The digital discipleship shift & why it matters

June 21, 2023

Technology has changed the way we live, work, and interact with each other. For example, consider AI (artificial intelligence)—it’s a hot topic of conversation as people begin to embrace the potential of machine learning to automate processes, solve complex problems, and streamline productivity. 

Think about it—tech has touched every aspect of our lives in some way, including our faith and discipleship. Digital tools, online platforms, and virtual experiences are completely reshaping discipleship in churches around the world. 

Technological advancement might be slower when it comes to the virtual church and online worship. However, it’s a shift that’s gaining significant momentum as people reimagine what it means to be part of a connected church community. 

So, what does this integration of tradition and technology mean for the future of discipleship? Join us as we explore the impact of the digital shift on discipleship, the benefits it brings, and how your church can best leverage digital tools to inspire new spiritual growth.

The digital shift's impact on discipleship

The main impact of digital discipleship is the diversification of how, when, and where people choose to interact with your church’s content. People today can watch church live streams on their smart TVs, listen to a sermon or podcast during their commute, or read a Bible study on their mobile devices at any time that works best for them. 

Today’s congregations often expect to instantly connect with their churches and other individuals through online tools such as church websites, text messaging, and church apps

The move to online, mobile-first connectivity has revolutionized the way church resources are accessed, communities are built, and spiritual growth is pursued. It offers new routes for learning, connection, and engagement, but also requires careful navigation to ensure the authenticity and integrity of discipleship experiences in the digital realm.

Benefits of the going digital for church communities

The power of technology isn’t something any church leader should let pass them by. In fact, in order to retain an existing ministry and reach new audiences, blending technology and faith is now more of a necessity than ever. 

Here are three of the top ways technology is benefiting churches of all shapes and sizes.

Access to information

Being able to share and access resources digitally means congregants can tap into far more information than ever before, which is the most significant impact of the shift. Disciples are more engaged and up to speed by staying connected with gospel-centered content all week long. 

Plus, virtual worship reaches beyond physical and geographic barriers. Churches have seen the effects of their gospel messages reaching audiences around the world, not just those who can attend worship in person. 


The digital shift has expanded the possibilities for both local and global outreach too. Digital platforms can now be used to share beliefs, engage in evangelism, and promote Christian causes on a much larger scale. Social media platforms and online content creation have become powerful tools for spreading the good news, organizing campaigns, and creating enthusiasm.

Group and private messaging also provides space for people to engage in safe and meaningful discussions, share their experiences, and build real relationships with fellow Christians, regardless of where they are in the world.


By simplifying and streamlining the donation process with online giving, churches are able to encourage generosity in their congregations. People love the opportunity to schedule their tithes and offerings ahead of time with recurring giving, and even visitors can contribute thanks to Subsplash Giving’s unique guest giving feature

Best practices for incorporating technology into discipleship

Here are three simple and proven ways you can integrate technology into your church’s discipleship experience to ensure a positive influence on your ministry and members. 

1. Take measures to bridge generational gaps

One of the main challenges presented to church leaders as a result of the digital shift is the generational divide. Nothing highlights differences between older and younger people quite like technology. This is most apparent in the modern-day disciple experience, and measures need to be put in place to close this divide.

Effective ways to bridge generational gaps within a church community include:

  • Deliver church content in an inclusive way, using multiple forms of media so that nobody ever feels excluded or unable to engage. 
  • Adopt a hybrid church model to combine in-person gatherings with virtual experiences for a cohesive and flexible experience.
  • Create an online community where people feel free to congregate and able to connect with like-minded congregants from all walks of life.
  • Use giving initiatives, community events, and volunteering opportunities to empower disciples to live out their faith in practical ways. 

Read more: Practical ways to bridge the generation gap in digital discipleship

2. Demonstrate how technology can improve spiritual growth

As the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” So, rather than telling congregants why they should embrace modern technology and online worship, show them. 

When people see things like social media and group messaging in action, concerns start to dissipate, making more room for acceptance and eventually a willingness to adopt new tools and processes. This shows congregants, in a tangible way, that change can provide exciting opportunities for new ways of engaging with their ministry and church community.

3. Make it as simple as possible with the right tools

Multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, and digital discipleship materials can make your teachings more accessible, captivating, and immersive. Live streaming of church services enables people to feel connected from wherever they are. 

These are all exciting prospects for church leaders but can be daunting for those who aren’t very tech-savvy. The solution? Make church tech as easy as possible so that people aren’t deterred by technical logistics or accessibility. If possible, provide volunteers to help church members download and use your church’s mobile app, online giving, volunteer management, and other digital tools. 

Using a platform like Subsplash is the perfect way to go about this. This is your single, unified church tech solution, including custom mobile apps, online giving, church website builder, church live streaming, sermon libraries, and much more. Everything you need to create the best hybrid church experience.

Leverage the digital shift with Subsplash

Church-focused technology by Subsplash helps churches and ministries flourish by connecting people across generations and locations. This connectivity is something all church leaders today should be striving to achieve if they want to grow their ministries and spread the gospel further and deeper. 

If you’re ready to embrace technology to transform your disciple experience for the better, you’re going to need the right tools. Subsplash enables you to streamline your software and nurture a better-connected ministry, all from one simple-to-use platform.

To learn more about how to leverage the digital shift in modern discipleship and grow your church community, [.blog-contact-cta]contact our friendly team today![.blog-contact-cta]


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