Amid COVID-19 and the rise of virtual meetings, many ministry leaders are asking, does virtual discipleship work?

According to Cole Hutchison, the answer is “Yes.”

Hutchison is an engineer who lives in London, Ontario. He is also a virtual member of Point Church – International in Cary, North Carolina.

During a recent interview with Sammy Joo, Asian Ministries consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), Hutchison shared about his own conversion and his virtual ministry experience. (Watch the video. | Listen to the podcast.)

A few years ago, after finding out his daughter, Esther, has epilepsy, Hutchison started praying and attended church on Sundays and realized that God was sovereign over all.

God answered his prayers for direction and Hutchison and his wife accepted Christ. He has been ministering to his friends and family ever since — even to his unbelieving parents who attend his weekly virtual service.

Church can look different and still be effective.

“My parents live 45 minutes away from us but we do Zoom meetings as a church service,” Hutchison said. “Every Thursday night, our virtual service includes a prayer and a message. I can see the growth and love in Christ in them and I can see it in me.”

Hutchison says church can look different and still be effective.

“Growing up my understanding of the church was the building, but looking back on the early church it wasn’t about the building,” Hutchison said. “The church is Christ and those who are in Christ together.”

Hutchison says virtual discipleship allows him to reach the right people. It’s a new way of discipleship, but it provides access to impactful teaching.

“They are my family now, these people hold me accountable,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison credits the 365 Empowerment Project through the Asian Ministries at the BSCNC for the spiritual impact it has had on him and his virtual ministry.

“I went through a lot of depression growing up, but I never had anything as a defense,” Hutchison said. “365 has given me a sword — God’s Word. I take up the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit. It has given me the power back to defend my faith.”