Digital Discipleship in an Age of Disruption

Leveraging Technology to Keep People Connected and Engaged

As the first spring of a new decade began to bloom, churches around the world were faced with a similar question: how do we continue making disciples if we aren’t meeting in person?

While COVID-19 revealed the need for many churches to develop their online presence, the demand already existed. “COVID exposed where many churches should have already been,” explained Justin Tarsiuk, head of strategic partnerships at Subsplash, an all-in-one digital engagement platform for ministries.

Americans are spending more time online than ever before – regardless of age – and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down.1 Churches that leverage technology will not only be well-positioned in a growing digital landscape, but will likely be better equipped to handle unexpected disruptions.

Maintaining connection when you can’t meet in person isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

All-in-one platforms offer everything your people need to stay engaged, in one location.

  • Live streaming assists you in getting the gospel to wherever your people are.
  • Online giving helps your congregation continue giving without passing the plate.
  • Mobile apps offer an avenue to engage your community on the go.
  • Websites provide the information your people are searching for quickly and beautifully.
  • In-app messaging allows you to communicate with your entire congregation instantly.
  • Media delivery helps your people experience the good news on-demand when they need it most.

No Matter the Method, the Goal Remains

Churches today are fighting for people’s attention. Leaders need to find a way to cut through the clutter and get their discipleship message across, eliminating as many distractions as they can along the way.

Ironically, enhancing your church’s online presence can easily become a distraction of its own if you don’t have a plan. Tarsiuk clarified, “The main thing ministries miss is strategy. If a platform – like an app or website – is just another giant net to catch people in, without a specific purpose, it becomes an option. And people are already exhausted by too many options.”

Ministries looking to improve their digital reach can quickly become overwhelmed by the number of tools available to them. Online giving platforms, streaming services, social media accounts, websites, and apps are wonderful tools, but in the end they are only that – tools to carry the mission forward. What matters is that your church is using those tools to guide people through the discipleship journey.

Worth the Investment

Entry into the digital landscape doesn’t have to be expensive. Many platforms are free to use. However, while these platforms may not have fees attached, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re really paying to use them, and if they’re secure.

As Tarsiuk pointed out, “While most social media platforms are free to use, you give them the rights to your content when you upload.”

Additionally, when you post content to platforms like these, you lose control over the distractions that might accompany your message, including ads or suggested content that might not align with your ministry’s values.

While all-in-one digital platforms may have fees up front, they empower you to manage your message and eliminate obstacles by bringing all the tools you need to engage your community together in one space. This helps keep your congregation focused on the message and not the milieu, and it pays dividends. For instance, Subsplash claims its clients could see a 10% increase in giving and a 50% increase in media plays when they switch to the all-in-one service.2

Not to mention, all-in-one platforms often offer enhanced security, considering your information is stored in one place, rather than various, unlinked locations. Whether you choose a free or paid service, make sure to research their data security measures, including how they’ll use your data.

Staying Connected and Engaged

Technology can be a valuable tool for ministries seeking to keep their people connected and engaged during times of both disruption and normalcy. With the average American spending as much as 12 hours per day in front of a screen,3 ministries will continue to be confronted by the growing need to engage people where they are. In the end, what matters is that the mission is being carried forward and disciples are being made, no matter the tool.




  2. Data pulled from Subsplash’s home page –


Posted December 11, 2020