When I first started in ministry my church didn't own a copier (they hadn't been invented yet), instead we had a mimeograph machine and an offset press. I didn't have a P.A. system in children's church, I just used a record player with a mic jack that had an extension speaker in the lid. I had to use individual press on letters, a light table, clipart with rubber cement and an exact knife to make a poster. All my fliers looked like ransom letters. We got a photo copier, a P.A. a cassette player, an overhead projector and I thought "Man I am set for life." A few years latter I got my first computer a commador 64 and I thought these is all the computer I'll ever need. By the time I replaced my filmstrip projector with a video projector I really thought it can't get any better than this even though I had to darken all the windows with trash bags and turn out every single light just so kids could see the faint image I was showing. In the almost 4 decades I've been ministering to kids I've seen a lot of technology come and go. It hard to imagine that I carry around a phone in my pocket that takes pictures better than any camera I've ever owned, it get's instant messages, emails, and is connected to the world wide web. I didn't see this coming and also how much I would rely on it to do the work of the ministry. Technology has come a long way.
Currently I use a laptop, an iPad Air and an iPad Mini, an iPhone, the cloud, a boom headset and I carry around a hot spot just so I can keep it all connected. To say all this technology has changed my life would be an understatement. Because of technology I live in Tennessee and serve as the Executive Pastor at a church in Oklahoma. I am presently coaching 45 Children's and Family Pastors from 26 different states through my infuse coaching and mentoring program. In January I will minister in 5 different states live and in person. I didn't see this coming back in the day when it was me, 7 kids and that P.A -record player. A couple of weeks ago because of this amazing technology I got to do something I could have only dreamed of before now, I had the privilege of ministering to 8 Missionary couples who work with kids from all over Europe. We were all in different places (Spain, Romania, Ireland, Holland, just to name a few) and because of web conferencing I got to view each one all at the same time. It was morning for some and bedtime for others but to me It was a miracle, a dream come true all because of the miracle of technology and wonderful day Jesus has allowed me to live in. After that experience it got me thinking about the possibilities around me. I am so excited about the days ahead and how I can use this amazing technology God has given us to be difference makers at home, across this country and around the world. It's crazy to me that I can minister to others around the world and not even have to board a plane.
If I can help you in 2014, please let me know. Because of technology Jim Wideman Ministries can now help you with resources, theClub, infuse coaching and mentoring, consulting and by phone and web conferencing. Check it all out here at www.jimwideman.com. And while you're looking at all the ways I can help your ministry through technology feel free to download my smartphone and iPad app as well. It just gets me thinking, what in the world is next?