Old ways aren’t bad, but they aren’t always the most effective.
The Church’s mission has stayed the same for over 2,000 years, but its methods evolve. Churches can ride the current technological explosion and thrive… or reject it and potentially weaken.
David Dupree has faithfully labored for 40 years at Heritage Baptist Church in Zebulon, NC. In June of 2012, Dr. John Wheeler joined Heritage to oversee administrative technology and general ministry. Besides his regular preaching ministry, he’s using his aptitude for technology to reap the Harvest of the Kingdom.
He’s apart of a rare but growing breed of Christian ministers. He’s spent time as both a missionary and a contractor for IBM. He’s blazed new trails for the gospel and beta tested software. Now, God is using his love for the church and his knack for technology to increase the effectiveness of His church.
HBC was founded in 1974 and has grown steadily over the years. They are a church on mission. They support over 109 missionaries and projects, maintain a private Christian school, and run multiple bus routes every week to feed children physically and spiritually.
You can reap a harvest with a sickle, but you’ll reap more with a combine.
In the past, the database was disjointed. Phone and addresses were updated from notes scribbled on the back of used bulletins. Giving records were kept in older electronic databases and fragmented paperwork. The information was there, but you had to go on a mission to get it.
Dr. Wheeler made changes. He had experience with ACS Technologies software from another church, and saw what they were offering with Realm. He knew the company and trusted their products.
Now 16 different users can input different types of information. All of HBC’s Sunday school teachers are inputting data. The right information is available to the right people at the right time to make the right decisions. “For instance, if you track people riding a bus who have allergies and the bus captain is on vacation, everyone can get the info they need.” -Dr Wheeler.
Training people on Realm was easy. He showed the people what they had, and used some notes along with a few screen shots to get them going. He saved the paths people needed to access their class rosters on their smart devices so they didn’t have to jump through unnecessary hoops to get where they needed to go. People have responded and are using the system. If they aren’t the techie type, they have someone in the class who is that helps them out.
Dr. Wheeler has started a ministry wiki. It’s an easy way to push information out to the people who need it. He’s using a Mac Mini as a server. He uses it to push policies to different devices within the school, and sends the url’s to the devices that are being used in the classes.
The wiki page is also a church resource. Members can find almost everything there from service times and contact information to downloadable budget worksheets and links to a downloadable KJV friendly dictionary to your computer so it will stop marking KJV words as spelling errors.
The hard work is paying off. God’s at work within HBC. He’s been blessing and working in the lives of their teens. They are excited about spiritual things. Their attitudes have been improving in the school, they are excited for preaching, and they are hungry for outreach.
Want results like this? Visit our website to learn more about how Realm can benefit your ministry.