Your Invitation to the 3:16 Future.Bible Online Summit
Kenny and DJ is back for Season 2 of the Future.Bible Podcast!
This episode is a special invitation for you to join at the 3:16 Future.Bible Online Summit! Tune in to find out details on the summit, the speakers, what they are most looking forward to and more!
Kenny Jahng: Hey, friends. Welcome back. We are live with the 2020 season of the Future.Bible Podcast. A lot of you have been asking, “Where’s Kenny? Where’s Kenny?” The question I get the most is “Where’s DJ?” DJ Chuang is finally in the house. Welcome to the show, DJ.
DJ Chuang: Hey, Kenny. It’s good to reconnect. It’s been a long time.
Kenny Jahng: A long time in internet years, right? It’s almost like dog years, even though it’s only been one season, but it feels like we haven’t been around this podcasting thing for a while. But we’re back.
DJ Chuang: Yes, it’s great to be back, and a lot has happened, so we’re going to try to cram all that in. Actually, no, we’re not going to cram all that in. We’re going to give you the latest update and make a huge invitation for this thing coming up next week.
Kenny Jahng: Yeah, so we’re going to do it in style, DJ. We are kicking off the 2020 season in style. It’s March right now. We just entered March. But, DJ, why don’t you tell us… There’s a specific date in March that we are particularly interested in talking about today.
DJ Chuang: Yes. That date is March 16th because we are inspired by the most popular Bible verse in the universe, which is John 3:16. Some others would say 1 John 3:16. There’s other great 3:16’s in the Bible.
Kenny Jahng: I love 1 John 3:16.
DJ Chuang: March 16th is when we are going to go big and go global with an online event.
Kenny Jahng: We’re trying to own this date. It’s the Future.Bible Day on 3/16. We’re trying to make it an annual thing. One of the things that we’re doing is we’re marketing with a signature event to kick it off this year. We’re going to have a virtual summit, one of those online summits. Now, you probably have seen one of those, too, if you’ve been hanging around the internet for a little bit, but, DJ, why don’t you share with everybody what is an online summit for those that have never attended one before?
DJ Chuang: Well, an online summit can come in different forms and fashion. Think of it as a webinar, but it lasts all day, and you get to hear from many, many experts and innovators, church leaders and ministry leaders and technologists who are doing amazing things to shape the future of Bible engagement.
Kenny Jahng: Yes. One of the best things right now, and let’s just… We don’t need to make this the whole point of our conversation today, but in our culture, in our time right now, travel is an issue for a lot of things. We just heard South by Southwest just got canceled, right?
DJ Chuang: Yes, many conferences. I’ve seen a list of almost 200 conferences that have been canceled or delayed because of this pandemic spreading virus kind of a thing.
Kenny Jahng: Yes. COVID-19, the novel virus, coronavirus is making an impact on offline in-person events. Yeah, I really am wondering how this is changing things. One of the things I think, we try to find the silver lining in every cloud, is that for you and I, technologists and people of the internet, it is really getting people to think about meeting and having community using online channels, virtually mediated mediums just like this, to make things happen. I think that’s a good thing for a lot of people, right?
DJ Chuang: Yes, it’s a great thing. It’s a great opportunity. We are learning with each other as we connect with leaders online and offline about how technology is facilitating relationships. Statistically, for the next generation, we’re thinking about the future, we’re thinking about next generation and how we can pass along the richness of our faith and a relation with God, and for the next generation, there’s a seamless transition between offline and online relationships. I think the statistics are still trending where people are meeting online for their future spouses rather than in person.
DJ Chuang: Now in our current situation for the short term, there’s going to be a lot more online collaboration in terms of work. Colleges are closing, so there’s online education. Churches were closed in the Pacific Northwest due to a mandate from the city and the county. There was no gathering of any more than 50 in a public space, so churches are going online to continue their worship and the sharing of God’s words. It’s upon us, and we can take great advantage and lean in to that in how we communicate the Gospel and engage the Bible.
Kenny Jahng: Exactly. We didn’t plan it this way because of it, but it happens to be an opportunity that we are going to put on an event this March 16th. On 3/16, we’re going to have the first-ever Future.Bible totally online summit. That’s what we’re hosting. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Kenny Jahng: DJ, one of the things that I love about our summit that’s coming up is that, I don’t know if you counted recently, but we have over 20 speakers lined up to share their wisdom, their experience, and their approach, and their philosophies to Bible engagement and where it’s headed, so that ministry leaders all over, of all different types, can actually start to ponder and really get those creative juices flowing as to what can we do with Bible engagement using technology and innovation. DJ, have you looked at the list? What are some of the speakers on the list that you are excited about hearing from this year?
DJ Chuang: I have not looked at the list. There are so many. I thought we were going to cap it at 16, but I’m glad you lifted the lid so that we can have as many people share their perspectives and examples. It’s a great way to learn from examples rather than just talking about theory, though we have some of that.
DJ Chuang: We’ve got two that really stand out for me. There’s another guy named DJ, DJ Soto. He’s the pastor of a virtual reality church. They meet at least four times a week in virtual reality space, and they’ve experienced people coming to Jesus and getting baptized in virtual space. They have immersive Bible teaching experiences, where the Bible comes to life when you’re virtually immersed in it, and it feels like you’re experiencing the Bible at a whole new level. DJ Soto is going to be sharing some recorded experiences so that you, too, can see what it’s like to be experiencing the Bible in virtual reality.
DJ Chuang: Then another one that I’m actually a part of in a collaboration and partnership with VLB. VLB stands for Visually Linked Bible. They’re a cosponsor of the summit. Very grateful for their generosity and support. I also work with that team. They are in the early stages of developing new ways of visually linking the Bible, and one of the first projects is a game called DVG. It’s a virtual reality game of David versus Goliath, and you’ll get to see some of that.
Kenny Jahng: DVG, David versus Goliath.
DJ Chuang: Yes. You’ll literally get to wind up and throw a slingshot in VR and help to experience first person what it’s like to be David.
Kenny Jahng: I love it. I’m looking forward to hearing from Robert Rouse, one for our good friends that we’ve developed over the last several years. He is the founder of Viz.Bible, data visualization. He’s been able to collect all these open source databases and information around the Bible, connect them together, and then present it in ways that actually is pretty profound, and I think has the ability to change the way you think about the Bible, the stories that you’ve learned over the years, etc., a great resource there. He’s going to talk about some of the latest things that he’s working on beyond that project.
Kenny Jahng: For me, the other one that I think really is interesting is artificial intelligence.
We’ve got a ministry that’s using AI to help church leaders figure out what is the best mix pattern, priorities, resourcing of people in terms of discipleship. We’ve got podcasters and Instagram influencers sharing with us what is that forum, that channel, that medium; how does that differ in their experience of sharing Bible content, both Scripture itself as first source and devotional and other things, and how it’s received and how people are using that on their own personal faith walk? I think those conceptual things are things to pay attention to.
DJ Chuang: Yeah, and there’s so many others. A couple others that just came to mind, Jeff Reed is a leading expert in online churches, so he’s going to talk about discipleship and what it’s like to do spiritual formation online and the experience of worship and church community. I just saw a new submission come in from Sang Tian, who is the CTO, chief technology officer, of Basil Tech. They’re developing Scripture Labs And other things. They’re in Silicon Valley, where there are Christians really using technology, today’s and tomorrow’s technology, to more deeply engage the Bible, so that we’re not just reading words, but we’re actually beginning… They’re using mechanisms to actually help us understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. I’m really looking forward to that one.
Kenny Jahng: I’m looking forward to an interview that you are doing with, let’s see, his actual title is actually cool one, the director of ministry intelligence over at American Bible Society. Why don’t you just share a little bit about just that top line, what people can expect to hear about?
DJ Chuang: Yeah, so Dr. John Plake has been part of the research team at American Bible Society, and through some partnerships they’ve aggregated the big data analysis approach to understand how people are engaging the Bible, what people are searching for. People are searching billions of times every day for answers to questions, and what better book than the Bible that provides all the essential questions to the big questions of life? They’ve aggregated research from different localities in providing a service to help ministry leaders and churches to better serve their congregation and their community.
DJ Chuang: He’s going to describe some of the approaches they’ve made to do that, as well as mentioning the State of the Bible report that American Bible Society has done for the past seven or eight years, I’ve lost count because they’ve done it for so long, to help us understand how people are engaging or not engaged in Bibles so that we can be more strategic about equipping people for outreach as well as for deepening their discipleship. He makes a very simple but profound point that a person’s spiritual maturity is directly connected to how often they read the Bible. It’s that simple. It’s not the fancy programs. It’s just reading the Bible will level up a person’s spiritual maturity like nothing else.
Kenny Jahng: What an incredible resource in him and his ministry through American Bible Society that everyone has access to. Those are the types of things. There’s a lot more. There’s almost two dozen speakers throughout the day that we’re going to hear from next Monday, 3/16. DJ, what is the place? Can you share the URL that everyone can sign up? We are giving everyone completely free access to all of this content on 3/16. Where should everybody go?
DJ Chuang: 316.future.bible. If that’s too long for you to remember, then just go to Future.Bible and the link is right there along the top, click through, put in your email. You’ll have free access all day. We would love to hear how that inspires you as we talk about all the activities that we can squeeze into one day at the intersection of Bible and technology
Kenny Jahng: The Bible and technology. Yes, we definitely want you to get involved in the conversation. We’re using the hashtag #futuredotbible, all spelled out, future, D-O-T, bible. Use that hashtag.
Kenny Jahng: In fact, if you would do us a favor. If you’re watching online at our website, this is a video recording that we do for the podcast, take a picture of the screen or yourself and tag it. #futuredotbible is the hashtag. Let us know if you are picking up a registration ticket.
Kenny Jahng: Please share this opportunity with your friends. It’s not just for your pastor or the ministry leaders at your church. It’s really for everyone because a lot of the talks here have been, I guess, architected in a way that is making it accessible just for everybody from the lay leader all the way up to the scholar. It’s, I think, going to be incredibly inspiring for you to hear what church leaders and innovators are actually doing on this subject of Bible engagement.
Kenny Jahng: DJ, thank you so much for chatting and just thinking about what we’re going to be seeing on this next Monday. I’m assuming that you’ve picked up your ticket for 3/16. I already have mine, and I hope that you guys are going to share it with somebody else.
Kenny Jahng: DJ, as we leave this podcast for today, what’s the one thing that you would say should be the takeaway as people watch on Monday. What’s the posture or what’s the frame of mind do you think people should have as they go into this day of the online summit?
DJ Chuang: Man, you always love your takeaways, Kenny. It is always a joy connecting with you. It’s always a great posture to have when we are exposed to new content and we open with a posture of prayer, to say, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” Not just to learn but what to do, because we don’t want to be just hearers of the Word, but be doers of the Word. We’re going to present a couple dozen perspectives on how the Word is coming alive in the 21st century using our current and future technologies, because that’s a part of our culture and part of who we are, and if we’re about making disciples and raising the next generation, we’ve got to learn how to use today’s and tomorrow’s tools.
Kenny Jahng: Well, that’s why I love partnering with you. You’re the anchor of the team. Thank you for putting it into perspective. Everybody here, we hope that you’re able to take some time right now to go to 316.future.bible, pick up a ticket, tell a friend, hashtag it and share it on social media, and get ready. We’ll meet you online next Monday, on March 16th.
DJ Chuang: Bye-bye. We’ll see you next week.
Speaker 1: Thank you for joining us today. If you enjoyed today’s session, please help us share this podcast with your friends, colleagues, and family members. You can do that by leaving a review on iTunes or by sharing our website, www.future.bible, with your network. Don’t forget to join us next week for the next episode of the Future.Bible Podcast.