THE TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE & MINISTRY
by Brian Lee
Information & images provided by Brian Wong
This month, we have the chance to learn more about one of the most crucial church ministry during this pandemic: The Technology Committee. The team works tirelessly behind the scenes every week to provide us with the IT support to keep our community connected remotely. From the maintenance of our website and video conference platforms to the preparation of our worship recordings and member’s meeting, the contribution by different members from the team (as well as their partners from the A/V Team) is much appreciated by our community.
Aside from these unusual tasks, what else does the Tech Committee do and what can we do to support the ministry? To answer this, we had the privilege to learn from our Technology Committee lead Brian Wong.
What exactly do members of the Tech Committee do?
In a nutshell we:
- purchase and maintain computer equipment and software (IT)
- work with the staff to develop and maintain the website (Web)
- recommend technology-related policies for the church (MIS, Policy)
- evaluate new technologies, and work with staff to deploy, adopt and maintain these technologies for the church’s needs.
In addition, I want to provide learning opportunities for staff and others to gain new technology skills that can help them do their work.
Each of us tends to have areas of expertise and no one is good at everything. I’ve done some equipment purchases but Ernest has more experience speccing out server-grade equipment, for example. Shirley has excellent design skills; she can take the content of a page and make it beautiful. I’m a bit of a generalist but lean more toward software configuration.
What are the kinds of work that the Tech Committee is undertaking?
There are some projects that are in-progress and some that are just in the discussion phase.
- Transition control of Zoom assets to staff
- Incremental updates to the vcbc.ca website
- Hardware and software upgrades for staff
- Upgrade the church WiFi to accommodate video
- Provide G Suite accounts and training to staff and department heads for better information management
- Look into inventory management for computer equipment
- Upgrade members database
Some things, like upgrading hardware and software, happen on a continual basis. Hardware is always getting deprecated and something you could get by on last year may not be good enough because now you’re performing more demanding tasks with the same equipment. For example, an older PC may not be equipped to share video over Zoom. But now the staff hosts meetings and they need to do that.
How can the community help/support Tech Committee even if they aren’t technological inclined to serve?
One thing I don’t hear much about is the current needs of church staff and members from a technology perspective. It might sound like asking for work, but it’s valuable to hear about the day-to-day experiences and frustrations of people trying to do their work, trying to find a meeting link, or just trying to connect to the Internet. As a committee, we’re not on-site 24/7 and especially now with COVID-19, we don’t see a lot of what happens in the church day-to-day. Despite having technology readily available to us, I feel that our connection points have decreased. God made us for community, and we need an excuse to relate to one another.
The other thing I like to hear about is cool new projects or ideas with a technology spin on them. I’d love to hear about a project and ask “Why aren’t we doing that?”
One more thing the community can do is to keep the tech committee members in their prayers. Pray for wisdom in stewarding the technical resources, such as for purchasing decisions. Also pray that they are able to spend time growing their relationship with God despite the extra workload.