Sending and Receiving, or My Trails Since Leaving Normal Work

Mobile Minsitry Magazine logoI just realized that I don’t talk much on this site about what I do from day to day. Part of that is because I have MMM that’s not too far off to see that – but even then its not always clear what it is that I do. Getting a bit of a break in between two bigger slices of work this week, I’d like to talk some about what I do, but concentrate a bit more on what it is that I help people and organizations figure out.

If you were to look at MMM, the tagline would be your first indicator as to what happens: sending and receiving Christ in mobile. Essentially, I am always dealing with communication, communications (yes, there’s a difference, that’s why one has an ‘s’), and the people in between. Normally, this starts with understanding the systems and processes that people and organizations engage in, and I’m asked as to how mobile or processes can be better refined.

The backend of the tagline speaks to the other side of things, there’s no mistaking my aims for just making money. I really do see the integration of faith and technology as a needed and suitable commodity towards understanding how people, processes, and systems work. More often than not, this means that I am working with faith-based people and organizations, but not always. There’s an intention direction for activities to be within the secular domain as there – more than some others – people would do a bit better when faith is lived out in front of them visibly.

As you can probably tell with MMM, a good chuck therefore of this sending and receiving comes in the form of collecting and writing commentary to trends and activities in thh digital faith arena. Sometimes, this is as simple as pointing out the connections between current events and the responses that mobile and web technologies invite. Other times, its the placing of a view or set of views in a manner that provokes the reader to step a bit more carefully around their faith and digital choices – as the target audience of MMM is those persons who already have an established and followed voice in their communities.

Beyond that, my activities have me dealing with processes and people. In effect, I challenge and train people towards the best uses of their technological solutions. Sometimes, this amounts to walking people through the functions of their mobile device or content management systems. The longer-term engagements have me in the position of analyzing and assisting a team of developers towards implementing (efficiently) a technological solution that keeps in mind that there are people on the other end of the tool. In a very honest sense, its information architecture and user experience practices with a lot of sociology and psychology.

Mainly, I’m mobile. Meaning that I’m not devoted much to any platform other than being online. I use two mobile platforms for my personal and professional needs (Symbian and iOS), but can and usually have to add Linux, Windows, Android, and other platforms as needed. In respect to tools, I hold no allegiances either. I jump between Office, Google Docs, Notepad, browsers, and content management systems of all types pretty easily. The tool doesn’t matter as much as my data does, and this is what I try to translate to those whom ask for my knowledge and services. That said, I do take more chances than most (for example, running a server on my mobile).

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I take a key characteristic of Jesus and try to appropriate that into everything that I say and do – namely, I aim to live on the same level as those people whom I’m working with. Jesus talked to just about everyone, and was pretty much honest with everyone. He treated them fairly, but also left them with a life to consider and live. I try to do the same by maintaining a posture of always learning. There’s always someone that has something more/different that I don’t – and no matter how much they might value whatever it is that I’ll bring to the table, I try to also not discount that they too have something just as valuable to offer me. This allows me to better know them – and in the case of some clients better speak to the issues they need addressed, not just the ones that they’ve called me for.

Like many people who consult, train, and teach, I therefore have a bit of a wide reach when it comes to applicable skills, but also that keeps me learning to expand my interests. I don’t know that you can do mobile ministry and be stuck only knowing the technology or just a slice of the applicable audience. You’ve got to be aware of the parts that you do well for sure, but also of the entire picture, and maneuver towards them as needed.

So yea, that’s what I do and (in part) how I go about making ends meet and meeting others. There’s no manual to this I’ve been told. And this adventure is what has me in many more cities than hours in a bed some moments. But, its exciting, and grants me a lesson of this world – people, systems, and all – that’s more impressive than any classroom or cubicle. To that end, its the way that I like it and will continue until something more presents itself.

I’m always looking for new places to learn and apply these (and other skills). If you or an organization that you know of/work with might want to engage with me, its best to use the MMM contact form or my LinkedIn in order to get in touch with me. If the conversation flows well, the application of my skills/experience matches your needs, and there’s no conflict in values, then I’d be more than happy to continue the lessons I’m learning alongside you.

And in any cases, I’ll be continuing on this trail for as long as life and faith allows. It ain’t easy. But this is what I signed up for in moving forward.