I shouldn’t be, but I am still surprised when I meet someone for the first time and we both know a lot about each other. This happened a few weeks ago when I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Will Mancini, respected author and church consultant, for a couple of hours. Though we’d never met in person before, we both have followed each other on Twitter and read each others blogs, so our first meeting ramped up into significant conversation without the usual ice-breaker small talk necessary to establish rapport. Another win for social media, but also an important distinction in connecting with people you resonate with. But I digress.
Talking with Will face-to-face was insightful because I got to peek inside how he thinks by following his train of thought in conversation. Will’s a very bright man, to be sure, but what impressed me most was that he obviously disciplines himself in the art of conversation. Much like my friend (and CEO/boss) Jeff Hook, Will doesn’t ask an idle question; he’s got a motive behind his question that is strategically two steps ahead. During our discussion about everything from family to church consulting to technology to strategic processes, Will quite naturally shared about what is obviously his gift: he truly understands churches and has a near-consuming passion to help them focus on their unique vision.
Will’s self-proclaimed title is Clarity Evangelist. I love this title because it fits Will, as was evidenced as he brought – yep, clarity – to points of our discussion. As a strategic thinker myself (one of my top 5 Strengths Finder results), I am intrigued by people who have this capacity. Will has it in spades.
Take it from me: Will will help your church in real, tangible ways. But, be warned: he’ll be two steps ahead of you the entire time!
Having worked with technology in churches for just under two decades, I’ve come to understand that churches have the potential to use technology in three ways. Independently, they’re all good, but together, they’re exponentially greater. Generally speaking, I believe that church technology really can be brought together under the mantle of support, efficiency and impact.
Here’s how I define each one:
- Support: providing the necessary resources to enable a ministry or event to function
- Efficiency: a high result to effort ratio based on the scalability of the technology and process
- Impact: have a strong effect upon the recipient/user
I believe that, applied on their own, they end up missing the mark.
KINDA LIKE THE LONE RANGER
It’s very common for churches to leverage a single aspect of technology; sort of like trying to do it all as the Lone Ranger. For example, a church might decide to support every ministry event with technology. Unto itself, this is probably a good idea. However, if efficiency was part of the plan (cost savings, personnel time savings, etc.) and impact was part of the goal (was technology transparent to the delivery of the message; how was technology leveraged to produce action after the event), the result could be maximized.
Think of it this way: how often has your technical arts team been responsible for setting up and manning an event, but never asked to participate in the planning, coordination or communication of the event? I’d imagine that happens more often than not, mainly because when media & tech are viewed as support only, the greater opportunity is missed.
However, if each event leveraged technology and the planning process and follow-up activity of being efficient (cost savings, personnel time savings, etc.) and impactful (was technology transparent to the delivery of the message; how was technology leveraged to produce action after the event).
GET ON THE RADAR
Quite often, ministry leaders are simply unaware of the opportunity and ability your team can bring to the table. Get on their radar! Tech arts leaders need to have friendly conversation with ministry heads to help look at the calendar of upcoming events, services and communications. By taking an interest in what they’re doing, you stand a very good chance of helping them leverage all of your team’s strengths. Remember, people generally don’t understand the time commitment involved with much of our world. Bluntly, that’s not their job or concern; it’s yours. But when we help them by providing options, plain-language understanding and a helpful attitude, they’ll respond by giving you more heads-up, more time and even more support on their end.
There are other adverbs that can be used to describe the activities and value of church technology, but when we focus on the big three (support, efficiency & impact), we can bring greater value to our churches.
What say you? How does your church leverage technology to maximize ministry?
Anthony Coppedge | Healthy Church Systems Consulting is using WP-Gravatar