Who are we?
Ministry is difficult even without Covid, but the past year and a half has had a lot of extra stressors. And IT staff tend to have people bring them their problems. IT is a very tough role anyway, with over 40% in the secular IT industry saying they are burning out. That 40% is not in ministry, where we have an enemy trying to stop the forward movement by any means possible. The IT staff, whether they realize it or not, are on the front lines in many aspects of this battle. We will look at why we do the job we do, what is the job that we do, and what impact we have on the Kingdom.
Persevering in IT ministry
IT people tend to think they work with IT. But we are in ministry. Ministry means we minister, and that happens with people. Looking at our work as ministry, instead of solving problems with IT, helps us be able to persevere.
Growth, Change, and IT
Missions is about trying to maximize the opportunities for God’s gifts to be used; it is God who does the work of impacting people’s lives not the missionaries themselves. God is the one who changes the spirit of man. But the missionary is commanded to “seek the greater gifts”, which means that their ways of ministry will change, which means that part of the mission organization’s course is always changing. This is hard on the IT department because it means we are shooting at a moving target. How do we do that, and what does this mean for the technology planning, and for the IT staff themselves?
Tim Young is a field consultant with LightSys Technology Services, spending between 6 and 8 months a year visiting different ministries. Tim has visited over 180 distinct mission offices in 18 countries, working with the different IT staff at these locations. With that, he knows that most techies deal with a lot of different stresses, common to IT people. Tim’s gifting is in encouragement, and has found that, while most people enjoy Tim visiting to help with their technology, the main thing people thank him for is the encouragement he brings.