So you’re a church administrator, leader, or volunteer and you want to get better at the world of technology. Not a bad idea at all. The way to get better in all things tech is by getting online and staying active. Some of these might be old hat to you (after all, you’re reading a blog), but in case you can still improve, here are ten ways that you can become a tech savvy church administrator.
1. Participate in Forums
Forums are places where questions get answered and where a community of other participants provides help. While we don’t advise that you get spiritual questions answered by a community of random participants, you might want to get some tech-related questions answered on a forum. Jump on some forums and find out how they work. When you become a knowledgeable tech savvy church administrator yourself, you may find yourself answering some questions on the forum.
2. Subscribe to Blogs and Websites
There are websites devoted to helping church administrators—and they’re free. Get involved in the current exchange of ideas, suggestions, tips, and expert insight from people who are doing what you’re doing. Search for several helpful blogs and subscribe (using an RSS feed) so you can stay up to pace as a church administrator who is aware of technology, trends, and topics.
3. Browse Church Media Sites for Ideas
Sometimes, creativity can ebb low. When this happens, tap into the creative genius of companies who unleash quality resources on a regular basis. From videos to PowerPoints, to bulletin covers…go ahead and find these sites and browse around. Or better yet, become a member. You’re tech savvy status will soar.
4. Tweet and Follow
If you’re like the many millions who don’t understand Twitter or think that Twitter is inane and foolish, we understand. We thought that way once, too. While we admit that Twitter can descend to inanity and foolish frivolity (not to mention a Royal Waste of Time), there are productive ways to use and benefit from Twitter. The only way to find out more is to sign up and start Tweeting. Start following others, too. Tech is learned by doing.
Of the most popular neologisms in the world, “facebook” has got to be at the top. Facebook is a noun, a verb, a culture, an adjective, a way of thinking, and a hub of friendship, fellowship, and exchange. Are you on it? 500 million other people are, so we’re not saying you should jump on the bandwagon or anything…but you may just want to jump on the bandwagon. Using Facebook to connect with your people is part of the process of becoming a tech savvy church administrator.
What you’re about to read should not be construed as a call to materialism. Okay, with that disclaimer in mind, becoming tech savvy involves having the right tools. It may be time to invest in a new tool for tech. What year is your computer? Do you have dial-up or DSL? Do you know what “Windows 7” or “OS X” means? Have you heard of Gmail? One of the oft-lamented features of technology is that it is outdated, oh, about three days before it comes out. There is no need to constantly buy the latest gadget, but you may try to keep your tools at the optimum level of performance in order to become maximally productive.
7. Learn mobile.
Fifteen years ago, the word “mobile” could have referred to a dangly toy hanging above a crib. Today, the word “mobile” conjures up images of Blackberries, iPhones, and Androids (a phone android, not a robot). Going tech means taking your little expensive pieces of hardware with you. You’ll know that you’ve arrived when you manage to 1) send a Tweet, 2) update your Facebook status, 3) check your e-mail, 4) make a phone call, and 5) get directions to a church-related visit—all on your mobile device.
8. Start a blog.
<Gasp> Telling some people to start a blog is kind of like saying, “Climb Everest. Tomorrow. Barefoot.” It’s an impossible task. And it might be dangerous. Impossible it is not. In fact, you can probably start a blog in fifteen minutes or less (even if you’re barefoot). There are people who have been doing this whole blogging thing for a very long time, so don’t feel like you have to be the best blog on the planet within minutes. Simply post about your experiences as a church administrator trying to become tech savvy. In the process, guess what will happen. You’ll become tech savvy.
9. Take your laptop to Starbucks.
For some reason—some strange, unknown reason—going to Starbucks with a computer is a way to morph into a tech-savvy individual. It must be something about the ambience, the five-dollar drink, and the fact that you have suddenly achieved a level of coolness hitherto unattained.
10. Learn from others.
Just in case you aren’t the most tech savvy person in your church, there may be some people who can help you. Try approaching the guy who you think is Tweeting during services and ask him to go out to coffee so he can divulge the mysteries of his tech-filled life. Learning from those around you—volunteers, college students, network engineers, and businesspersons—is a great way to increase your techability.
Ministry isn’t about tech. This article isn’t a call to become tech savvy for the purpose of becoming tech savvy. There are dangers—big ones—in the world of tech (just like dangers lurk everywhere). If you find yourself lured by the sirens of tech, toys, and gadgetry, why don’t you close your laptop, turn off your iPhone, go in your closet and pray.