So is it a good thing when a TikTok video focused on Jesus gets over 1,000,000 views?
On a social platform saturated with endless cat videos, mind-numbing content and sexual references, a million people focused on Jesus—even for a minute—is a huge win in my books!
Over the last couple of years, I have been watching York Moore’s TikTok channel grow exponentially (@york.moore). York is an evangelist and author. He’s also served as one of our trainers in the Arrow Leadership Program™. At the time of writing, several million people from all over the world have engaged his videos, over half a million follow his account and over 300,000 people have indicated they made decisions to follow Jesus!
Beyond York’s TikTok success, the pandemic forced many of us to rethink, adapt, adopt and experiment with technology. The use of technology in ministry contexts presents new opportunities and raises real, fair and important questions.The use of technology in ministry contexts presents new opportunities and raises real, fair and important questions. Click To Tweet
In our context of developing Jesus-centered leaders through the Arrow Leadership Program™, we quickly pivoted to virtual classes and programming during the pandemic. Here are three lessons we have been learning:
1. God Can and Does Work Powerfully Through Technology
During the pandemic we provided a virtual version of the Arrow Leadership Program™ and soon discovered that God can work powerfully through technology.
To measure effectiveness of the virtual stream, we carefully monitored participant evaluations throughout the program. We also conducted pre and post-program evaluations to measure life transformation. We learned that across 3 categories, 11 objectives and 49 specific outcomes, there was significant positive impact and transformation.
Whether high tech or low tech, monitoring and measuring effectiveness is mission critical, leading to good stewardship and opportunity for strategic learning.Whether high tech or low tech, monitoring and measuring effectiveness is mission critical, leading to good stewardship and opportunity for strategic learning. Click To Tweet
2. Transformational Community Is Possible Online
Creating “safe but not soft” community is central to Arrow’s development process for leaders to be supported in what is going on in their hearts, minds and leadership.
As we moved to provide a virtual Arrow Leadership Program™, we prioritized the multiple layers of community leaders need for keeping connected. That’s why one-on-one monthly meetings with a coach, regular connections in a small group and creative interaction with the larger class and team has continued to be integral to our virtual Arrow Leadership Program™.
Whether online or in person, people long for and need transformational community to see deep and lasting change.Whether online or in person, people long for and need transformational community to see deep and lasting change. Click To Tweet
3. Some Leaders Thrive in Online Programs
We found that the virtual Arrow Leadership Program™ is a game changer for many leaders. Leaders who have great difficulty being away from home or traveling for a week at a time can easily participate. Other leaders just can’t afford the added costs of travel and on-site accommodations. Barriers for international leaders facing visa restrictions, high costs and time obstacles are overcome. As well, some leaders really excel with online learning and community!
We understand virtual isn’t for everyone, but we’re glad we can offer a highly effective virtual program.
Though we anticipate in-person programs will continue to be our primary vehicle for developing Jesus-centered leaders, we can’t ignore how virtual can be a game changer for certain leaders.
To wrap it up, we need to be mindful because technology has its dangers. But we can keep pointing people to Jesus as we rely on the Holy Spirit and foster real community in the virtual space. And we need to look for and measure the fruit.We can keep pointing people to Jesus as we rely on the Holy Spirit and foster real community in the virtual space. Click To Tweet
Whatever way you are doing it, if you are innovating, experimenting, failing, learning and persevering to point more people to Jesus, thank you!
And don’t forget to send me your TikTok handle so I can follow you!
Cheering you on!
Dr. Steve A. Brown
President, Arrow Leadership