Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Digital Discipleship

Digital Disciples-2

I often wonder – after all the workshops, articles, mentoring that I’ve done over the years – how have I (and others) inspired catechists to be Digital Disciples? As I reflected on this question, I thought – INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS has the means to draw folks together to share their stories and to interact with the audience who joins them to share their stories. We do not need to get on a plane, train, or automobile to travel anywhere. We can network and connect with one another, regardless of where we live, with digital tools.

In addition, since the founding of Digital Catechesis in 2011, we have grown to over 900+ members. Some members are very active and some are on the sidelines. It would be my hope that the family of Digital Disciples are growing within this group. And what it means to be a Digital Disciple will have a unique meaning for each person.

For some, they will be the parish webmaster, developing the parish website. For others, they will be catechists and teachers with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults who are stepping into the digital world utilizing the digital methodology that now surrounds us in our everyday lives.

As we adapt to this ever evolving digital world, we will be innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards! Even the medical field uses this language. In a recent article that I read about medical clinicians, I love the line “Groups of clinicians change slowly, even when a change is obviously the best course of action. The Technology Adoption Curve, models the time required to achieve group buy-in for a technology, whether it’s a stethoscope or an EMR.” We can say the same about catechists and others involved in ministry.

I am an innovator! I am infatuated with technology. I try things before training is available. I am habitually drawn to new technologies (and invite others to join me) to build on them and apply to faith formation in new ways. I trust that I am nurturing the early adapters so that they will step into this digital world and despite feeling any fear they may have, they will be creative and productive.
And my curiosity has inspired me to invite these early adapters to share their story. How? Through “Show ‘N Tell,” a webinar style of sharing our stories with one another in the hopes of creating a network of stories that demonstrate how new tools can be used to share our faith stories with one another.

I was delighted to have Joe Mazzeo email me with his request to share what he is doing with his pre-Confirmation students.

Joe Mazzeo

Joe Mazzeo

He is our first volunteer for a “Show ‘N Tell” webinar.

I first met Joe when I was facilitating the Digital Catechesis course offered through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation.  When I asked him – When did you first realize that technology is a tool that could be used to enhance your teaching of the faith with your pre-Confirmation students?  He said, “When I noticed students becoming bored with the book/lecture/notes method.  My students were watching videos and listening to music while I was trying to teach.  I just wasn’t connecting.  I tried a video clip from Busted Halo and the discussion just bloomed.  Then I added some online questions and people did homework.”

Joe did a wonderful job in sharing his story.  You can view the slides from his presentation below.  As soon as the video is uploaded to Vimeo, I’ll add it to this page so that you can come and listen to what Joe has shared.

If anyone is interested in sharing their story, click on the button above.  I’ll get back to you as quickly as I am able.

In the meantime, if you feel that you are or are slowly becoming a Digital Disciple, click the “Like” button.

© 2013 Cerveny.

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