I just finished having lunch with a great friend of mine who heads up the mission trips at our church.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about how technology, media, the Internet, and live streaming can all be leveraged to transform the way churches “do” missions trips, and how their local church body can get involved.
As it is now, people will go on a missions trip for a couple of weeks and most of us back home in the church forget they’re even gone. It’s like, four people just left for Haiti and we don’t hear from them, or even think too much about it, until they are back a couple of weeks later.
And then, when the missions team gets back, they are typically given a couple of minutes on Sunday morning to share what happened.
But what if we could bring technology and media into play – leveraging the technology that we already have at our disposal to allow local church bodies to follow our mission’s teams day by day, even moment by moment, as they serve on the missions’ field?
For example (just some random thoughts I shared with my friend):
1) Have a daily scheduled time where a team member from the missions team is available via Facebook chat, and everyone back home visit the webpage where the chat is taking place – then the mission team could answer questions, say hi to loved ones, update everyone on how things are going, etc…
It would be a set time each day, so everyone would have something to look forward to.
2) If the Pastor is on the missions trip, then have the Pastor preach the Sunday morning message from wherever they are on the missions trip.
Like in Haiti for example, you could pre-record the Pastor preaching his message for Sunday, and then broadcast that message up on big screens in the church… “here’s our Pastor coming to you live from Haiti!”
3) Here’s the ideas I really like to talk about – having a blog, Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter profile set up so that people can follow along with the missions team day by day, even moment by moment.
With all three of these platforms (blog, Facebook Page, Twitter) text, video, and photos can all be shared in real time – and then especially via Facebook, conversations could develop around the particular content being shared.
This is also a great way to get the local church body involved with the missions trip, interacting with the mission team members, praying for what’s happening, and supporting the missions trip.
4) Speaking of supporting :-)) Leveraging the web (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc…) you could easily incorporate a PayPal or Google Checkout button (Google even has non-profit buttons available) so that people can support the missions team financially – all in real time!
Those are some thoughts I had in my head about how technology can be leveraged with a missions team from a church.
What ideas can you think of???? Share in the comments!