1. Tell us something about yourself!
I'm “PBW”, and I'm the IT Ministry Coordinator for BCC Turkey. I'm married with 2 boys. What's my favorite cartoon? I loved Inspector Gadget growing up!
2. How and why did you become involved with mobile ministry?
Kutsalkitap.org is our primary website. In an attempt to expand our reach we've moved on to FB, Twitter, and YouTube in the past few years. Those social media sites are increasingly driving the internet onto mobile devices, so that is the direction we are heading too.
It is also worth mentioning that according to 2010 stats only 34% of Turkey is online. But nearly 100% of the population has a cell phone of some sort. However, this is also why it is critical to focus on simple sms text applications BEFORE (or at least at the same time) as you consider other mobile apps and solutions.
3. What excites you about mobile ministry?
It's reach! People can personally write to us via their mobile phone and not have to worry nearly as much about others looking over their backs at an internet cafe or elsewhere.
4. What aspects of your background/training, books, websites, tools, etc. have been most helpful to you as you’ve moved forward in mobile ministry?
I would say it is the people you follow the matter the most! Here are 3 suggestions:
John Dyer, http://j.hn/, From the Garden to the City
David T. Bourgeois, Ph.D. http://genesys11.com/lessonsfrombabel/
5. What are some of the biggest obstacles to implementing effective mobile ministry? For you/your ministry? For the Christian world in general?
The biggest issues we personally have faced are questions about the content we will be delivering via a mobile and the changes to our existing site(s) and process pipeline that our mobile projects are causing.
I would say the biggest general issue we face is how to move from online and mobile presence to personal and face to face community building. Online efforts are a poor replacement church and the individual transformation that Christ calls us to.
6. What is one recommendation you could make that would help an individual or ministry be better able to move forward in mobile ministry?
If you want an open source solution http://www.frontlinesms.com/ is where to start.
If you are looking for more support http://www.twilio.com/ is where to start. (I personally would be using Twilio of I could have a local phone number here in Turkey with it)
7. What is one hard earned lesson in ministry you would want to pass on to others here?
A motto I picked up a few years back is “the will to succeed, the grace to compromise.” I'd argue those are 2 traits that are necessary to long term success in any ministry.
8. What part of mobile ministry does the Church need to bring more effort and focus to?
Using the mobile as a tool for missional work OUTSIDE the states.
9. What aspect of mobile is overrated in your mind? Why?
Apps. You have to make an app that works on iPhones, Android, Blackberry, etc etc. And each version only has a fraction of the overall mobile market. So your returns on them are not going to be as high as you would like. This is why focusing on TEXT & SMS first is so key.
10. Is there anyone else you’d like to see interviewed regarding mobile ministry?
Courtney Roes of Greater Europe Mission eDOT