Last year, I wrote over on my personal blog (Painfully Hopeful) about an unintended benefit to a mobile technology experiment:
Several weeks after we implemented our QR Code experiment Central Baptist had a new couple come for a visit. I saw them entering the building one day, and helped direct them to our Sunday School Auditorium. Accompanying them was a seeing-eye dog, because both people in the couple are severely visually impaired. As my son also has a significant visual impairment, I’m rather sensitive to the needs of folks who share some his struggles (in this case, the struggles are much worse than his own). After inquiring as to our guest’s level of sightedness, I asked the couple if there was anything I could do to make the worship more accessible. The answer I got blew me away.
No, thanks. You guys have a great web-site and we found your bulletin on-line so we know what’s going on.
Now, I had literally activated a new web-site layout the very week this couple visited Central, so the fact that it was obviously accessible sent me in near-earth orbit. At the same time, however, I was blown away. I had put the Bulletin on-line in order to allow the data to be transmitted optically – and here that decision make our worship accessible for brothers and sisters in Christ whocannot see. How’s that for an unintended benefit?
Upon a recent reflection on this, I find that its easy to take a guess at the downsides of technology, but much harder to see benefits outside of our personal/organizational views. Are there more of these unintended benefits happening and we just aren’t seeing them because while we are using this tech for ministry, we aren’t looking at this tech as one being ministered to?