Church IT / Ministry

Reach09 ver. 0.1

Tuesday was “Pre-convention Day” for ACS technologies annual conference. This year titled Reach09.
I spent the first half in the IT Roundtable discussion loosely moderated by Dean Lisenby. In this case, “loosely moderated” was the goal. In a half a day we covered two topics- Social Networking and Volunteer Recruitment. I am sure the afternoon session covered more ground.
The Volunteer portion focused on volunteers WITHIN the IT department. Do you have them? Do you let them have access to more than compressed air?
It was a very interesting discussion-especially in light of the mix of people and ministry styles. There were those that shuddered at the thought and others who confessed that their volunteers were really the network administrators. It was the volunteers who would be up in the middle of the night if exchange went down. A vast spectrum to say the least.
Social Networking hit on- what else-twitter. However there were questions I hadn’t REALLY delved deeply into. Including monitoring and potentially limiting staff usage to twitter. “How much of the youth director’s time should be spent on twitter?” “Are we, as IT people now supposed to act as the police for that?”
With great power comes great responsibility.
The second half of the day was spent listening to Jason Lee and Linda Cleveland from Northwoods Church talk about their experience launching Checkpoint.
There was a considerable amount of information to be had. Especially in terms of setting expectations and defining goals with ALL ministry members that will be impacted by a specific change. Never underestimate the need for having everyone who will be a “stakeholder” to have complete “buy-in” to any ministry project.
From start to finish their project took over a year. This included investigating other check-in solutions to find which one would ultimately serve their needs the best. Once that initial part was done , which took several there was the process of defining the outcome in terms of data but also in terms of the experience for the end user or “guest”.
If you have any questions related to Checkpoint, rolling out a new system of any kind or how to encourage your vendor, in the direction you need to go, Jason is the guy to talk to. I am sure he would welcome the dialog.
Keep an eye out on his blog as he is going to post some very useful documentation there shortly.

There is a steady stream of tweets coming out. Just follow the hashtag #reach09.


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