Shortly after I graduated college I began working for an organization called the Coalition for Christian Outreach (www.ccojubilee.org). The ministry objective of the CCO was to reach out to college students with the specific goal of “transforming students to transform the world.” We had a fundamental belief that Jesus changes people’s lives and those people will subsequently change the world around them. From that belief flowed the need to help college students connect their faith in Jesus with their work. If they were to transform the world around them, and they’ll spend the majority of their week doing work (until they retire), how will that work have redemptive power in this world?
We wrestled, however, with more than just the results of work. As an architect, for example, one might design a building that was ultimately used as a church building. In that scenario the results of the work are directly attributed God’s kingdom. Ministry, outreach, discipleship, worship, and teaching of the word will be fostered within the walls of that building. While there’s a connection between one’s faith and the end product, that leaves out the process or the work itself. Architecture can, in many ways, express beauty and magnificence in a way that reflects God’s glory regardless of the functional use of the end product. When reading a book, looking at a painting, or observing an architectural wonder, we often see a bit of the creator in the work itself. Beyond that, we can see a message that the creator is trying to send. The architect may be trying to convey a sense of openness, majesty, protection (or security), or any other number of concepts. Through this, an Architect can bring out a beauty, glory, and wonder that is only possible within a creation given to us by God.
But this blog is about Information Technology. My question is related to the concept above. How does the work itself, not just the end product, of information technology bring glory to God? Sure, a software developer could write an iPhone app to display daily Bible verses in a reminder. They could create software to display words to worship songs for presentation during the service. But how does the work itself, the software development, server engineering, network design, business analysis (I could go on) bring Glory to God?
Technology can mean a lot of things. In the context of this blog, and for clarification purposes, I am talking about Information Technology. I’m talking about the work that people do in the vocation of IT or IS and how that work can bring God glory. At it’s root, technology can really be defined in a few different ways, inclusive of even basic tools such as sticks used to dig holes. A discussion of technology and how it’s evolved over the years is definitely worth discussion. Perhaps I’ll blog on that later. I simply wanted to clarify the subject matter of this blog.
So, how does someone working in Information Technology integrate their faith to their work? If God cares about everything, it stands that he cares about IT work. Why?