Your digital platforms are not the only things that can serve missions. A team of web professionals bring years of experience and a wealth of ideas to the table. Your team of paid staff and volunteers can aid missions in ways they might not have thought of. Here are a few ideas to get your team involved in mission work for your church.
Bringing technology into the mission field is more common than you might think. This is especially true as devices become cheaper, and cases help keep them safe from the elements. Technology such as tablets enhance our education capabilities in astounding ways. Consider how many books fit on a tablet. When compared to the cargo weight and space of physical books, they are a great solution. So how can you get these devices ready? First you need to get your people ready.
Using technology is not always easy. Help those people headed on a mission trip to use any devices they are taking with them. Familiarize them with operation and basic troubleshooting. Also, if you followed some of the steps in the previous article, you may have a few new website responsibilities. Of course your already taxed web team cannot post every mission event and update. So instead you train a member of that mission to add updates themselves. This may mean taking an afternoon to train someone. Yet that should mean your burden remains the same, while the impact of your digital platforms grow. Also, document your first training session well, so you can easily repeat it for other missions. Put those documents in a library so you can share it with your team.
I do not know the intricacies of your relationship with various missions. Yet I imagine there is some overlap in templates, forms, and processes. What can you share with your missions to aid them in their daily duties. Many IT professionals have a bag of tricks and time savers. These include scripts and tools that allow them to troubleshoot and fix problems with ease. Even better, provide your mission teams with a CD or USB drive full of great tools, tips, and tricks.
Today mission partners head into the field armed with many things, including technology. Your mission partners are well versed in a great many things. Yet one they may need help with is setting up and configuring technology. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even desktop computers need attention before they are sent into the wild. Help your teams hit the ground running with devices that work well. If you followed the two previous points, your teams should have some training and documentation to handle problems.
Lastly, the best thing to do is have your IT team members volunteer for a mission trip. Not only will they provide top notch tech support, they will enjoy the benefits of a mission trip. They should return with a new appreciation of their life. Plus they can provide great training directly to those people you are trying to reach. Pass along some valuable technology training as well as the Gospel.
This action item is just one easy step. Get your tech team involved with missions. Their knowledge should not be compartmentalized. Encourage them to share their information, tools, and time. I pray that the more they get involved, the more they want to get out into the mission field. The experience of training others will be invaluable. Plus I hope that their time spent helping others will encourage them to serve as well. There is rarely an overage of talent in the mission field. Let your tech team fill those gaps and help everyone with their knowledge.
Photo courtesy of Mikhail Popov