What the Hell is a Digital Minister? (HINT – it might be YOU)

In CPR Connects by Jim KeatLeave a Comment

by: Rev. Jim Keat

“What the Hell is a Digital Minister?!”

This was a common response from colleagues and congregants in the summer of 2019.

We had just made a shift to my role at The Riverside Church, moving from leading our Communications team to focusing on the ways we care for and cultivate our online congregation. It would be an experiment, something to try for a year and re-evaluate because Riverside had never had a Digital Minister before. (And really, at that point not many other churches had either.)

Fast forward one year.

“Oh thank God we have a Digital Minister!”

A pandemic pushed us all into the digital deep end, making every minister a Digital Minister. And suddenly my role went from being novel to essential.

Fast forward to today, nearly four years after the pandemic left its imprint on our lives and society. All churches have returned to some sense of “the way things used to be.” Only nothing can ever fully return to the way things used to be. The internet has gone from being a novel idea to an essential aspect of what it means to engage people in our world. And this means that it is essential for churches to continue to take these digital spaces seriously.

I want you to take digital ministry seriously. Only I don’t want you to do it alone.

Rev. Jim Keat

Convergence is not the only one asking questions and offering resources about how to do digital ministry. But we believe that we are doing it in a unique way: broadly ecumenical, immensely practical, and particularly mainline. My work at The Riverside Church has given me a sandbox to play in during these past four years (and longer!), trying out ideas for digital ministry, online worship, and more with real-life congregants and a weekly Sunday morning worship service.

And so here’s where we get super practical: I want you to take digital ministry seriously. Only I don’t want you to do it alone.

We are launching Digital Ministry Cohorts that will empower and equip you to take your digital ministry to the next level, offering feedback, sharing ideas, and joining me and other faith leaders as we learn from our very recent past and the ways it will continue to impact our very recent future.

Think this isn’t for you? Not feeling like you have Digital Ministry Fellow potential? This is why you’re wrong:

  • Learning how to be a Digital Minister is vital for the future of the Church;
  • The cohort will be diverse – some who already understand the digital ministry needs of their community and others who are still trying to figure it out;
  • Having cohort partners will help your idea bank and motivation;
  • Having access to the extensive Convergence resource library is invaluable;
  • Seminary was great, but this cohort offers some essentials they probably left out;
  • If you have a cellphone, send an email, or watch videos online then you already are a Digital Minister;
  • Digital Ministry is Ministry. Period.

Visit https://convergenceus.org/digital-ministry-fellows/ to learn more and sign up today. Our next cohort will begin this spring and meet twice a month for six months. I hope you will join us and so many others as we follow God’s invitation to be present with people where they are now and where they might be tomorrow.

Leave a Comment