Divine Breakthroughs at #HACK2023

“God gives us His Spirit and His Word. It cannot just stay as head knowledge. Show it with the love of a discipler.” With this simple message from Rev Dr Tan Soo Inn, a record number of 150 participants at #HACK2023 immersed themselves into hours of non-stop action, all out to tackle 10 real-world challenges.

Guest speaker Rev Dr Tan Soo Inn

Held over the weekend of 13 to 15 October, #HACK2023 was a hackathon jointly organised by Digital Wesley and Indigitous Singapore. Different teams raced against time to find digital solutions for a whole gamut of church, social and national issues. These included spreading Christian positivity in online gaming worlds, connecting small group leaders and seekers as well as a God-sized challenge of discipling an entire nation!

Hackathons are not commonly held in church settings, but such new directions are exactly what Digital Wesley ministry is looking for. “We look for partners to collaborate on unusual, non-traditional events such as this. There are no walls in the digital space and we are truly excited to see many denominations coming together for #HACK2023,” explained Charis Lim, Chairperson of Digital Wesley.

Chairperson of Digital Wesley Charis Lim

Solomon Sim, Head of #HACK2023, commented that this is the first time Indigitous Singapore partnered a church for their hackathon. He was also visibly happy and excited with the record turnout.

Head of #HACK2023 Solomon Sim

Not only was there no denominational wall, there was similarly no demographical wall. About 80 percent of the participants ranged from 24 to 60 years old. When asked about his experience, Bernard, a fellow “hacker” of the group named OpenBook, shared, “It was exhilarating! My first Christian hackathon. Amazing … the gathering of believers from various churches under one roof, bringing diverse talents and working in unity to solve real-world kingdom and social issues.” 

Group discussion

After nearly 48 continuous and gruelling hours, the teams gathered at Wesley’s Sanctuary for the closing session. Each team was given a two-minute elevator-speech presentation of their hacked solutions. Participants, mentors, families and friends cheered as many innovative digital ideas were proposed to solve varied challenges. The concepts ranged from a one-stop discipleship platform that uses AI to match seekers to a church based on profile and readiness, to an app that gamifies spiritual practices. Several of the groups also produced working prototypes that were available for immediate demo. 

Team presentation

In his closing message, Pastor-in-Charge Rev Raymond Fong described the hackathon as something more than just an event. It was a “movement” that displayed 48 hours of faith in action. While all teams showed pride and ingenuity in their proposed solutions, Pastor Raymond urged everyone to surrender their ideas to God. This is because there are many problems in the world including our digital space, and kingdom solutions are required to solve kingdom problems.

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Raymond Fong giving the closing message

Post-hackathon, what lies ahead? After taking bold steps forward, let us depend on God to bless the hard work that has been done. Let’s believe that “if God is with us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). He, and only He alone, can provide the divine breakthroughs that will render the sleepless nights worthwhile for those who dedicated themselves at #HACK2023. For the rest of us, our mobile devices are out and our app store is ready. Bring it on! 

The team behind #HACK2023

Photos by CJ Goh

Click here for more #HACK2023 photos!

Read also: Faith & AI: Friends or Foes?

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