Technology is an exciting world these days. It provides some of the best job opportunities and is home to many of our greatest advancements as a society. It is an ever changing and fast paced environment. Everything about technology changes at a rapid pace from the hardware itself to the software that runs it and even down to the languages used to create that software. As a leader in church tech, you must first become a student and recognize that this particular field of study has no graduation date.
Leaders are Readers
By the virtue of taking time to read this, you are showing that you are passionate about learning. You are a reader and reading is an excellent way to learn about. Staying up-to-date through various tech blogs is one of the best ways to stay current. Where books and magazines quickly find themselves outdated, blogs are often kept current. Just make sure the one you are reading is being regularly updated and isn’t just sitting unused from years ago. Another great way to keep current is to read through any updates on your software. While we often skip this, it can give key insight into the software you are using and also gives insight into how the field might be changing.
Find a Mentor
Everyone needs a teacher. Finding someone who knows more than you and is willing to invest in you is a surefire way to improve your skills. This is true of all fields, but is especially helpful in the quickly changing technology space. This not only provides opportunity to learn new things, but also to bounce ideas back and forth. This idea bouncing will become a hub not only for learning, but for innovation. You will be amazed at what you can come up with when you can safely vocalize your ideas.
Become a Hacker
The best way to learn how to fix something is to break it. While the term “hacker” used to pretty much only be used to describe people who maliciously break into stuff, it now has a much broader, and more positive, meaning. A hacker is someone who is willing to do things differently than the norm. It is someone who is willing to take things apart to not only learn how they work, but how they can be improved.
We now have terms like, “life-hack” which describe using things in ways they are not intended to make life easier. We also have “hack-a-thons” where people work to break software in order to use it in ways it was never intended. These “hack-a-thons” have made our digital lives more secure, but have also been used to radically improve software speeds and efficiency. Be a hacker of your church tech. Just be sure not to break things on Saturday night or during peak times.
It is important in the church tech field to have a breadth of knowledge, which comes from reading, but also a depth of knowledge, which comes from learning one-on-one with a mentor and also by diving into the tech itself at a personal level. Anyone in church tech will do well to always be a student.