The term ‘Technology Overload’ is a strange one to western ears. Technology is always supposed to be ‘good’, isn’t it? How can you have too many gadgets or apps? That seems to run contrary to our culture. But this is a matter which ministers must pay close attention to in order to actually perform ministry. Bivocationals are usually looking to save time and effort when they can, so this can be a tricky area for us.
The key question here is, “What does this technology do for me and is it worth the effort?” Each gadget, app or piece of technology we decide to use should have a specific task or set of tasks which it handles. The end result must save enough time, money and effort for ministry purposes to make the effort productive. If it does not, then the technology actually hinders ministry.
An example of a positive experience might go like this: The pastor needs to send birthday and anniversary cards out to a number of people. He knows that these people are technologically savvy and check their email frequently. He goes onto the Internet to a favorite site and selects an Electronic Greeting card for each of them, spending about 3 minutes each. Not only does he do this in the same time it would take to write the cards by hand, he saves the cost of the card, the cost of the postage and the card is delivered nearly instantaneously. As long as the recipients regard an e-card in the same way they regard a physical card, he has found a way to leverage technology to his advantage.
When considering new technology, ask yourself these questions:
Is it going to save me more money than it costs (including labor time)?
Is it going to save me time over what I am doing now?
Is it going to open new possibilities for me?
Is it going to save me effort?
Is it going to be more accurate, and does that matter to me?
If you can answer at least three of these questions positively, then it probably is a good thing. If you can answer four positively, then it definitely is a good decision to incorporate the technology. Anything less than three, don’t bother.
Remember, technology is supposed to help you do a job. If it doesn’t do that, then it is failing to give you what you need.