Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Who are the Toys For?

As Terry and I prepare for our conference session this Thursday on the web and the church, we're spending a lot of time talking about how we evaluate using technology here at Fellowship Church. The two question we ask constantly are:

Who are the toys for?

What is the return on ministry?

There has to be a higher purpose than just the fact that something is the latest and greatest. What ministry purpose does it serve? Does it meet a true need or is it simply cool, or better yet, something another organization does?

A great example of this principle comes from the world of presidential politics. The Dean and Kerry campaigns got a lot of press for their use of the latest and greatest technology, and for being cutting-edge. Read what Zach Exley, the online communications chief for the Kerry-Edwards campaign, had to say about the limitations of cool software:

The Democrats had no shortage of goatee-chinned web designers, but they were trounced by the Republicans' superior top-down organization.

"The difference between the approach of the left in general, and the Republicans, is that the left was more interested in just putting cool software up. The idea was to put up the tools and let people use them."

He [Exley] derided net evangelists who believed that the answer was 'let's come up with new ways of talking!'