IT is one of many ministry categories that functions behind the scenes, yet plays a vital role in connecting people to Jesus. As I stepped into the position of IT Leader to build our technology department at Passion City Church, I knew my past experience was important, but I also knew that having a support network was essential in order to succeed. My quest for industry peers hit the jackpot when I found the Church IT Network (formerly known as Church IT Roundtable).
CITN is a community of business professionals, volunteers, consultants and companies in the technology field within a ministry setting. It was created in 2006 by church techs who knew there was a great need for community and networking. The annual National Church IT Conference brings this community into one place so that they can learn from one another. In addition to the national conference, CITN facilitates smaller regional events throughout the year.
I was invited to attend the 2017 national conference, which was held at Watermark Church in Dallas a few weeks ago. The available conference tracks included IT Pro/Directors, Web/Developers, Church Management, Online Ministry and Leadership Development. I chose the IT Pro/Directors track and was impressed by the wealth of knowledge, from infrastructure support roundtables to disaster preparedness discussions.
My favorite sessions were the spiritual breakouts. For those sessions, we split into smaller groups to discuss and pray about topics like continuing to grow spiritually in a technically demanding environment, being a constant support provider at work and home, and how IT is a ministry to other ministries. There were also moments of worship and teaching that created space for attendees to be still and refuel.
The conference revealed that many churches have similar technical issues, so we can learn from each other’s experiences and solutions. I was able to create many new IT connections from churches of various sizes and other countries. Technology is advancing quickly, making events like these a necessity.