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Computer Questions for Ministry Growth Series
Are You Ready ?
I have often heard, "We are not ready yet for a database".Some parallel statements also encountered within the last year are
There was once a young (elementary school age) boy who tended to arrive late for school. This was in an area where the kids walked to school. This happened mostly because he was barely out of the door on time in the morning.
His parents decided to provide a bicycle to help get him to school on time. After some time learning how to ride,   he was deemed ready to use it for his school day commute. For the first couple weeks, he arrived at school on time -- even if he was just barely on time in his departure.
One morning the young man was two or three additional minutes late, however his parents were not alarmed as there was still plenty of time to get to school on a bicycle.
That evening the young boy produced the "tardy notice" that his parents had to sign. This produced a series of questions:
Q: Didn’t you take your bicycle?
Q: Then what made you late?
A: I had to push it all the way to school.
Q: What was wrong, did it have a flat tire?
A: No, I just did not have time to get on it.
Have you missed taking steps to be more effective (and time efficient) because you "do not have time" ?
Are you waiting until you have a large staff working in a confused and ineffective manner before you want to consider a database ?
Are you willing to forego the organizational growth that comes from the analysis of your 'business processes' ?
"Small" is a very good time to get your procedures, the character and personality of your ministry, and your information in order. Why wait until "bad habits" have developed before you put good practices into place?
A real example:
I was staying on the property of a church while assisting a local ministry. This church was fairly small with about 40 to 50 attending in an older building that could comfortably seat just over 90 adults. They were finally finishing up the construction of a new building -- a project for which the foundation concrete had been poured ten (10) years before.How many people missed out on a life-changing opportunity during those 10 years ?
I asked how their neighborhood or regional evangelism was going. The reply was that they would be "ready" to start evangelizing when the new building was finished.
Are you waiting until you have all the answers in place before asking the questions ?
Are you waiting until you have "fully trained, technically expert" staff who will not make mistakes ?
This is somewhat like: needing to know how to "do a complete engine rebuild" before attempting to "change a flat tire".
Some things need to be learned incrementally - - a well structured context (well formed database for example) will improve the learning curve.
"He who observes the wind will not sow, he who regards the cloud will not
reap" ( Ecclesiastes 11:4 )
When considering an expenditure of staff time or money, is there always a dark cloud on your horizon ?
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(c) 2007 David McQuoid
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