Real people. Real connections. Digital spaces.
InterVarsity's Ministry in Digital Spaces (MDS) is developing leaders to reach their peers through relational ministry in digital spaces. Take a mission trip every day in places you already live. Go where students and faculty spend time, build relationships, and find community. Do relational ministry in videogames instead of dorm lounges. Engage in hashtags instead of campus quads. Follow Jesus into every corner of campus, into every digital space.
InterVarsity's campus ministry is not yet reaching every corner of every campus.
Even though InterVarsity/USA has more students, faculty, chapters, and conversions than ever before, the vast majority of college students and faculty (over 90%) are not part of a Jesus-centered spiritual community on their campus. They just aren't showing up to the meetings and programs already offered on campus by InterVarsity and other Christian organizations.
On the other hand, there is an unprecedented access to nearly all college students, since 20 million are online, connected to the world through the Web, mobile devices, and wearable technologies. Over 90% are on social media, over 85% own smartphones, and over 80% play videogames and mobile games.
Our mission is to join students and faculty where they already are—in digital spaces.
Through Ministry in Digital Spaces, we go to them to join existing communities and enter current conversations. We extend InterVarsity's existing posture of ministry into digital spaces to impact the students and faculty who are never going to come to us. We pursue this calling by discerning and actively participating in what God is already doing in digital spaces. In this way, previously unreached students and faculty will be transformed by encountering Jesus. They will get connected to InterVarsity chapters in physical spaces, and previously inaccessible corners of campuses will be renewed.
InterVarsity is all about planting and growing new ministries; MDS is about intentionally scattering seeds of the gospel in digital spaces. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a giant plant that envelopes your garden and your neighbor’s yard (Mark 4:30-32). Jesus seemed to endorse a strategy of wildly scattering seeds everywhere, and then waiting to see how different types of soil received those seeds (Mark 4:3-8).
MDS will embrace this example, like a digital dandelion growing in a wasteland. It starts small and innocuous, but sends seeds everywhere to fill bare patches, like God’s promise to Israel that wastelands will become pastures in Jeremiah 33:10-13.