Behind the Scenes Technology: A Children’s Ministry Pastors Perspective – by David Brock

The second article in this series of guest posts is by one of my old college buddies, David Brock.  David Brock is currently in his final semester of Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) and will be graduating in May with a Bachelors of Science in Children’s Ministry. He is the leader and manager of Light Children’s Ministries at VFCC which is a traveling Children’s Evangelism team consisting of college students. He has traveled throughout the North East with his team and individually spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to families and children of all ages.  We toured together on a ministry band while I was in college and did shows at many churches, youth groups, special events and camps.  He’s got some great views on harnessing technology to improve ministry and how it all works.  I love this article because it points out some ways to use free technologies to help facilitate ministry.  Check it out:

 

Google Drive in Kids Ministry

Being a leader of a Child Evangelism team, Light Children’s Ministry, means that a lot of work we have to get done throughout the week is when we are apart from each other. I have people on my team who run projection and audio, people who run the puppets, and some help with games. I have people everywhere doing very different things. My challenge was how do I communicate with my entire team in a way that we can work together, see what each other is working on, and see our progress. My answer was Google Drive, formerly known as Google Docs.

Google Docs has been an incredible asset from the beginning of my team. In preparation for the upcoming school year for kids, my co-leader and I began by creating a shared folder in Google Drive that we both had access to with full permissions, read/write. This was the start of utilizing technology so far behind the scenes that nobody being ministered to knows about it but without our team utilizing Google Drive as an asset for communication our ministry would not be the same.

One of the greatest features that has helped the preparation of our team was the “Comments” feature in Google Drive. My co-leader and I were able to read through each other’s materials and mark it up without ever touching the original text. The comments feature is more than what you find within Microsoft Word because not only is it available in real-time just like the live type feature, the comments are similar to an Instant Message Window for a specified text. This made it simple to go back and read what our though processes were as we were preparing.

After everything was done it was just as easy to share with my entire team. I was able to set my team to “Read Only” so that the files were not accidentally deleted but when they needed to edit and add to the files it was just one click away for me to grant them writing permissions. With my entire team being able to access Google Drive both online and offline it ensured that we were all looking at the same document and not an older version. We were and still are all up to date with each other!

If you are part of a team and don’t use Google Drive in some way you may be missing out. There are other technologies out there similar to Google Drive but in my opinion they don’t match up just yet (not saying they won’t one day).

So how can you get started using Google Drive in your ministry? Simply go on your web browser to drive.google.com and get started. They do a quick run through of everything for you. Once you get started meet with your team and figure out where your communication skills may be lacking or where they could simply improve. Google Drive provides Document, Spreadsheet, and Presentation support that all function in similar ways to the Microsoft Office Suite.

If you are used to sharing documents on a network drive you can download the Google Drive app for PC/Mac and simply drag those files into the Google Drive folder location and share it with your members on your team. I prefer this method because instead of limiting a document being open only on one computer at a time, you can all open it, edit it, and chat with each other either in video or text as you collaborate as a team.

Just like with all other technologies in ministry we must remember it is a tool and not a method. If the technology fails our execution of ministry should not be hindered. Yes, Google Drive provides an

incredible way for a team to collaborate on files and many other things, but that should not be the only communication your team experiences.

Behind the Scenes Technology should be the same way. If Google Drive suddenly cannot be accessed my team still knows what is going on and what we have to do. If the sound system at the church we are ministering to gets hit with a demon (okay, typically it’s user error or cheap technology), we still have to go on. If the projector fails we still are able to make the points from the sermon.

Google Drive is one of many “Behind the Scenes Technologies” that can be used in ministry and/or teamwork. What are some technologies that you use to help you prepare?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. Guest Blog Post | David Brock - February 14, 2013

    [...] About a month ago, my good friend Jason Castellente asked me to write an article for him that talks about technical aspects of ministry. He currently works at National Community Church in Washington, DC and does a lot of incredible work for them! Check out my article by clicking HERE! [...]

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