The Church’s Waste of Tech: How to Redeem It!

wastedtech

Yesterday, ChurchMag Authors Network member Phil Schneider posted a great article about “wasted tech”.  It’s found everywhere – in our homes, with our families, and in our churches.  Phillip offered some great ways to prevent “Wasted Tech Syndrome” from ever occurring.  I thought I’d tackle the other end of the problem: what to do with all the outdated and wasted tech?

The Garbage Pile

When tech starts to sit idly by, whether that be from malfunction or simply perceived obsolescence, there are several different options to choose from.  The easiest is the garbage pile.  Simply chunk it in the trash and let society take care of the problem for you.  Of course, this can lead to other problems and is not always the recommended route!

Sell it on Ebay

Often times wasted tech is still worth something to someone.  Do some research on Ebay, Craigslist, or Amazon Marketplace to see if there’s a market for the tech.  If so, it could be a good way to recoup some of the money spent on the next best thing.  Even something as old as this can go for a lot of money if it is seen as “vintage!”

Re-purpose Old Tech

This is my favorite.  Find a new use for the wasted tech.  Recently our church VBS used old CD’s as an arts and crafts project for the kids.  The theme had to do with oceans, so the kids pasted circular beads around the edge of the CD’s to make it look like a porthole.  It then became a makeshift picture frame for a picture taken that day.

In Phil’s article he posted a picture of a box of cassette tapes (seen above).  Certainly these are a thing of the past – who wants to listen to crappy-sounding recordings on something that needs a pencil to rewind?  Then again, I remember my Dad saying “why would anyone want to pay more money for a CD?  My tapes work just fine and play the same number of songs!”

Of course, times have changed and technology has moved on.  But that doesn’t mean you have to.  Similar to the CD-portholes, cassette tapes could make for an interesting craft project for kids.  The ribbon can be pulled out for one purpose and the cartridge for another.  But another idea strikes me as more fun: use them for a youth scavenger hunt.  Get some used tape players (Sony Walkman style) and record clues on the tapes for the youth to follow.  They won’t care about the sound quality, and they will probably think its fun playing with Grandpa tech.  Even better, find a way for them to record their own messages and keep the games going.

Film Projectors and Other Tech

When Phillip started telling us about his church’s wasted tech, cassette tapes weren’t the only things laying around.  He also found old film projectors stored in a back closet.  Without HDMI connections or state-of-the-art 3D technology, who has a use for such wasted tech?  Well, for the creative-minded, the possibilities are endless.  Why spend all that time in Adobe software trying to re-create a film-style look on your video?  For a change, go for the real thing and capture that vintage look without the help of software enhancements.  Or, do a sermon series on movies, Bible “scenes”, or even wasted tech – and use those projectors as a great stage prop.  You could even pass out popcorn at the door!

What other wasted tech stories do you have at church?

Have you found some creative ways to re-purpose that old tech?

Tell us about it!

[Top image via Stock.Xchng]

Chris Ruddell

I'm an Associate Pastor in the United Methodist Church and I serve as a trustee for Saint Paul School of Theology, with campuses in Kansas City, MO and Oklahoma City, OK. I'm also the author and creator of Church Tech Blog, at www.churchtechblog.org and the founder of Church Phone Apps at www.churchphoneapps.com

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