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EP288 - Navigating Asynchronous Community: Gabe DeWalk & The Kingstide Journey

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Connecting Faith and Technology: The Kingstide Journey and Its Digital Aspirations

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Embracing Community in the Digital Era

With our generation steeping further into the digital realm, Kingstide has pioneered an ingenious approach to fostering Christian community online. Their mission, which resounded throughout the latest episode of the podcast TCD, is as audacious as it is praiseworthy: to weave a network of believers online, and gradually guide them towards local churches, nourishing a robust digital and physical bond within the community.

Kingstide's Innovative Asynchronous Community

By leveraging platforms like Discord, Kingstide has curated an asynchronous community, enabling them to tailor experiences to various demographic needs. From introduction channels and gaming discussions to Bible talk and daily verses, the community embodies a spectrum of interactions that resonate with their audience's diversity. The transition to a dedicated mobile app seeks to enhance this experience, with groups, events, topics, podcasts, and nuanced account settings at the user's fingertips.

Volunteer Vigor and Global Impact

The operation, fueled by 90 volunteers managing a 9,000-strong fellowship, aims to scale by maintaining a ratio of 10 volunteers per 1,000 participants. This structure is instrumental in nurturing the community and maintaining an impactful presence both inside and beyond the United States, reaching individuals who lack the privilege of a nearby physical church.

Strategic Moves to an Independent Platform

Moving to an autonomous mobile app reflects Kingstide's ambition to gain greater control over the content and community engagement, stepping out of the shadows of the giant secular platform that Discord is. The choice reflects a farsighted strategy, undeterred by the challenges posed by the lack of automatic content moderation or the costs of using website builders like Wix.

Acceleration through Marketing and Engagement

Marketing initiatives and engagement funnels are at the heart of Kingstide's expansion strategy. The 'Jesus City' campaign pioneers this vision, aiming to establish a beachhead in Charleston, South Carolina, via geofenced marketing and a data-driven approach to nurturing benefactor relationships and measuring philanthropic impact.

A Vision for Legacy and Evangelism

Gabe DeWalk, a 22-year-old visionary leading Kingstide with the backing of an accountability board, has set his sights on ambitious goals for community growth, evangelism, and legacy building. The objectives stretch from increasing the podcast's reach and fostering a cohort of prayer warriors, to establishing a physical presence with event spaces and a content creation studio.

In Conclusion

As TCD's latest episode drew to a close, the themes discussed painted an inspiring picture—of a community unbound by geography, united in faith, leveraging the digital landscape to forge a legacy of connection and discipleship. Kingstide stands as a sterling example of how the confluence of technology and determination can revolutionize the way we perceive and practice community and evangelism in an increasingly digital world.

Timecode

  • 00:00 Excited about tech discoveries, upcoming online events.
  • 04:20 Gabe DeWalt leads church digital community.
  • 07:10 Gabe's transition from Seacost to digital church.
  • 13:47 Growing discord server, leveraging influencers for success.
  • 18:49 Exploring async usage for church community growth.
  • 25:25 Established legal foundation, self-reliance, created on Discord.
  • 29:45 Planned funnel structure: influencers, podcast hosts, Jesus City.
  • 30:41 "Jesus City campaign targets unreached people in Charleston."
  • 35:15 Growing steadily, reaching community through podcast, prayer.
  • 41:57 Active involvement in community, prevent complete automation.
  • 45:06 "Discord connects ministry leaders to volunteer opportunities."
  • 49:58 Discord server reaches people for Christ online.
  • 56:52 Christian influencers on social media are thriving.

ON THE SHOW

Host: Jeff Reed
Founder, The Church Digital

Guest: Gabe DeWalk
Kingstide Church, Seacoast Church


QUESTIONS & RESOURCES

  1. Info on Kingstide Discord & Mobile App - https://kingstide.org
  2. How does Kingstide manage to maintain a strong sense of Christian community in an online setting, and how does it compare with traditional church communities?
  3. In what ways has Kingstide tailored its Discord server to cater to the various demographic needs within the Christian community, and what lessons have been learned from this approach?
  4. What inspired the transition from Discord to a separate mobile app for Kingstide, and what unique features will the app offer to enhance the user experience and community engagement?
  5. What strategies does Kingstide employ to reach and disciple individuals who may be disconnected from traditional church settings?
  6. Can you discuss the three pillars of the King's Tide campaign—community, evangelism, and legacy—and how these pillars shape the platform's mission and objectives
  7. In light of the global reach of Kingstide, with 50% of its users being outside the United States, how does the platform accommodate the cultural and regional diversity of its members?
  8. What challenges and opportunities has Kingstide faced with the reliance on social media and influencers to market their platform, especially considering the demographic they are trying to engage?
  9. How does the "Jesus City" campaign specifically target cities like Charleston, South Carolina, and what potential does this type of geofenced marketing have for digital evangelism?
  10. As Kingstide looks towards the future, what scalability plans are in place to manage community growth, and how does it intend to evolve its technological infrastructure to match its expanding user base?

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Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed
THECHURCH.DIGITAL

One Year Since AltspaceVR
5 Online Ministry Insights from March 2024

About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

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