I'm just leaving the Richmond Diocese where I led a group of parish and diocesan leaders in using technology for ministry. I've come to the conclusion that many on parish and diocesan staffs are beginning to realize that the church is being called to become another content provider on the net. The spiritual search begins online and answers to even basic questions are often at the mercy of a google search--where the best information is not always accurate.
But nonetheless, we need to be content providers because that's where Jesus was. Jesus would be twittering at this moment I think if he were walking the earth.
So my question to those of us who work in this field is a simple one: What have you used technology for in your ministry? Why and how did you choose it? What successes and failures have you had? Did you start out with one idea and then move quickly into another one? How have young people gotten involved and what was the response of the end user? Did you reach your target audience and how are people responding? What has it moved people to do?
What problems occurred? Where were you lacking? What challenges did it bring into your life?
I hope this can be the beginning of a wide ranging conversation.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.