Ministering Behind the Scenes
Not everyone who works for the church is involved in direct ministry, but that doesn’t make their work any less important. In fact, it is because of behind-the-scenes services such as Communication and Information Technology (IT) that Southwestern Union Ministries are able to thrive.
In fact, the magazine you’re reading right now exists because of the work of the communication department, and if you happen to be reading it online, you can thank the IT department for operating the server where this website resides. Yet, this is only a small portion of what these departments do.
In addition to producing the Record, the communication department oversees the Southwestern Union’s social media accounts and website, acts as a marketing agency for the union departments and handles public relations and crisis management. The communication team also provides support for each of the conferences within the Southwestern Union and contributes to communication efforts at the North American Division and General Conference levels.
The IT department provides technical equipment and support for the union and four of its conferences. This includes maintaining a server that houses everything from emails to documents. In addition, the IT department works to ensure that the equipment is safe from would-be predators.
“You want leadership to have safe standards on their equipment,” says Robert Dyke, IT director, explaining that there have been entities outside of the union who have been attacked by ransomware and had to pay thousands of dollars as a result. Dyke is thankful this hasn’t happened within the Southwestern Union and works hard to ensure equipment is safe and provide training to protect against ransomware in order to keep this from happening. “Saving the union money is one of the ways we can help the constituents,” says Dyke.
The communication department also affects constituents by producing materials that will prompt church members to reflect on their spiritual walk or inspire them to become involved in ministry. This year, after running a cover feature about someone helping refugees in New Orleans, Kristina P. Busch learned that someone in Houston had been moved to action by that piece. “There isn’t a way outside of the Record, outside of that platform that someone from Houston is going to read about Oklahoma City and reach out to the North American Division to get involved,” says Busch.
Busch sees her work of connecting and sharing stories as being similar to what Jesus did in His ministry. “Jesus did a lot of His ministry, if not most of His ministry, through connection,” says Busch. “I’m passionate about this because I feel like I’ve got a special assignment to share the stories that connect the people to Jesus.”
Dyke is also passionate about the work he does, saying, “I’m able to use the talents God has given me directly for His service.”
By Lori Futcher