How we connect online during the week
The internet has come and revolutionised so many aspects of our world. As a millennial, I’m one of the first people to have grown up with the internet. I can remember dialing-up for the first time and setting up my Facebook account in 2007.
Where would we be today, without the ease of connection that the internet has given us through 2020 and 2021? Whether that’s Facebook, YouTube, or apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom.
Since setting up my Facebook account 15 years ago, the platform has changed more than a little, and what was once cutting edge is now old hat. We’re now seeing the second generation of young people to grow up on the internet – Gen Z – reacting and rejecting the platforms of their parents. Facebook seems unappealing to them. It’s the place where their parents and grandparents hang out.
A quick anecdotal survey around our 6pm service found around 95% of Young Adults and 80% of Youth had an account on Discord.
Many of you parents are probably already aware of Discord. It’s gained huge popularity among the gaming community online and has entered the mainstream with those under 30.
For the uninitiated, Discord is a social networking tool but with some key differences to Facebook. It’s based around chronological text chats, not algorithmic newsfeeds. If you’ve used platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack, you’d find your way around Discord with ease.
Discord is set up with ‘servers’, where each community or group has a unique server. Servers then have channels, with both text and voice chat options. There are heaps of moderation features, including private channels, limiting the use of links, images and videos, categorizing users and muting certain words, among more. Importantly, Discord includes many features that allow its servers to be well setup for child safety purposes.
So – and you might have already put this together – we’ve launched a St John’s Discord server!
We’re still in the early days of this new platform, but as we grow the community there, we hope that it’ll be a place for our youth and young adults (and anyone else who’s comfortable with Discord) to get to know Jesus better and encourage each other.
In the short term, you can join the Discord here. We’d love to encourage people to start sharing prayer requests in the Prayer channel and pray for others.
Moving forward, we’ve got plans including regular prayer meetings, social activities, and sharing bible reading plans together.
Ultimately, we hope that Discord can be a tool to help us all get to know Jesus better during the week, utilizing a space where many of our young people are already gathering, and sharing and encouraging each other as the body of Christ.
As followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to go to the nations to make disciples. Online, that often looks like going into new platforms that we might not fully understand as week see to offer the light and the good news of Jesus. Discord marks the next step in our online ministry at St John’s and is hopefully one that God uses, growing it into a fruitful, sustainable ministry.
St John’s Diamond Creek