Where's all the paper gone?

I've got a confession to make… I don't think I actually read any of the books on my university reading list. At least not in 'physical book' form anyway. A required citation was just a PDF or eBook away. Paper hand-ins all but vanished, except from the printed dissertation) and my end of year results didn't come by post but came via email or SMS.

University is changing.

University is changing because the world is changing. Data is easy to come-by and trivial to share and pass around. The reduced reliance on paper isn't just a university thing; we get our news via an app, wedding invitations by email.

And of course the church hasn't escaped either, hymn books have become projectors, news-sheets are now emails or Facebook posts.

But is that where it has to stop in the Christian world? We simply replace paper for a screen and call it quits? We put our leather-back bible in app-form, and our prayer list is replaced with a database. These things are useful, but hasn't technology proven to be more than that?


Last October, one of the winning teams at Kingdom Code: BUILD, a weekend challenge for developers, designers and entrepreneurs made BibleChat. It's a skill for Amazon Echo, rather than asking Alexa to read a verse, you ask what the Bible says about euthanasia or the meaning of life or being angry or love… It will speak a short answer with a relevant bible-verse.

You don't need to know anything about the paper bible to use it, to find an answer, to find hope, to find gospel truth.

How can you be a digital missionary?

This year the Fusion Student Mission Awards have a category for digital mission. How can you live for Jesus in the online space? How can you be a digital missionary?

There are tools to help, but what if there is a tool in your head waiting to be made? A digital idea that could transform campus or share the gospel with someone who wouldn't have access another way? What could you and a team build in 48 hours?

Kingdom Code: BUILD is happening on the 20th to 22nd October in London. It's a weekend to learn, experiment and test digital ideas which can have a Kingdom impact. If you're a developer or digital designer this is a great opportunity to grow your skill-set, meet others working in that world and use your skill-set to push forward the great commission in the digital space.

Find out more at www.kingdomcode.uk/build.

Oh and for you lovers of a good bargain, get in touch for a cheeky student discount.

James Doc

James works for The Globe Church on the Southbank of London as a Digital Ministry Developer. He works to see how Church ministry can be impacted by digital tools.