Aggos, is a Greek term meaning “vessel or container”. Recently, a group of brothers has dedicated many hours in giving us what they define as “a private, curated online platform for the global church of Christ”. In this short article we will see why, without a doubt, it is a vessel filled with good things.
A “Private” Network?
First, we will discuss why it is a private network. Unlike other social networks that simply register a user, this has an additional purpose, being a social network composed of members of the church of Christ. Hence, one of the requirements to fill out the registration form is to check a box that says, “I am a member in good standing with the church of Christ.”
This social network has been developed and designed by Christians for Christians, hence it is focused on those who joined Aggos to be members of the church of Christ. Brandon Edwards, one of the founders, has made it known that there may be some people who requested to be added to Aggos while being part of a denomination, and it is monitored that they do not share material that is not biblically doctrinal. Likewise, there is a team that is responsible for validating each request to join Aggos.
A Network Of “Friends”?
An important element and one of the first to be noticed when using Aggos is that there is no “friend list” as such. There is no way to accept “followers”. On the right side, we see a list of “Recently active members”. Many of them to each of us may be total strangers. But that is the beauty of the body of Christ, it is not limited to our congregation, our country, or even our friends around the world, but we, being thousands of Christians, all obedient to the gospel, who are part of our Lord’s body. Let us remember that, to our Lord, we are all equal, we are “all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
What is posted on the site, even though it is a private network, is public to everyone who is registered on it.
Now, in a “wall” in which all the publications of the entire network are seen, how can I see what is published by someone I know and want to follow? In the header of the page we have the option to “search for people”, once we find who we are looking for, and we enter into their profile, on the right side we find a section with contact information and a star that when clicked on it allows us to add them to our friends. It does not work like other social networks as this option simply allows us to be notified when this person has published or reacted to a publication.
A “Global” Network?
Yes, a global network. As I mentioned earlier, it is not limited to just one country or congregation. Perhaps one of the best characteristics of Aggos is that it has a global directory of the church of Christ. Imagine, for a moment, that because of work or pleasure you must travel to a foreign country, of which you do not know any brother or sister in Christ. Aggos, in its Directory section, allows us not only to find people in a particular area, but also congregations (Brandon says they are working on adding a list of more than 70000 congregations globally) in it, especially when it is marked the option “Refresh results as I move the map”. In a matter of seconds, you will have at your disposal brothers with whom to continue “stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
What is special about this? A lot. I know there are many websites with directories of the “church of Christ”. Why in quotation marks? Because many of those directories have information of “so-called” congregations that either carry this description in an unworthy manner, or simply teach the doctrine in the way that pleases them, and not as pleases God. As Aggos is a private network, the users are not the ones who add the congregations, but the administrators through verification of the same. In the future, it is expected that there may be an option for users to request the administration of their congregations’ accounts.
A Network for “Everybody”?
When filling out the registration form, one of the required fields is “Primary Role and among the listed options we can find both roles and institutions. Whether the registrant wishes to do so it as a Preacher, Missionary, Elder, Deacon, or simply as a Member, as well as who wishes to register a University, School, Care Center, or Business (related to the brotherhood).
Aggos is not only a network that allows to see what other brethren do in the world, or to look for brethren and congregations in the directory. It is more than that. Briefly, I will comment about the other amenities that this social network offers:
- Events: This section works in a similar way than the directory, where we can search the map for a region and see what events of the church of Christ are or will be taking place there.
- Jobs: If you are a preacher, instructor or other profession related to the church, you may be seeking a Christian job or education. Many brothers want to study in a school of preaching, but they have no information about where to attend. In this section Aggos allows us to see job offers and know about Bible schools to attend.
- Missions: This is the mission-oriented section. Many of the missionary groups are already registered (like us, Go Ye Into All), and share details of the work they carry out, as well as ways in which they can be contacted and supported in the work.
- Forum: Perhaps the only thing that differs from other forums on the web is that the topics and content are centered in the Lord’s church. I have not had the opportunity to explore this section in detail.
- Business: Something that has attracted a lot of the attention of this writer in our Latin America region is the lack of sound doctrine materials. Many, because of this lack, rely on denominational literature. In the same way, it applies with services in which we would like to hire brethren in Christ instead of people outside the church. In this section, Aggos allows us to know not only of brethren whose literature is sound in doctrine, but also entrepreneurs in different branches who are members of the church of Christ. Remembering the words of the apostle Paul, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another [emphasis added, MR]” (Romans 12:10).
One of the first registered parables of our Lord is the parable of the net,
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away [emphasis added, MR]” (Matthew 13:47-48).
It is precisely in this passage where a form of the Greek ἄγγος is present. Our Lord teaches in this parable that what should be in those vessels was the good, and the bad was to be cast away. The work that both brother Brandon Edwards as well as the other brethren who are part of Aggos is very good, and worthy to be appreciated by all the members of the church of Christ. As in every work and its beginnings, there are still many things to do, but there is certainly a great advance and we wish them the best, not only in this work, but in everything they do for the Lord.
If you have a chance to sign up, do it. As of today, this servant has only seen good things in Aggos. I cannot say the same thing about other social networks which, sadly, are used for all sorts of motives, many of which are even harmful to our consciences, and of which even some members of the Lord are partakers of them.
Many people repeat the words of King David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10), but they do not do their part in keeping their hearts clean. Aggos, beloved brethren, is a tool that can help us keep our hearts clean and our spirits right.
God bless you richly today and always!
Aggos can be accessed at www.aggos.com and also is available to be downloaded as an app for iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1448625621) and Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aggos.app&hl=es) devices.