One of our most innovative ways of ministering to the international students is through our media online church. During the early years of this ministry, we saw many young people give their lives to the Lord only to return to their own countries without the intensive discipleship and encouragement that they needed. Despite our best efforts to stay in touch with them one-on-one, we still did not have a strategic plan to continue the discipleship process. After asking the Lord for wisdom about how to best disciple the students after they returned home, we began to consider the many technological communication methods and devices available worldwide. Of all the different modes of social networking, Skype was clearly the most versatile for our growing, global church family.
We initiated the media church in 2010, but in the last two years it has really taken hold since we introduced the concept to the Asian students. Committed young people from China and Russia have been meeting together through Skype conference calls for worship every Saturday night at 11:00 PM. This allows the students to meet together for Sunday morning worship based on their own time zone. It also provides a church for Christian students which may not have access or permission to meet for worship. In our online services, we pray, study the Bible and worship the Lord together. This media church facilitates our ongoing relationships, solidifies our unity as believers, and enables us to help mature these young Christians so that one day they will go and make disciples too.