Silver Bullets And Web Applications

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:30:00 AM Categories: Ministry & Technology
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I live in the world of technology and ministry. We do lots of both and blend them together as a company. We think about and coach people on both all week long.

Most of us feel overwhelmed by it all. How does our website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, Email, texting, blogging, other social media, video conferencing, live streaming, membership, groups, calendar, guest or dship tracking, check-in, contributions, and accounting all fit together? We need a silver bullet.

Last summer my son went to China for an operations management class as part of his major at the University of Texas business school. One of the lessons he came back with was a comparison by a chinese professor of the development of western china to that of the United States in the late 1800’s after Lincoln built the Transcontinental railroad and signed the Homestead Act of 1862. The railroad represents the build out of infrastructure to unite our economy and the Homestead Act gave everyone access creating the middle class instead of a land aristocracy. For me, it was a great metaphor for the Internet as well.

I grew up in Colorado because my great-grandparents were Homesteaders. As late as 1900 there was still land to be homesteaded in western Colorado and both sides of my family bought Homesteads. I grew up with stories of building a ranch and a living out of the western wilderness. I was working cattle when I was 7, but we also had TV. The Lone Ranger was part of my daily routine. And the Lone Ranger always had a silver bullet. It symbolized the fact that he always had the right solution to win the day.

Here are my thoughts about silver bullets and web apps. There are no apps that are going to be the solution to everything. Never will be and never should be. The Internet itself, like the transcontinental railroad, is the closest thing there is to a silver bullet. It unites us and makes the wilderness available to all of us.

Listen to Seth Godin, today’s Horace Greeley, and venture out to build your tribe. Our ranch was quite different than our neighbor’s. It reflected our family. Their’s reflected their family. Like the Homestead Act, web applications are not about making aristocrats. Sure there are a few, but the genius of web applications is the development of the middle class. Some of us will email, text, Facebook, Twitter and blog more than others. We will Google, Bing, Yahoo, Youtube or Safari our way through life. We’ll build websites to stake our claims so others know where to find us, what we do and how to engage us. And some of us are wired to develop new apps that make putting up hay, stretching wire or moving cattle (sheep) easier.

We know God’s wiring for us. Who has God wired you to be?