Wi-Fi as Ministry | Part 1
Wi-Fi as Outreach
An Illustrative Story
A ministry recently asked eDOT to suggest Wi-Fi devices and evangelistic content their ministry could use for outreach. This ministry sponsors large outreach events that attract thousands of people at a time. The ministry would like to offer digital evangelistic material to the people waiting for the event.
At the same time, this ministry also has individual workers in many countries seeking to take advantage of the many digital devices already present in the cultures where they serve as a means to sharing the Gospel. These workers would be looking to share content with the people they are personally discipling.
How would you respond? How would a ministry use technology to present digital evangelistic resources to thousands of people simultaneously at a single event and also use technology to reach individuals in a more personal discipleship setting?
The answer is most likely that a single strategy will not be able to meet the demands of these opportunities. Most likely, the ministry will need to consider two separate strategies and two sets of devices. What forms the basis of such a consideration? This article series will consider how decisions about using Wi-Fi as Outreach can be made.
What does “Wi-Fi as Outreach” Mean?
The phrase “Wi-Fi as Outreach” may provoke questions such as:
- What does that mean?
- Why would Wi-Fi as Outreach be necessary?
- How could Wi-Fi be used as outreach?
When we use this phrase, eDOT means the use of portable wireless networks for evangelism or discipleship. Before dismissing this thought or considering this irrelevant, let’s explore some ways that WiFi might be used to spread the Gospel and to equip believers to train others.
In this article series, we will refer to “local Wi-Fi,” or “Wi-Fi hotspots” to indicate a Wi-Fi signal that is local, portable and temporary. An end-user connected to this type of Wi-Fi hotspot is connected only to a local repository of content, not the Internet. This Wi-Fi hotspot may be easily and quickly relocated as needed and filled with custom content as desired to suit the needs of the person or ministry.
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 The intent of these articles is not to consider the use of Wi-Fi in ministry (i.e., in the ministry workplace); but to consider Wi-Fi as a ministry tool. Especially in the Western World, we are immersed in an Internet culture. The Internet is available at home, at the office, at school, in the park, at the coffee shop, at the mall; the Internet is available most everywhere we happen to be. Yet we overlook the potential of Wi-Fi to be a tool for ministry. This article series explores how a ministry or individual may use the tools of Wi-Fi to create outreach and discipleship opportunities.
 In Western cultures with universal wireless coverage, the idea of using Wi-Fi as an outreach may seem an unnecessary or irrelevant concept. The goal of this article is not to argue the use of Wi-Fi in areas of universal wireless coverage, although the concept may be useful even in such contexts. The intended target audiences have either limited wireless coverage or the need for concealment.