The Internet is no place to travel alone. Once we start using the Internet and social media for mission—we start forming partnerships. These partnerships are especially helpful to people who are not-techy but want to use technology for what they are good at: mission. We need good partners and we want to be a good partner as well.
One has to have good hardware, software and infrastructure (connectivity, firewall, security) to have an Internet ministry. Organizations depend on good tech support people to know when to repair/replace the hardware, choose and up-grade the software, and keep the systems running smoothly. They also want an attractive and functional website. Volunteer or paid, part of the staff or an outside contractor, the tech support person and the webmaster are key partners in Internet ministry. We want people who have the requisite expertise and who believe that their role is to help us develop and grow our Internet ministry not constrain it. Without these partnerships or without the right partners, organizations can waste money, fall-behind in security and best practices, and fail to use the Internet effectively for mission.
When we move onto services like online meetings, Internet marketing, webinars, and collaborative communities, we usually need professional partners to walk us through the maze of options and to help us to determine what will work the best for us. These partners are invaluable. Sometimes their help is on their website or through live chat or email. For higher priced services and more elaborate programming we consult with them over the phone, on Skype, or in-person. Conversations with these professionals about what we want to do, help us become more precise in identifying our goal and more realistic about what we can do. We always want to consider and compare several providers before we select one to be our partner. Sometimes, no matter how hard we tried to make a good choice, we make the wrong choice. We can learn from the experience and move on. These mistakes are often the best teachers.
Be a Good Partner
In working with every partner—we want to be honest with them about our goals and needs, respectfully hold them accountable and always express appreciation for the service they provide. When we do that, they will love being a partner with us and will make every effort to help us succeed.
How helpful are partners in your Internet ministry?