Multiplication Center

Code For The Kingdom: Engaging Those In The Tech Community

March 21, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jason Illian. Over the last 4 years he has worked to develop applications that help churches engage their members around meaningful content. Out of that work has come two unique apps, BookShout! and FaithGroup. BookShout! offers a way for churches to both publish and sell eBooks and other original content. The platform goes one step further by allowing those who have downloaded material to engage with it in real time. This adds an entirely new dynamic to book-based bible studies and/or small group meetings. Churches have the option to offer the product at a cost or make it completely free. FaithGroup, on the other hand, is all about fostering community. With a quick download to an Android or iOS device, users can create groups, add members, schedule meeting times, and add content for each group to study. FaithGroup is currently available for download in the App Store or Google Play marketplace.

Aside from his work in tech, Jason is also extremely passionate about how the church goes about identifying and equipping their members who are in the tech community. “These people are often in your congregation, but their skills largely go untapped. We have to engage the people with this specific set of skills and allow them room to operate. We do a great job of engaging people in audio-visual, as well as with music. But rarely does it happen on the technical side”. The benefit of engaging this group of individuals has much potential. As events like Code For The Kingdom highlight, a wide variety of high-impact apps can be created when talented individuals are given the opportunity to use their unique skills and gifts to tackle pressing issues facing the church. Jason offers these three tips for churches and pastors looking to engage this particular group:

 

1. Don’t be afraid to ask. Many of these individuals are sitting in your congregation week after week but never volunteer simply because they are not asked.

2. Allow for failure – Many of the apps we use today did not start off that way. We want people to fail at a very fast way.

3. Don’t restrict their talent – a lot can happen when you simply give someone a problem and give him or her the freedom to create something to solve a particular. Yes you might need a particular problem addressed, but also allow space for them to look at ways to solve other issues or

 

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