Ministry ideas for your church’s IT superheroes
Does your church have any information technology (IT) superheroes? Create an IT ministry team that uses their powers to glorify God. Below are some sparks that will ignite a fire in their hearts to help save people from computer viruses and technological bewilderment.
Help church leaders lead
Help church leaders connect to social media so they can listen to the community and communicate news, prayer requests and inspirational messages. This will further connect leaders to the church family.
Consider adding the following pages to your church’s website:
- Sunday sermons for congregants and community
- Google calendar to post events
- Store section for books and related items
Online payment processing
Establish online payment processing, so offerings can be made through auto pay. Additionally, you could collect other payments such as vacation Bible school fees and building-fund gifts.
Use an event-planning service, such as SignUpGenius.com, to coordinate volunteers to work in the nursery, bring a potluck item or help with building maintenance.
Stream your worship service
Set up a webcam in the church to provide a live feed to a site, allowing members who cannot attend worship to watch on their laptop and still participate in the celebration. This also can familiarize potential new attendees with the church layout/demographics/format of services so they can decide whether it is right for them. Learn more about How to stream worship beyond the sanctuary.
Teach the community
Offer a Computer Skills 101 class
Computers intimidate some congregants. In many cases, learning how to use email or Skype could go a long way toward helping congregants stay connected with loved ones who do not live nearby.
In-person training or easy online tutorials could bridge the technological gap. Consider teaching or re-teaching people how to send emails, upload/download attachments, use Skype, do basic searches and find effective ways to filter information.
Stephen N., Salem, Wis., said, “My mom lives hundreds of miles away in one of these retirement villages, and when she tells me something doesn't work, which is always, there is nothing I can do to help. My brother was there and said that she just forgot how to use it. I am sure there are hundreds like her!”
Free IT-support day
Consider offering a "Free IT Support" day for congregants a couple of times a month. If you decide to approach a retirement center, go through the channels to make your services available. Many schools are experiencing a budget crisis. Ask the technology department if you could donate your time to help fix computers that aid learning.
A computer is almost a necessity. Countless individuals have excess computer parts. Have a charity drive to collect them. Combine the parts and then donate a functioning unit to an individual or a family. You also could donate the computers or sell them at low cost. All proceeds could go to rebuilding more computers.
School of life
Set up a “School of Life”-type section on your website to provide resources on how to live more effectively. Church leaders could educate the community on life skills from a godly perspective. They could create blogs, videos and classes that teach people how to:
- Break up and move on
- Spend time alone
- Be a better friend
- Have better conversations
- Be confident
- Be creative
- Enjoy your family
- Worry less about money;
- Manage your time
- Make a difference
- Face death
Borrow the library’s computer lab
Most churches do not have the volunteers, space or money to host a computer lab. Consider collaborating with your neighborhood library. They already have the infrastructure. Consider donating computers and printers to augment their supply. Libraries tend to be understaffed and underfunded and cannot offer all the programs necessary to keep people returning. You could offer to start programs that build skills, help with homework, tutor in reading and prepare people for jobs.
Set up a cell phone ministry for people who cannot afford a phone. Equip homeless people or low-income families with free cell phone and voicemail information.
- Assurance Wireless offers one free cell phone per household for those who qualify for other specific state assistance. The plans all include 250 free “anytime” minutes each month. The minutes re-start every month on the date the client started the plan. To qualify, users must have a home address and recertify every year. Assurance is generous in giving customers sufficient notice to get the recertification letter signed and returned before it discontinues the phone service.
- If a person is out of minutes, he or she can borrow a friend’s phone to set up a free Laser Voice Mail account. Users get their own number. When people call, they hear a customized voicemail and can leave a message. Users call their number, insert a security code and listen to their messages. Users usually do not have a problem borrowing phones to check their voicemail because most people have long-distance plans.
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