The Do Good Imperative

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Some time ago I read an article in Bloomberg News titled “The Do Good Imperative.” In it the author wrote about several products designed to help those in need. In fact, she said, “Some of the most innovative ideas today are coming from efforts to address the needs of those most in need.”

Ever since I read the article, I kept thinking about that “Do Good Imperative.” The article was mainly about ways that corporations are trying to do good with the technology and expertise in their company. I wondered, how does the church do good with technology?

It is common now for churches to use technology to connect within their community -- using Skype to visit with missionaries, social networks to encourage each other, electronic prayer groups, and so on. How does, or can, the church go even further with technology, and use it to do more than connect with each other?

The Banner had an article recently about Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Illinois having a joint worship service with the Louisiana State Penitentiary via video link. There are many non-profits using the web to provide ways to connect volunteers with those who need help. Another article in The Banner featured Back to God Ministries International and how they are encouraging believers in China through a fast growing community on Facebook.

The Bloomberg article cited several technological designs that were created to fill needs -- a “Laptop Per Child” project, a portable, inexpensive water filter, a wind-up flashlight, and open-source software designed to aid in disaster management. to name a few. These designs do more than connect, or enhance, they do good in a tangible way.

I love this example of using technology for doing good. It’s called “Goat, Canucks, Goat.” A few years ago, inspired by the tradition of growing a beard, or goatee, during the hockey playoffs, some guys in Vancouver decided to buy a goat for a family living in poverty (through the CRWRC) for every win by their team, the Canucks. They invited others to join in via a website with a “goat-o-meter” and regular updates. The goat-o-meter overflowed and they purchased hundreds of goats.

Does your church use technology to do good? I’d love to hear about it.
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