I am a BIG fan of Lifechurch.tv.
They have the vision, people and resources to get things done. They work hard to figure out how to reach people, and their grasp of the concept of using social networking as a tool of influence is renown.
In my neck of the woods, I have slightly less resources. Okay, a whole lot less. Instead of dreaming about endless resources (which is a myth anyway), I do need to concentrate on using the tools I have been blessed with.
Having a good smartphone, a laptop and a trusty work XP-powered desktop — along with cloud computing — helps me bridge the gap.
First, I try to satisfy the congregation’s love of media. Pictures, videos and music. I have albums worth of music on my Android EVO all the time, and a few more on Dropbox. With a good sound guy (and ours, Jay, is the best in the world), we could run service from my phone if needed. The Android OS “Share” functionality allows me to instantly upload videos to Youtube, and I have started using the cloud capabilities of Google+ to store Church pictures. I can get pictures on the Church’s Facebook page and further disseminate via Twitter. Even the two free navigation apps are useful, as anyone who has traveled half a dozen hours with a van full of spirited teenagers can tell you.
A big part of the strategy, here, is to have access to all sort of functionality at the lowest cost possible. For example, we would like to be able to access Church pictures from numerous machines that have access to the cloud without being handicapped by the failure of one machine (a recent laptop crash brought this to the forefront). Dropbox plays a major role in this strategy.
Dropbox has evolved from just a cloud storage option to something of a virtual jump drive. The possibilities are wide and quite varied. For instance, when we had to get a web link for youth t-shirt order forms, it was easier to use the Church Dropbox public file to host it. Reimbursement forms and permission slips are placed there too.
When it comes to news dissemination, Twitter, Facebook and mobile email are great tools. Our congregation has gotten used to seeing me on Sundays putting information out via Android Seesmic simultaneously to Facebook, Twitter and our website. With our younger members, Google Voice and group texting apps help greatly. And, we still have the good ‘ole phone tree.
I also use the YouVersion app for messages and sermons.
Corporately, with a new website, we moved to Google Apps for our calendar and email needs. Free business tools that are attached to our domain is a true blessing.
It is a blessing to be able to serve, and a treat to find ways to use technology to affect service.
What do you use to beat the “Technology Blues”?