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Geeks In The Church


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Geeks are a perplexing group to church leaders. Some love them and what they bring to the table. Some are driven nuts by geeks ideas. And, some don't know where to begin with geeks and only hear something that sounds like a foreign language come out of them. This week we have Pastor Dion Garrett on the podcast to share a pastors perspective of geeks in the church. For church leaders, we talk about how to work with geeks in ministry and some of the great things they bring to the table. For geeks, we talk about how to work with church leaders so they understand what you are saying and are willing to get behind your ideas.

If you've been frustrated by your church leaders not seeing where technology can help their ministry or by not being able to communicate with the geeks this is the episode for you. Come join us for another fun filled episode of Geeks and God.

Another Great Cast

Enjoyed the chat with MF and Pastor Dion, as always a hearty sense of honesty about the role of Geeks in the church. As a disenfranchised geek I could not agree more with the many ways that geeks are under utilized and frankly disrespected in the body. Conversations like this are a good start.

Oh and Pastor Dion - yes, you do sound like a premadona on the not wanting to mix your own podcast ;)

thought so

yeah, i thought so

Where is the line?...

Another excellent, and thought-provoking podcast!
A couple of things really stand out for me, which I would like to comment on.

One-off Projects vs Regular Activities
Arthur C. Clarke once stated that "any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic." What seems easy for us is often impossible for others to understand. If the tech people do their job well, people tend not to notice. When well-trained and competent people can make it look so easy, others think that it is easy. And because the task is "easy", then why can't we do it every week...?

It is (relatively) straightforward to rally the volunteer tech team and get a one-off project over the line. It is a different thing to achieve a consistent, high-quality result every week from a process which is driven entirely by volunteers.

Too many times I have seen people start off some activity (like a weekly "video news" bulletin for example) and then fail because they simply didn't realise the amount of effort involved. Media production is incredibly labour-intensive - particularly at the post-production end, if you want a good-looking product. It's the old trade-off: Money/Time/Quality - pick any two. We expect promos and newsreels that look and sound as good as those produced by Hollywood, yet we expect these to be produced by volunteers, for free, and by yesterday.

Or, we start off by committing to a regular thing, and then find that over time the scope of the activity grows (but so gradually that you don't notice it) until you suddenly realise that you are putting in 20-plus hours a week as a volunteer.

Staff vs Volunteers
I am amazed that we think nothing of paying for electricity, gas, phone etc, but we expect our volunteers to consistently deliver the goods, week-in, week-out, for free. It is doable, but the people and the expectations must be managed properly. You are so right when you talk about copycats... So often the desire is to duplicate the "look and feel" of a mega-church, but with no understanding of the technology or human structure that is required to pull this off. "Everyone wants to go first class, but nobody wants to pay..."

As the church moves forward, I see a need for the role of "Technical Pastor". Such a person would have responsibility for mobilizing, motivating, mentoring and training the tech volunteers, as well as being a central resource for communication with other church departments. The Technical Pastor would be the tie-in for the volunteer "technical advisory committee" that you refer to in the podcast. Without such a person on staff, it is my great fear that the technical cohort within a church can become fragmented, disillusioned, ineffective and ultimately discouraged from using their gifts to contribute to the life of their church.

The needs are endless, and I can only do so much as a volunteer. It is therefore essential to establish firm boundaries around the extent of one's volunteer commitment. For my part, this is an issue that I have struggled with for years, and I can honestly say that I am only just starting to get some clarity on this.

Thanks again for a thought-provoking podcast.
Best regards

A Line

I've always taken it to heart that the bible says to be wise as serpents and that the mind is as important as the body and soul. I think we need to use our minds and be wise when ever we get ourselves into work.

When it comes to projects that increase scope over time without us knowing we have gotten into a realm of not being wise about what we are doing. We aren't using our minds. We are just doing.

What we need is to be wise, calculated, and deliberate in what we do with a focus of not just doing the mission but caring for the people doing the mission. This means that instead of having a group of people who work a sound board and then asking them to operate a video camera at at the same time (more work) we approach this situation differently. We figure out the impact of adding the tasks and if it is too much (and this amount is variable) we look at other ways to get that manpower.

Sometimes I think we are so concerned with doing the mission we forget to do it in a loving way.

At the same time we have a significant problem as a church. God gave us everything we need for the mission but we always seem to be falling short. Instead of the people of the church giving the portion of resources, time, and talent God gave them for the mission they keep it for themselves. In turn, churches try to hire people to give more to try and fill in that gap.

I'm not saying that the church shouldn't have people whose financial well being is taken care of by the community be 'staff' workers. There is plenty of biblical support. But, if the people of the church are failing in their part (and they are according to every study out there) the answer is not find someone and pay them. The congregation needs to be refocused. They need to stop being of the world and live in it, as the saying goes.

In Dions Podcast he talked about just this resourcing thing in the last two episodes:

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

good one

I enjoyed this podcast. Seemed to get a little long......but content was good.

What is the difference between vocation and spiritual gifts as it applies to your conversation?


Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator

vocation and spiritual gifts

Yeah, WAY too long shrop... i agree. Thanks for bearing with it :)

Vocation refers to all the different callings you have in life. It may not depend on how you're gifted but simply what you've been called to do. A person might have the vocation of parent, spouse, citizen, employee, ambassador for Christ, etc.

Spiritual Gifts refer to those specific gifts that the Spirit of God gives as listed in 1 cor 12, romans 12, 1 peter 4, and ephesians 4.

Depending on your theological bent you may see this list as exhaustive (these are the ONLY gifts the Spirit gives) or suggestive (there could be a lot more as needed). A specific gifting for something by the Spirit also means that you've got a responsibility to use that gift for good and that gift should be brought into your different aspects of life "calling(s)" to help you live out your vocation(s).

Does that make ANY sense?

That actual makes a lot of

That actual makes a lot of sense. You explained it well. I figured vocation and spiritual gifts might be tied together, but wasn't sure how.

So vocation is very much situational? ex: My current situation find me in a particular job, as a parent, grandparent, etc. Those are my areas of vocation.

Good things to keep in mind..


Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator

yeah, you could say that

yeah, you could say that vocation is situational, sounds like you got it. Some parts of your vocation may not be so situational, like your calling to be a Christ-follower, a citizen, a neighbor... but a lot of other ones will change through life phases.

it seems to me that you can think of vocation as the venues where you exercise and utilize your spiritual gifts... they're given so that you can live out your vocation well. thanks again.