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Becoming a "Digital Disciples"

Bishop Joseph Walker discusses how he reaches the masses through social media, and how he grew his church from 175 to over 30,000 members. Read Transcript


- Well King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes

there's a time and season for everything.

And the rise in technologyand social media

over the past decade hasn'tchanged the word of God

but it has pastors allover the world considering

how to best use socialmedia to share the gospel.

Bishop Joseph Walker the Thirdhas been on the cutting edge

and is seeing the fruit of his labor.

- [Narrator] Five yearsago Bishop Joseph Walker

started using out of the box strategies

like digital media to helphis congregation grow.

Today he's known asthe social media pastor

with 33,000 church members

and more than 200,000people watching him online.

1/3 of his church's support comes

from these digital disciples.

In his book No Opportunity Wasted,

Bishop Walker shares howhe's taking advantage

of key opportunities.

- Now is the time you'vegot to embrace your season.

- [Narrator] And why timing is everything

in what he calls the season of now.

- Well, Bishop Walker joins us now,

welcome to 700 Club Interactive.

- Thank you, my honor to be here.

- Yeah, the book's phenomenal

and quickly I just wannahit the digital front.

You know, I think a lot of churches were

or perhaps pastors kicking and screaming

that I'm gonna have to reachpeople through social media,

digital as opposed to themjust coming in our building.

Did God give you a word toreally get on that early?

- Well, he did, you know, I think

when the scripture and kindof the great commission,

you know, going to the whole world, right?

And so now we have anopportunity to do it much quicker

and to do it easier.

And I think it's important for us

to utilize this incredible tool

that God has given tothe kingdom responsively

to be able to reach the world of Christ.

- One of the inspiringthings about your story

is there's so much fruitfrom your ministry.

Yet, you're a man who was not eager

to enter the ministry itself.- Right.

- Tell us about what God did.

- Yeah, I was on a trajectoryto go to law school.

I was an English major in college,

wanted to go to law school,

was accepted to several law schools

and the Lord called me to preach.

I said, no I went protested, like no,

and I realized that that'sactually a confirmation

that really is God becauseyou often reject it at first.

But when I moved intoit I began to realize

that's what purpose is.

- And that's a part of your book

where you just said there,

I mean, we kind of glossed over it quickly

but part of your purpose,you may fight it first,

talk about that.- Yes.

Yeah, you know, the naturalproclivity of our flesh

is to fight anything that's spiritual

and of course, everyonewanna do it our way

and the scripture says to leannot to our own understanding

and all of our ways acknowledgehim, he'll direct your path.

So, for me it was aboutgetting beyond my will

and saying God what isyour will for my life

and now I walk in purposeversus actually going to a job.

Which is completely different.

- And it may be hard forsome people to believe

that they were created to solve a problem.

- Right.

- And you're convincedthat's one of the things

for our life.

- Absolutely, we're nothere to occupy space,

we're here to be goodstewards of the space

that God has given to us.

And God has put in us, Ithink all the things necessary

to answer certain problems in the earth.

And I think if we walk in thefull manifestation of that

we begin to see results in the earth.

- When we feel we havemay have a word from God,

that God's directing us to something,

you say there are threeways we can kind of observe

or evaluate if this is trulythe Lord, what are those?

- Right, well, I think it'simportant to understand

one about the timing that word comes.

God will always send you aword at the right time, right?

It's gonna be very importantthat you receive that word

at the right time, youhave to be prepared.

God will never give youa word outside of time.

He speaks to Joshua afterMoses is dead, timing.

Also, it's important tounderstand the harmony.

Harmony's important becausewhatever God gives us,

he doesn't give to us in silo,

he gives to us to work withothers in collaboration

and make that word come to pass.

Take these people over to Jordan,

it's a group effort.

Thirdly, it's not about you.

The word God gives you is larger than you,

it's about who God isgonna bless beyond you.

And that's what I believe is confirmation

that the word comes from God.

- He's using you, he's using us.

And it's interesting too,I was struck by a statement

in your book you said, thatGod's not interested in sharing

his glory with you.

- No, no, no, no cosmic plagiarism here.

- 'Cause, that kind of goesagainst some of the things

we hear in Christendom today- Right.

in the United States.- We do, yeah.

- But what does thatmean, he's not interested

in sharing his glory?

- We often, you know, we're in this day

of branding ourselves and allof this stuff but I think,

you know, that has it's place

but I think it's importantto understand that

we have to realize thatGod has to get the glory

out of all that we do.

We divest ourselves, moveourselves out of the equation.

One moment I have for God,but things are going well,

and I stood in the sanctuary and you know,

the church was growing, asa young preacher I said,

God, we're doing this right?

And God said you'reinsignificant to the process.

(laughs)

This is for my glory.

- [Interviewer] Right,that you are insignificant.

- [Joseph] I'm insignificantto the process.

- [Interviewer] How did you take that?

- I, that God could do it without me.

He was just privilegingme to allow me to do it.

And I realized at that momenthumility is the way to God.

- Now we may feel we have a word from God,

we're gonna be obedient and walk in it

and have courage to do so,

yet we come againstobstacles and challenges

and then maybe we say,

Lord this might not have been from you?

- Yeah.

I love your football analogy.- Yeah.

- Talk about that.

- Yeah, so, you know, on a football team

when the wide receiver lines up,

there's a play called thetiming pattern, he's running.

The defense knows this playbecause the defense knows

that if he gets thisball he's gonna score.

So, the defensive back gives him a hit

at the line of scrimmageto discourage him.

If he's a good receiver,he absorbs that hit,

he runs down the field 15yards, cuts across seven yards.

The ball is in the air,

the quarterback is notthrowing it to the receiver,

he's throwing it to a spot.

The receiver has to get to that spot,

regardless of the opposition.

And God says if you can get to that spot,

to that place in theearth that I have you,

you're gonna be hit but youhave to absorb that hit.

It's all apart of it, to get to that spot,

what in the least in the atmosphere,

he'll meet you in that spot.

- Yeah, what successful widereceiver's gonna stop running

after the hit?

- Exactly and I think that'swhat makes great receivers,

great receivers.

- How do you personally avoid burn out,

has that been a challenge for you in?

- You know, it has and I thinkit's about intentionality,

it's about collaboration, it'sabout really understanding

how to build a team, I think.

You know, when God tellsMoses to go and tell Pharaoh

let my people go, theillustration there is,

he told them out of abush that was on fire

and the fire did not consume it.

And God would say have a burning for it

but don't let it burn you out.

Whenever, you stay in the purpose of God,

you will never burn out.

It's when you do things thatare not in God's purpose.

If it's not in God's purpose,

it shouldn't be on your schedule.

- Do you think the Churchtoday in the United States

is there a cynicism towardthe younger generation?

- Yeah.

- Of the quote, "millennials."

I mean, you've done agreat job reaching them

through digital media.

What should peopleunderstand about that Joe?

- Should understand, one,that millennials, you know,

they do love God, they maynot love our traditions.

They may not love ourthings that we hold sacred

but they do love God.

Millennials are relationship oriented,

millennials are cause oriented

and millennials really,really are aesthetic.

They want truth, relationshipand they want causes.

When you focus on those things

and not yourself and noton building, a building

or building, you know, a denomination

but you're gonna buildingdisciples of Christ

that's what draws millennials.

And that they're creative,they have so much to offer,

if given the right space to do it.

- Yeah, it's a tremendous book,

I thank you for joining us today.

- Thank you so much for having me.

- Encourage you to get it, it's called

No Wasted Opportunity,the Art of Execution.

It's available now wherever books are sold

and I really encourage you to pick it up,

very inspirational.

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