On the weekend of 2nd October Christians with a passion for digital technology are going to gather in 14 cities* on 5** continents for the first ever global Code for the Kingdom hackathon.
I’m part of the Kingdom Code team organising the London event, we’ve got a great venue (the Westminster Impact Hub) and we’re hoping for a good turn out of both professionals and enthusiasts. With just over 4 weeks to go the anticipation is rising (have you got your ticket yet?).
The team in the USA have already secured world-class virtual mentors and this week announced the six sponsored global challenges (#wearables, #purity, #minorityChristians, #games, #virtualreality, #generosity) for people to aim at.
We’ve also come up with some challenges of our own for London: #Christmas, #spiritualdisciplines and #community.
We’re eager to see what London makes of all nine challenges but personally I’m particularly excited about the #community challenge.
We all know that we’re living through an incredible period of technological advance. The digital revolution has completely transformed the way in which we not only stay in touch with our family and friends but also in how we forge, and maintain, connections with (former) strangers.
And of course that has implications for the way that we do community as Christians – whether that’s within our churches or not. A lot of these things might be well served by effective websites and existing tools but there could be some untapped potential out there and so we’re challenging the London teams to give some thought to serving the different communities we’re part of as individuals and churches.
- Community in our churches
Maybe your home groups get everything they need from WhatsApp, and maybe the social calendar is entirely deal with by Facebook. But maybe there are better ways of doing those things that haven’t been thought of yet. And how good are we at facilitating community for those who can’t get to church for whatever reason?
- Community in our neighbourhoods…with other churches
We know church can be quite tribal. In Croydon alone there are at least 129 on the Croydon Churches Forum website (and I’ve been to one that’s not even on that list). Can digital technology help the individual bits of the Body support, encourage and resource one another?
- Community in our neighbourhoods…outside the Christian bubble
If we do church in non-geographic ways then it’s possible to end up disconnected from the people we live next door to and ignorant to the needs of our local community. The Church Urban Fund’s Poverty look-up is a powerful way of understanding the needs of a particularly community but maybe you’ve got an idea for something to help churches and individuals avoid drive-by evangelism and instead respond more appropriately to the needs of the places we live.
- Community in the buildings where we work
Lots of us work in buildings shared by different companies. Unless you’re working for a Christian organisation there will be no formal element of faith in the workplace, over the weekend can someone build something that helps individual Christians connect with each other?
- Community globally.
The Code for the Kingdom weekend is a worldwide event and that means we could end up with teams that include people from several different countries. Maybe one of those teams will work on something that connects churches across geographic and cultural boundaries; or maybe another will think about how sending communities can stay in touch with their partners around the world. That’s just two ideas but how might your team explore what it means, as Christians, to belong to a worldwide community of billions?
If there’s anything in that (or the other challenges) that resonates with you then you know what to do: clear the weekend of 2nd October, buy a ticket, propose your idea on Indigitous and then come along to pitch it at the Westminster Impact Hub. See you there!
* Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Albuquerque, USA; Atlanta, USA; Bengaluru, India; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Houston, USA; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kansas City, USA; London, UK; Los Angeles, USA; Nairobi, Kenya; Raleigh, USA; Seattle, USA; and Waterloo, Canada
** I’m not sure which continent Indonesia identifies with but I went with Asia.