The Life-Changing Power of Digital Discipleship with David Burke of LifeLine TMU
“A beautiful audio Bible like Dwell could change someone’s life if that becomes a part of their daily rhythm.”— David Burke, LifeLine TMU Lead Pastor
We recently sat down with David Burke, Pastor of LifeLine TMU in Toronto, Ontario, to discuss how he’s used Dwell to strengthen the church’s discipleship.
If you’d like, you can watch our full conversation here or read a summary of it below:
Ministering in a 48,000-student university presents unique challenges and opportunities for David Burke and LifeLine TMU. Like many churches, LifeLine finds itself in a context that has grown increasingly disenchanted (and at times, intolerant) of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As David considered how to help his students navigate their secular context, he took a serious look at the role of digital tools for discipleship and came to this conclusion:
“I think digital is not just a means to ministry, but it is ministry in and of itself…If digital is where people are gathering, that’s where Jesus would be.”
THE DWELL SOLUTION
With that in mind, David decided to give his students a digital tool that made it easy to consume God’s Word. He registered for a Dwell Church Plan in April 2022 and onboarded his leadership team the very same day. A few days later, his students began to join the account.
As a longtime Dwell listener, David had come to love how Dwell helped him consume larger chunks of Scripture and encouraged his students to do the same.
“One of the things that I love about Dwell is that it comes to us in auditory narrative form in these beautiful, well-spoken voices which makes it easier for students to digest a larger chunk…They can digest a verse in its larger context to understand how that story fits into the larger story. Every time that we get students into our Dwell subscription it’s really cool to hear them talk about how it is very different than any other Bible experience that they’ve had before.”
Of course, not everyone is ready to jump into large chunks of Scripture. For these students, David leverages the curated passages, playlists, and plans already available in Dwell to help other students engage relevant Scriptures for their season in life.
“Generally a student is looking for a clearly-defined plan or playlist [when they start with Dwell]. So we’ll recommend a plan or playlist for a particular season of life or a particular emotion so that they can jump into a particular part of the overall Scripture narrative.”
But they haven’t stopped there. David and the leadership team have built a discipleship program and use the custom content builder inside Dwell to help their students engage God’s Word together.
“We’ve also been able to create some specific plans ourselves. We’ve created a journey through the Gospel of John, a journey through the Gospel of Mark. And we’re able to break it down to a chapter a day. And then we’ve coupled those daily breakdowns with a cohort…And each day one of our student leaders will invite the students to listen to that day’s particular chapter and then share a devotional based on what God said to them through that particular book or that particular chapter of the Bible through a group chat. It’s students discipling students and it’s really beautiful to see.”
David notes that the audio medium is more popular than ever and recognizes the impact Dwell’s had on helping his students grow in their faith.
“Last year we got to baptize two students. And at the baptism, one of those particular students shared their journey. Hearing them sit in the baptismal tank and talk about the transformation that God has made in their life and about where they were, where they are, and where they’re going…And it strikes me that that particular student was the last student to join our Dwell subscription. And so the role that them being able to ingest and digest God’s word and as we’ve been discipling them, just trying to encourage them to get further and deeper into God’s word and build a Scripture listening experience into their daily rhythms. I’m just really thankful for the tool that Dwell is and the role it’s playing in that particular student’s story.”
When asked what he would say to a church leader thinking about investing in Dwell for his or her church, David replied:
“If we believe that the word of God never goes forth void, then every time somebody’s hearing God’s Word, be it while they’re washing the dishes or sitting down taking notes or driving their kids to school, God is always doing something. His Spirit is always breathing and moving in those moments…A beautiful audio Bible like Dwell could change someone’s life if that becomes a part of their daily rhythm. So I would say don’t hesitate. Jump in. Try it. Watch what it can do for your community.”
Thank you, David, for your faithful work to extend God’s Kingdom and allowing us to be a part of what God’s doing in your midst.
We’re praying for you, your family, and LifeLine.
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