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The Ever-Present Digital Space and Spiritual Growth

Thursday, 27 June 2024  | Edgar U. Chan

In today's world, the digital space is omnipresent – from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. With activities such as checking on our phones, using smartwatches for workouts or using computers for work, these devices are seamlessly woven into our daily lives.

Moreover, digital media undeniably facilitates various aspects of our lives, including shopping, entertainment, information access and even work. But can it also facilitate spiritual growth? While there are concerning statistics about screen time, particularly on social media, with studies highlighting negative effects on relationships, fostering virtual vices, and even impacting brain function (Jean Francesco A. L. Gomes, ‘On Christian Engagement with Digital Technologies: A Reformed Perspective’, Unio cum Christo 7, no. 1, 2021: 44), these devices are a part of our reality.

Because people are undeniably shaped by the content they consume online, the crucial task for churches and organisations aiming to make a positive digital impact becomes how to create and make high-quality Christian content readily available. This content should help people grow as disciples of Christ and navigate their lives faithfully. Thus, the church needs to remain relevant. Reaching out to and meeting people where they are, fostering a community of brothers and sisters in Christ, is paramount. This is precisely why establishing a strong digital presence is crucial.

Here, I will offer practical tools you can leverage for spiritual growth using digital media. These tools are readily accessible and have the potential to significantly transform your digital experience, fostering a deeper connection with your faith.

Online Church Services: Connecting From Anywhere

The COVID-19 pandemic forced churches to adapt, and livestreaming services became a lifeline for many. It offered a way for congregations to stay connected and to continue to have fellowship despite physical limitations. This is a powerful example of how the digital space can enhance the way churches minister to their communities.

Even after restrictions eased, many Australian churches continue to offer livestreamed services. This caters to a diverse audience with various needs. For some, like the elderly with mobility limitations, livestreaming allows them to participate in worship from home. Others, new to Christianity, can explore church services in a comfortable, low-pressure environment. Additionally, those who may have had negative experiences at church in the past can stay connected.

While online gatherings can’t replace the richness of in-person fellowship, they provide a vital solution for those who can't be there physically. Setting up a livestream is also surprisingly easy, with platforms like Facebook and YouTube offering user-friendly interfaces.

Here's a quick guide to getting started:

Facebook Live:

Open the Facebook app and navigate to the page, group, or event where you want to stream. Tap the ‘Live’ button and add a description for viewers. Start your live video and tap ‘Finish’ when the service is over.

YouTube Live

Sign in to YouTube on your computer, click ‘Create’ and then ‘Go live’. Verify your channel if you haven't already (may take up to 24 hours). Once verified, you can start livestreaming instantly.

These simple steps make it easy for churches to embrace technology and ensure everyone has the opportunity to connect with their faith community, regardless of location.

Bible Apps: A Guide for Deeper Study

Mobile apps have revolutionised Bible study, making scripture accessible and engaging for everyone. With a smartphone in hand, you can explore a diverse range of apps designed to meet various needs, from simply reading the Bible to delving into deeper study. Many free apps offer a wealth of features for reading the Bible. Here are a few popular options:

Bible by Life.Church

The Bible app boasts a vast library of translations in multiple languages. Easily switch between versions, highlight verses, take notes and compare translations for a richer understanding of the text. This app also offers an audio Bible.

The Bible app stands out as an all-in-one app for anyone seeking a versatile Bible study companion. It boasts a vast collection of translations in multiple languages, allowing you to easily switch between versions and deepen your understanding of the text. Highlighting and note-taking features make it easy to mark important passages for future reference. You can even share your insights or compare different translations with just a few taps.

While this app offers an audio Bible, the narration might feel a bit monotonous. But fear not, the next app we'll explore excels in the realm of audio Bible experiences!


If you prefer listening to the Bible, Bible.is is a fantastic option. It goes beyond simple narration by offering dramatised readings that bring the text to life, making it engaging and easy to follow. You can control the playback speed, set a sleep timer for bedtime listening or even choose video dramatisation to enjoy visuals alongside the audio.

The app caters to diverse preferences by offering the Bible in various translations and languages. This makes Bible.is a perfect companion forhands-free Bible exploration, whether you're driving, walking or relaxing in bed.

Read Scripture

For those seeking a more in-depth study experience, this app guides you through thematic Bible readings, incorporating contextual videos from the Bible Project. Each reading plan includes a video explanation, followed by the corresponding scripture passage and a psalm. Read Scripture is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to gain deeper insights without extensive theological background.

Literal Word

This app caters to those who enjoy word studies. It offers a minimalistic design, and with a simple tap you can access definitions for words in their original Hebrew and Greek lexicon. Literal Word also includes a powerful concordance search, making it a great tool for serious Bible study and in-depth analysis.


This minimalist app offers a focused study environment with ESV, WEB English, Hebrew and Greek translations. Tap on any word to access its definition, take notes and even analyse the syntax of the original text. Accordance is ideal for preparing for Bible studies or crafting sermons, but requires some knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to fully utilise its features.

Remember, these are just a few examples of the many excellent Bible apps available. Explore these options and find the ones that best suit your learning style and spiritual goals!

Deepen Your Faith with Daily Devotionals

Devotional apps offer a convenient way to incorporate prayer and reflection into your daily routine. These apps provide short, guided meditations or readings, perfect for those seeking a quiet time in the morning or before bed. Here are a few popular devotional apps to consider:

Our Daily Bread

This app delivers a digestible 3-minute devotional each morning, perfect for starting your day grounded in scripture. You can choose between reading or listening to the devotional, and there's even an evening meditation feature to help you unwind before sleep.

Lectio 360

For those seeking a more focused meditation experience, Lectio 360 offers guided morning and evening meditations around 10 minutes long. The app follows a ‘Pray’ (Pause, Reflect, Ask, Yield) approach, helping you engage actively with scripture.

Bible by Life.Church

The Bible by Life.Church app offers another excellent devotional option. Their ‘Daily Verse’ feature provides a scripture verse for reflection, followed by a video reflection. You can then spend some quiet time in prayer. Additionally, the app boasts a vast library of devotional plans on various topics like leadership, work, prayer, and fasting. This makes it a great resource for tailored devotional experiences based on your specific needs.

Unveiling Faith Through Podcasts

In today's digital age, podcasts have become a powerful tool for spiritual exploration. They offer a convenient and engaging way to delve deeper into various Christian topics, fostering growth and enriching your faith journey. With a vast array of podcasts available, you can find content that caters to your interests, preferred length and preferred format. Here are three exceptional podcasts to jumpstart your podcast exploration:

Out of the Margins

Seeking fresh perspectives on Christianity? Look no further than ‘Out of the Margins’, a podcast by Langham Partnership. This podcast features insightful conversations with scholars from the Majority World (countries outside the traditionally Western Christian sphere).

Across Season One, they tackle diverse topics like contextualisation (applying faith to specific cultures), reverse mission (learning from the global church) and spiritual warfare. By listening to these diverse voices, you gain a broader understanding of Christianity and its impact worldwide.

Lausanne Movement

The Lausanne Movement Podcast focuses on a singular, crucial goal: accelerating global missions. Each episode features guests discussing various aspects of spreading the Gospel message around the world. Whether you're actively involved in global missions or simply want to stay informed, this podcast provides a valuable perspective on the ‘Great Commission’ and the ongoing efforts to fulfil it.

The Bible Project

Have you ever struggled to understand certain passages in the Bible? Then ‘The Bible Project’ podcast is your perfect companion. This engaging podcast, hosted by Tim Mackie and Jon Collins, tackles various books of the Bible while exploring key themes and concepts. Their clear explanations and engaging format make it easy to learn and gain deeper insights into scripture, all while you're commuting, exercising or simply relaxing.

Companions on Your Spiritual Journey

The resources explored in this blog just scratch the surface of the incredible potential digital tools hold for fostering Christian growth. From live-streamed church services to in-depth Bible study apps, these advancements empower us to connect with our faith on a deeper level, anytime and anywhere. Whether you crave a quiet devotional moment with ‘Our Daily Bread’ or seek intellectual stimulation with ‘The Bible Project’, there's a digital resource perfectly suited to your needs and preferences.

This digital landscape also fosters a sense of global community. Podcasts like ‘Out of the Margins’ allow us to learn from diverse Christian voices worldwide, broadening our perspectives and enriching our understanding of the faith.

So, as you explore these options, remember these are just tools. Dedicating time to invest in spiritual growth will allow to draw near God and be empower by the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-centred life. So, explore these options and allow these tools to be your companions on your spiritual journey.


Edgar U. Chan is the Engagement coordinator at Langham Partnership and the Online Pastor at CityLife Church. He is the co-host of the ‘Out of The Margins’ podcast. He and his wife, Kamwende, live in Melbourne Australia.

Image credits: Edgar U. Chan.


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