globally, it becomes difficult for anyone to persuade me of learning it.
the power of exposure
As much as that information carries a large degree of truth, the issue however was my approach of understanding. If I had known someone back then who could precisely explain to me, and give me important reasons why I need the computer as a servant of the Lord to enhance my bible study and research, I am sure, I will would have been persuaded.
The point here is, the perceptions we’ve developed through the years in approaching things or people alike does greatly impact how we interact, respond or even utilize opportunities open to us. By 1995, my mentality towards the world of computer had been greatly enriched through my exposure to certain folks I came in contact with who purely preached the message of the kingdom back then but were also computer savvy. Beyond my spirit in agreement with what I had from them, I also noticed how they utilized the power of information technology, coupled with their laptops and projectors to seamlessly communicate the gospel.
This experienced galvanized me to buy my first laptop in 1996. By 2004 just before I relocated to South Africa, our church community launched a skill empowering project, which back then, was one of the first of its kind. The church auditorium, was turned into a computer lab where everyone, including people of the Muslim faith were all given the opportunity to be computer literate. This project brought so much joy into my heart when I saw the zeal and passion of individuals who are hungry to learn.
My point is, if the church will ever move up to the next reality of divine intent, we need to adjust our perception and concept of interface with the world around us. The truth is, the church will not always have these free social platforms to express the knowledge of the kingdom as we have it today. We therefore need to awaken ourselves to the realization while we still have this opportunity made available before it’s too late. No one really knows when this door of social media will be scrambled or even shut down completely. Yet, while we have this lifetime opportunity, let us maximize every moment to strategically share and push the agenda of heaven through all social media.
Using these platforms to showcase a prideful, frivolous and selfish agendas is certainly a misrepresentation of the purpose of the lord for Facebook, Twitter Google plus and other platforms available. We have to start taking the focus off ourselves and truly start promoting the cause of kingdom agenda through social media forums. We need to be weary and careful of what we say, post and twit.
As believers, your words and mine must be highly seasoned with the divine wisdom and intent of this season. Our words and statement should go viral until society and governments across the world notice that the kingdom of God is coming near them. Our hearts must be awakened to the unheard cry of millions surfing aimlessly and vulnerably on the internet.
The field of social media
Think about this for a moment, the most vicious hardened jihadist make most of their recruitment via the social media platform. What indignation on the church of the lord. The very same platform, we have been given as a gateway to reach the unreached are the same tool this destructive elements are using to advance their destructive agendas. We need to step up our mission and mandate to reach this powerful digital field many have neglected to humanist, capitalist and jihadist ideology.
It is unfortunate that we still see believers and spiritual leaders alike, who are so timid and afraid to use the social media to effectively advance the purposes of the Lord because they still sees it as something inspired by the devil.
While on the flip side, those who have taken advantage of now using it to abuse, control and manipulate the spiritually blind and on-informed. Some pastors and spiritual leaders, due to their insecurity and unbiblical agendas, have gone as far as trying to censor, monitor and even discourage their members from using the social media.
This is mostly unfortunate. Heaven has granted you and me to be part of a company of warriors of righteousness and harvesters at the same time; and our field is the World Wide Web. We need to start integrating our voices, resources and other forms of capacities to take this vast land of the internet world. The fact is, I am not certain if the church will continue to exist from the way many of us have grown to know it; the idea of investing in some palatial building structure with congregation seating and listening to the preacher, in my opinion may no longer be realistic in the era we are stepping into, if biblical prophecy is true to its description of the operational character of the third day church.
I however do know one thing which I am fully certain about is that the church of the lord will abide and remain strong until the final appearance of the Son of man. While this is not my focus in this article, I, however, do believe we need to start considering and making the right adjustments in terms of changing the concept of our gatherings and meetings in a manner that will help us travel light.
One way we can start changing the face of the 21st century church community is through having a strong online presence. And this means that we have to invest in building a strong community cyber platform across the web that is not easily penetrated by viruses.
Why we need to build a cyber church system
Constructing an impregnable cyber system with the necessary technical edge to advance the initiative of the kingdom of God is a must for us today. Why? There are more people today who are more active in the cyber world than in the physical world. It is so design today that nothing works in the physical realm without a direct connection to the cyber world. I feel this strong urge to remind you as I remind myself why we’ve been given this window of opportunity through the social media platforms to preach the gospel of the kingdom.
We have to be keenly aware of the reason the Lord has made available the world of Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, YouTube and the rest of the social media platforms for this season. Believe me, the 21st century media hub initiatives are divinely orchestrated to push and advance the prophetic agenda of the lord to a precise conclusive end. Regardless of what these social media platforms are presently being used for, their primary objective must be kept afresh within our hearts and alive in our as prophetically oriented individuals.
You and I as members of the church of the Lord needs to start seeing things strategically, most especially what is happening in the world of social media and it’s a-complained technologies. To still view Facebook and the rest media as some trending platform to express our own self agenda opinion is certainly a misplaced priority as a believer in Christ. We are told through the word of God that whatever we do must be done as unto the lord.
If we follow scripture for what it says, our priority will drastically change and enhance the larger body as we engage the gates of hell. The social media is an effective and strategic tool, heaven has inspired certain individuals to create the spirit of fulfilling biblical prophecy. The only way prophecy like the mountains shall be made low, the valleys filled and the crooked parts made straight can only be through a Channels like this. Imagine the numbers of open source collaborations communities online that has made a huge difference in the lives of millions.
The release of the Cyrus spirit
There is virtually anything you are looking for to help you become whatever you believe you’ve been designed to achieve with minimal amount to purchase such application or information. The Lord has not only poured out his spirit for us to prophesy, and see visions and dreams, he has also equipped certain individuals with the spirit of Cyrus to build a system that can birth and midwife kingdom initiatives through technological innovations and development.
This grace or resource if you will, is a capacity associated with the ability to invent and Engineer things that could further fast-track the fathers redemptive plan for humanity and all creation. Regardless of how humanist philosophy sees technology, believers should understand that all forms of technological breakthroughs are ordained and designed by God to fast-track the manifestation of the Son of God.
This spirit of Cyrus as we’ve seen it is manifesting in an increased level in our time through individuals leading the frontier of technological breakthroughs and development in the Silicon Valley. This spirit is usually released at the threshold of a new prophetic turn in the earth. new technology are signs of impending coming judgement of the Lord like we see in the days of Noah.
This grace in most cases, function through men and women we may not term as religious, yet the father raises them to strategically release creative opportunities and resources for his Church and purpose to be known. These individuals accelerates and further amplify the prophetic voice of the Lord across platforms and system especially in marketplace.
This creative spirit is consistently released through the turn of a new century as the church transits into a higher, matured level of the promotion new strategic truths for kingdom representation. As the advent of the printing press technology accelerated the spread of sound biblical knowledge during the unfortunate Roman Catholic Dark Age era, the lord is also now using the various technology initiatives of the World Wide Web and the social media platforms to release the pure strategic apostolic truth for humanity. This is the most important hour for the church to unite in faith and grace in order to fast-track the divine intent of the Lord of creation.
preparing for war
Having said this, sadly, we still have brethren, even though they’ve been exposed to the reality of the shifting seasons like this, are still pervaded by wrong frame of thought and beliefs with regards to the usage of the social web. Their attitude toward technology and the use of social media as a vehicle of propagating the gospel is still very much hindered by the lack of openness to the current speaking of the Spirit of the lord. Their misgivings towards the utilizing the full potential of social media as a platform to advance the general development of the corporate body through integration is a major setback for kingdom initiative.
As we meditate on this great phenomenal, we should start to think of how we can effectively translate this opportunity to a powerful irresistible recognized force in the earth. When you think of the success story of a community like the life church who built Youversion bible App, you then begin to understand and appreciate what I am trying to communicate. The Youversion bible App is one of the most used bible Apps globally today. As powerful as this may sound, it is just a fraction of what still need to be done within the kingdom community if we are going to fulfill the mission of the great commission.
Building a true kingdom community that becomes a hub of representation and expression of sound biblical principles that can answer and defend the cause of the faith we are called to preach and teach in my view is highly recommended and necessary today.
I sense prophetically that we have to drastically shift away from a low ranger mentality of using social media. We are already seeing how individuals are being targeted both online and offline in some countries just because of their faith orientation. Believers across all platforms should learn to connect to other platforms with the resource technology that will not only protect them against the new types of enemies surfacing online, but that can also help them to achieve their individual ministry mandate online and offline.
There is a need to awaken our research and development department in building a powerful irresistible firewall system. We need to build a community system that can stand bold, strong and strategic as watchmen on the watchtower of kingdom initiatives online. The enemy is not sleeping. The fact is, he’s already planning his next attack and we have to be on the watch before he strikes. Cyber war is becoming more real and popular to the point that it has today become a game changer the concept of conventional battle.
There more we accept the reality of a cyber world as believers the more we need to start putting a strategic digital firewall in place to keep our activity online and offline secure. My point is, the church need to drastically change its focus, platform and strategy of expression from a mere physical building to a structure of strategic digital systems that can easily and effectively interface with the reality of the 21st century community.
Still ignorant of the purpose of social media
While I am excited with regards to the development and progress the social media has afforded today’s society, I am also a bit worried due to the sheer ignorance that still paved the minds of certain people when it comes to the utilization of the social media tool. The time where a large number within the body of Christ still view social media merely as a platform to consume, share or post entertaining materials is now over. Please don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with us having fun on these platforms as long as we fully understand the very essence and purpose of their existence.
We cannot build a true kingdom hub online if everyone is merely speaking or doing their own thing without willing to integrate with others. The ‘promotion of my own thing kind of attitude’ only further enhances the evil scheme of the enemy online. In a situation where so called friends on your Facebook account ignore and refuses to engage and interact with important issues being discussed in my opinion, is a reflection of another agenda. If we cannot intelligently engage in discussions or comment on a vital point that bothers or affects a friend, I truly why such a person should be maintained as a friend on such social media account.
One thing is, now clear, the social media network has to a large degree helped us identify those who share the same passion, vision and objective with us, and this is highly important. While those who don’t can still be maintained as friends, but at least you now know where to place them in the order of priority. We most never forget that the primary purpose of social media in connectivity and interaction. Regardless of what we know, if we are unwilling to connect with others idea and opinion, something is critically wrong with our relationship concept.
Social media, the point of convergence
If the church is going to make a serious impact through the social media, we certainly need to start streamlining our thoughts, words and expression under various unique banners of kingdom initiative. Please note this, I am not just referring to pastors who just open a corporate account for their churches.
Pastors and spiritual leaders must learn to interconnect and integrate their grace, gifts and community with other parts of the body so that their own community can fully benefit from the supply of other members of the body. We need to remember that the body is made out of many parts, and not one single unit. There very core objective of the social media platforms is to enhance our integration and collaboration as members of the body of Christ.
The propagation of the gospel of reformation, redemption, transformation and the ultimate restoration of all things back to Christ can be greatly enriched through these platforms the lord has strategically positioned for his church today. But in a situation where some view these platforms as a place to display their carnality, promote their myopic pet doctrines, and unduly take advantage of the confused and desperate folks, I believe this is a huge disappointment and a setback for the reason of social media. There’s a need to be awakened to the present opportunity given to us as members of the body of Christ to utilize this season of opening to push out as much research possible for people to be able to access.
Like Joseph in Egypt, these are seven seasons of abundance. The season and days of need are coming. Whatever can be stored for communities must be stored because the days of spiritual drought are getting closer. There will arise another King, who does not know Joseph nor his God, and will seek to persecute the lord’s people in the days of his ruling.
To be continued…