5 January 2023

Click and connect

Simon Hope

Photo shows a smartphone displaying the Selah podcast alongside a keyboard

Continuing a series on pioneering, Simon Hope finds out about Plexus, an online corps.

The internet is the largest thoroughfare on Earth. Billions of people across the world pass through its virtual streets on an hourly basis. But how effectively are we, as Christians, inhabiting this space? How are we ministering to people digitally as Jesus’ hands and feet?

In response to these questions The Salvation Army has pioneered Plexus – an online corps. This new initiative is building a community and reaching the unchurched in the online world. Just like other pioneer groups and fresh expressions, it is breaking new ground and reaching new people in new ways.

What does it mean to be an online corps?

As an entirely online corps, it is distinct from the ways that other corps place their services online. Rather than sharing output that is born of in-person communities, Plexus focuses on specifically building online communities. It’s not designed to replace services and programmes for those who are unable to attend their local corps. Rather, it aims to reach people who experience friendship and community wholly in online spaces.

Understanding that this concept may feel alien to some people, the team respect that not everyone will be interested in what Plexus has to offer, but the aim is to create a new space for people who don’t fit into traditional formats of church.

What does Plexus do?

Plexus exists as a collection of projects, such as small group Bible studies, a book club and Instagram outreach groups. Their equivalent to traditional Sunday meetings is the podcast Selah: Time to Pause. It gives listeners an opportunity to take time out each weekday to catch their breath, draw near to God and refresh their spirit through worship, reflection and prayer. The weekly schedule devotes time to studying the Bible, learning from art and music, responding to the news and considering some of life’s big questions.

Pastoral support happens within these groups just as it happens in other corps, and corps officer Major Ian Emery takes time for one-to-one conversations and video chats with members.

Why is it called Plexus?

A ‘plexus’ is a network of nerves or vessels in the body. The name symbolises the different projects combining to create a network of believers and communities, forming one church.

How can I connect with Plexus?

Church Video Creators

Digital Community Mission Facilitator Sam Ellison (North West Division) introduces the Church Video Creators (CVC) community.

Sam Ellison

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced churches online, creating video services and worship lyric videos became the new normal. For some, the process of creating these videos began drawing them closer to God. But as churches went back to onsite worship, fewer creators were being asked to make these resources and, as the need dwindled, some people fell away.

CVC brings new life to this ministry. On a surface level, it provides a sanctuary for like-minded people to offer advice and learn, a place for them to share their skills and frustrations, to receive information, encouragement and counsel. But more than that, it has an underlying focus on building friendships, community and church, giving opportunities for members to find and develop their relationships with Jesus.

How does it do this, I hear you ask? CVC is hosted on the social platform Discord, which provides an easy way for members to interact however they feel most comfortable – voice chat, video or text. Conversations that take place can range from video requests to discussions about the meaning of a song to prayer requests. There is a constant aim to encourage deep and meaningful conversations, with the Holy Spirit at the centre of everything that we do.

We aim to join people in community by cultivating discussion about technology and faith. We pray that through these relationships we will see and feel Jesus at work in their lives as they come to know him for themselves.

Get involved on Discord

Find out what CVC is for yourself – accept your personal invitation!

CVC on Discord

Support Plexus in prayer

The Plexus team’s prayer is that, as you read, a name will pop into your head: someone that you know who might enjoy being part of this pioneering online community – that person might even be you!

  • Pray for Major Ian Emery in his leadership of the initiative.
  • Pray for members of the steering group and leadership group for direction and holy discernment.
  • Pray that those who join this online community come to faith or strengthen their faith.

Written by

A photo of Stevie Hope.

Simon Hope

Editorial Assistant

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