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Life.Church recently launched an initiative so people could use their talents can serve the body of Christ.
Open Digitari is an open-source network that will empower designers, developers and engineers to collaborate, develop and improve technologies that will revolutionize the church and change the world.
"We are constantly thinking about what more we can do and what else we can give away for free to help advance the kingdom," says Terry Storch, Life.Church director of Digerati. "Open Digerati comes from that same spirit of generosity and builds on that foundation. This isn't just an opportunity, it's a responsibility. We believe we're called to steward the gifts, talents and influence we have to bring people together as God does something truly special."
Open Digitari officially launched earlier this year with partners like Compassion International, YouVersion and Rock RMS, who are distributing various tools.
The Compassion project, for example, is a tool that allows users to import various data (via .csv, json, api, xml and so on) and cleanse the data to a common structure and field formatting that could be used with Tableau or other BI tools. In plain English, that means the tool will make it easier for churches and companies alike to create visual representations of data analytics to help in decision making.
Other projects offer a host of developer tools including website design, maintenance, app development and server administration.
The people behind the code are not stereotypical ministers, but they are just as called to serve.
"So often, people think that 'real ministry' means going into full-time ministry or traveling abroad," Storch says. "While some are called to do those things, I want people to understand they can do ministry from wherever God has placed them. He has given each of us gifts and talents that we can and should use for His kingdom. So my biggest hope for this initiative is that we can help people connect the dots and see that they can make an impact just by doing what they do every day, for the kingdom. There's a reason God puts people in the positions they're in and gives them the talents He gives them. And together, each of us playing the role we're meant to play can help change the world for the better."
The platform fuels the Great Commission in new and innovative ways.
"There are more people alive today than at any other point in history," Storch says. "We're in the midst of a population spike, and the curve keeps increasing. What's interesting is that access to technology is increasing at the same time. More than ever before, we are able to connect billions of people around the world through technology. What a unique opportunity we've been given at this point in time. Individually, we can build all kinds of things for the good of the kingdom. But imagine what we could do if experts in their field, who are passionate about advancing the kingdom of God, came together as the body of Christ. What might we build together for God's glory? I believe we were born now for such a time as this."
Where centuries past saw missionaries hopping on boats to spread the Good News, these modern-day missionaries have adapted the gospel message to beam around the globe. By bringing these tech-based workers together, Open Digitari has created a new mission field.
"We're able to go and make disciples in ways that weren't possible in the past," Storch says. "And God is working through these efforts more powerfully than we even dreamed was possible. It's amazing and humbling to think about how God is working through the church with the use of technology to make it easier for people to come to know Him."