Digital Discipleship: A New Paradigm


If ever there was a hard-to-pin-down word, discipleship would have to be it.

For some, discipleship conjures images of a megalomaniacal leader bossing around passive, sheep-like followers. Others might imagine a bearded and benevolent guru doling out nuggets of wisdom to his (or, without the beard, her) eager students.

Even in churches, where discipleship is supposed to be the backbone of their activities, Christian people often have a hard time defining the term–and a harder time explaining how it works.

One simple explanation describes a disciple as a disciplined follower, and discipleship as the training process—the learning one does through the conduit of a mutually respectful relationship to become disciplined (in a particular pursuit).

Digital Discipleship – A New Paradigm

Digital Discipleship is a useful construct when we are talking about equipping young people to use technology in a safe and healthy manner. Whether we are concerned with safety, citizenship, or health, discipline—a.k.a., self-control—is a crucial key.

Self-control cannot be gleaned from textbooks any more than it can be picked out of trees. It is nurtured and developed with attention and care. A strategy to develop self-discipline helps.

The Elements of Digital Discipleship

So what does this mystical process comprise? Whether it’s spiritual or digital discipleship, there are four main elements:

  • Modelling
  • Defining Expectations
  • Setting & Enforcing Boundaries
  • Inspiring

Just as religious discipleship raises up disciplined followers of the faith, digital discipleship trains up disciplined users of technology.

Digital Discipleship Month

Each week in November on e-Quipped, we will unpack each element of Digital Discipleship and explore the steps that parents and schools can take to maximise the possibility of training up disciplined users of technology.

Stay with us! Digital Discipleship just may revolutionise the way you approach technology use in your family.