But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Cor 12:9-10
I will admit, one of my greatest weaknesses is TECHNOLOGY.
I love technology and I depend on it every day of the week. But, when technology fails, or I can't figure it out, or when I fail to use it correctly, I have a tendency to struggle in some areas of life.
Last month my hard drive crashed on my MacBook Pro. After having it tested for 5 days and discovering that there were unrepairable corrupt files, my best option was to rebuild the hard drive and reinstall all of my files.
What does this have to do with “ministry work” or a “family update?” When I lost the use of my computer, it impacted my ability to check and respond to email; to access donation records; to edit and modify websites; to submit press releases; to prepare for board meetings; and pretty much do most of the things I do during the week.
This sounds like a sad commentary of ETC (Excessive Technology Codependence), but I think it is a reality of this day and age. Technology drives much of what we do and can do these days. When used properly, technology can enhance relationships; keep lights on; improve decision making; alert us about local, national and world news; and provide opportunities in business and ministry that were not possible as little as 20 years ago.
WHAT I LEARNED (See Technology I Use)
1. BACKUP – If you use technology, I would strongly suggest creating a backup strategy. Since going to a digital world, I know people who backup thousands of pictures of their family. They are able to safe keep family memories through a simple planned backup strategy.
2. SECURE ONLINE STORAGE – Much of my work is already online...email, websites, donor management systems, etc. BUT, I still have documents, spreadsheets and files on my local hard drive. I am working toward a system of having access to most of my critical files from any computer and/or mobile device. This requires a secure online storage system for my critical files.
3. PAPERLESS – Reducing paper has been the technology pipe dream for years, but for most of us, computers seem to have increased the amount of paper we use in many different ways. The goal of a paperless strategy is not necessarily a strategy to “reduce paper.” It is a strategy to reduce the “handling of paper” over and over, which in turn saves time and effort. I handle a lot of paper and through a paperless strategy, I can reduce the amount of time I spend handling paper.
4. JOURNALING – I have tried for years to be more consistent with journaling on a regular basis. I wish I could do it daily, but I know that is just not possible. But, again, with technology, including online and offline tools, journaling has become easier and I am trying to be more consistent.
5. TOOLS – Based on my recent experience, I recommend the following products/tools (see below for my reasons why): Apple computer; supplemental tablet mobile device (iPad, Android, etc); Evernote; Dropbox; portable 1 TB external hard drive; ScanSnap scanner; IMAP email system; Gmail account; LastPass; FaceTime; online banking; online access to credit card accounts.
In many ways, technology can be a weakness, but, when used properly it can also be a strength. No matter the technology I use, Christ still remains my greatest strength.