Solving the question of How

Most Information Technology based work is solving the question of “How”.  How do we communicate with individuals quickly and efficiently?  Email.  How do we enable team collaboration through great distances?  Intranets and collaboration software.  You get the idea.  Here’s some of the “How” questions we’ve been working on lately or are continuing to work on:

How do we get people from billboards to a website? Use mobile/cell phones via text messaging/SMS & QR codes as well as making sure the website looks good on mobile phones.  This was the question our partnership in Turkey asked when they were running a billboard campaign asking the question “What if what we believe is wrong?” to the 99.9% muslim population of Istanbul.  Our first run had over 1200 visitors in a 3 week period, many texting in requesting a phone call while others filled out the online form to request literature and so many more saw and began to think about the possibility.

How do we take some training that was originally for 10 hours a day for 10 days and use it for people who don’t have that kind of concentrated time? Video tape the training breaking down all the elements of the training into smaller chunks.  Then break up the training by bringing the trainees together for a 4 day face-to-face session using the videos and live instructors and then create a “hangout and training area” website for them to exercise what they learned, share their experiences and receive more training through online coaching, peer interactions and videos.  They can also review the materials from their 4 day face-to-face as all the videos and materials are provided through the website.  This was our answer to our mission’s training group as they’re working to train church planters on a process called T4T (which we’re calling Discipleship Multiplication Training i.e. DMT – here’s our website still in progress).

How do we interconnect 31 short term mission teams that are serving throughout a large city during one of the largest events in the world?  We go back to interactive websites and mobile phones.  When people can’t be face to face, technology can fill the gap and that’s where we’re building a website that will allow members of these short term teams to post pictures, videos, stories and prayer requests and allow them to see all of these things from the other teams working during London Summer Olympics 2012.  It will give them the ability to not only see the difference they are making in their area of London but to see how they are part of the larger picture.  We’re “under the gun” on this one and are feverishly working to get it ready in time.

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