How do we (the church) take advantage of technology? After all, it rests at our finger tips and more often then not... it's free. Instant messaging, blogs, email, etc… is available free of charge to anyone with a computer and a reliable internet connection.
Two years ago when Amanda and I joined the staff of our church, technology was not a priority. However, it wasn’t a huge problem because at that time, our church wasn’t full of web/internet savvy people (although there were always a few and now they’ve become the majority).
Back then, the “norm” was outdated computers, dial up internet access (5 different accounts…), no email (lots of paper memos), and everyone using different versions of programs, which unfortunately cut largely into productivity.
Two years later, we are all running new or almost new systems and thanks to a “friend” at Microsoft, we are always using the latest software available (Office 2003, etc…).
A large part of our "transition" was a technology transition.
Our Internet connection is high speed via a T-1 connection. We are setup with wireless capabilities and currently 2 of us use our wifi throughout the campus. (Our next step will probably be to make it available to the 'public' who visit our campus.)
We are all connected to each other via instant messenger and we utilize email to the “nth” degree. We are also, one by one, beginning to use webcams to help keep us connected when we may be traveling or working offsite or from home.
We are now in the process of putting together a “staff” blog for our church website. Each staff member will have access to contribute to the blog and write freely about whatever is on their minds. The idea behind this is to have a forum where we can constantly communicate with those apart of our church community.
We are hoping for it to become a great outlet to celebrate, share stories of what God is doing in different areas of ministry, advertise upcoming events, share scripture or a short devotional, cast vision, etc… Ultimately, we would like to see this become a daily “check in” point for those in (and even outside) of our church.
Technology is an amazing thing and has the ability to speed up productivity and enhance communication. BUT – one thing that we’ve learned that technology can’t replace is face to face relationships. And for a church, these are not optional…
More about that in a later post.