More than 150 people from around New Zealand gathered at Auckland University of Technology in Manukau to attend the first Digital Discipleship Conference (DDC) in New Zealand, held from August 9 to11.
With the aim to inspire and empower churches and individuals to both be and create digital disciples, the conference brought together a community of people, from different generations, who are passionate about using technology and the digital space to share their faith.
A handful of New Zealanders felt it would be beneficial to conduct a local version of DDC after taking part in the Australian event the past few years.
“We were hoping to have 50 people engage on the weekend and we had 151 people attend over the weekend,” said Pastor Victor Kulakov, Discipleship Ministries leader for the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC), who supported the organizers. “We truly see the huge need in this kind of conference where people are inspired, equipped and empowered to be and make disciples in the digital space.”
Digital Discipleship Conference founder Rachel Lemons Aitken challenged attendees to dream big as they explored what they could start in the digital space.
“The digital discipleship movement reminds us that God has given us permission to dream,” she said, “and to use our creative and technical expertise and talents to reach people for Him.”
The theme “Story” was creatively explored throughout the weekend, with Pastor Tulaga Aiolupotea bringing graffiti to the screen and explaining how a person’s identity in graffiti tells their story. His testimony had the teens at the edge of their seat.
On Sabbath morning, Adventist Record editor Jarrod Stackelroth shared about the power of stories, as well as the opportunity Christians are presented with by a God who can reclaim broken stories and use them for His glory, even in an online space.