© 2018 by Nick B. Nicholaou, all rights reserved President, Ministry Business Services, Inc. Reprinted from MinistryTech Magazine
February is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day – you might say it is the Month of Love! How does that look in church and ministry IT?
The IT Challenge
IT is often perceived by those not on the IT team as “The NO Guys”. Some of us have worked hard to earn that title and enjoy it! Most of us in church and ministry IT, however, are often caught by surprise when reminded by other ministry team members that we’re perceived as The NO Guys.
There are at least a few reasons why we’re often perceived that way. One is that we try to enforce good IT policies, and few outside of our discipline understand the need for some of those policies. A second is that we typically lean towards being introverts vs extroverts. That characteristic has a number of side effects, like that we don’t often communicate as warmly as others, talk in acronyms, and so on. And a third is that we have a difficult time with certain people of the ministry team, and grow passive/ aggressive styles with them that can communicate inflexibility.
Okay, enough psychological analysis.
Why We Should Try
The answers are obvious to us. We’re commanded to love one another, and we’re told that by doing so, observers will know we are Christians. If you’re like me, you find those kinds of verses encouraging, but also a little frustrating. It’s hard to express love in our professional discipline sometimes!
But Jesus is not surprised by technology, and he understands the need for order. So, it’s worth coming up with ways that our non-IT team members will know that we love them. And that we love serving them. And that we are their ministry partners.
What Are Some Things We Can Do in February?
February is thought of by many as the month of love. In it we celebrate Valentine’s day– a universal day of love! So, it seems like a good time of the year to ask our fellow ministry team members to ‘be our Valentine’ through our actions. Which James tells us is necessary (see James 2:14-17).
Here are a few very practical, tactical ways to show your team members that you love them:
- Clean their monitors/ displays, mice, and keyboards. After hours, go through the offices and clean the gunk off those devices! If your organization’s team is too large for that to happen, organize some volunteers to help you! There are members of your congregation who would love to join you on this.
- Pray for those on your organization’s team, and send them a handwritten note or email or text saying simply that you prayed for them: for protection from the enemy–for them and their family–and for their effectiveness in ministry.
- You could even combine the two! Encourage the volunteers helping you clean monitors/ displays, mice, and keyboards to pray for the team member while at their task, and to leave behind a brief note saying they were prayed for.
You may even want to add this to your task list as a recurring task every February!
This seems so simple, but even so, it can have a huge impact on how those on the ministry team perceive those in your IT Department. Or you, specifically. Maybe it’ll help get beyond the prevalent misperception that the IT Department is where The NO Guys are.