When I started out as a missionary, I began a process of learning and growing that will no doubt continue to the day I die. One area about which I had alot to learn was in the realm of technology. I think that every missionary/pastor should seriously using technology as much as he can. Obviously, we can become obsessed with it, but a great deal of technology is helpful because it allows us to communicate a message instantly, cheaply, and in a language that people are talking. I am by no means an expert in technology, but, in the next series of posts, I wanted to pass on a few ideas and tools that I use that might be of help to others who are in the ministry.
One of the main tools that I used for communicating with supporters and prayer partners is our website/blog. You can view our website at www.intoalltheworld.net. Our website used the wordpress platform and is a template that we bought from woothemes. The great thing about wordpress is that it requires no software to operate. Once installed, everything can be edited from any computer. All you have to do is login. In order to use wordpress, you will need to get web domain registered with someone like dreamhost. Then you need to get someone to host your site and install wordpress onto it. Finally, you can install any template that you might have and begin blogging.
Mailchimp is a great tool that allows you to send out custom email newsletters. The emails are free if you have less than 2000 contacts and send less than 10,000 emails per month. The great thing about mailchimp is that it can be set to email out your updates from your blog automatically via an RSS feed. The way I use mailchimp is I have it set up to send out an email every Thursday at 6pm when there is new content on our blog under the “ministry updates” category. Not everything that I blog about goes out in my emails – just the ministry updates. This keeps me from clogging up people’s inboxes with irrelevant material.