A few years ago, a fortune 100 executive, Russ Mcguire, wrote an article for Christian Computing Magazine identifying four technological revolutions in the past 40 years. Here are his four revolutions:
- Internet / Email
- Social / Mobile
Churchteams was launched at the end of the Internet/Email revolution. I often say it was built for the web. Ongoing development was built around social and mobile ideas. But, we're just starting to really understand the possibilities of being intelligent. Maybe, just maybe, there are three parts to this intelligence movement.
Central intelligence. Known as our "spy agency", the first job of the CIA is to gather and centralize information. Agents are trained, resourced, and released to go wherever they need to go to learn what they need to know. Software intelligence starts by taking responsibility for gathering information. It sends out notifications to where people already are to capture information. It even holds them accountable to provide this information. This is why our "responsive access" concept is so important. Poor input leads to poor output. But perfect input leads to perfect output.
Business intelligence. The social/mobile revolution changed our expectations of data entry. No longer centralized anyone from anywhere can provide input. This leads to data sets so large that traditional processing and analytic methods are insufficient. It requires a different way of thinking. It was BI thinking that taught us to consider and discover ways to measure a concept like trust in relationships as a way to determine group health. Check out my small group academy class to learn more.
Artificial intelligence. Here's the real growing edge. AI is behind all the conversation about self-driving cars. At this level software takes input it gathers (CI), processes it against seemingly unlimited data (BI), recognizes trends and responds appropriately (AI). What would an AI church management system look like? It would have an accountable system for consistent data collection. It would creatively analyze massive amounts of data to measure trends among teams, groups and individuals identifying both needs and potential. Then it would recommend actions and opportunities for discipleship and ministry.
I am convinced that software intelligence can never take the place of community, teaching, worship or relationships. In fact, I think it will be so embedded in our life that we hardly recognize it. Like a light switch that pierces the darkness, church management software intelligence will help pastors better pastor, givers better give, mercies better mercy, evangelists better evangelize and leaders better lead.
You guys, we're going to have a great time exploring the future of ministry software together.