Posted on 19 April, 2011 by sampeckham
Crowdsourcing is a concept that’s been around the web for a few years now, it’s quite trendy in business to talk about crowdsourcing tasks out. For example, a new company may go to a forum and post their brief for a new logo design and see what ideas come back – it works very well. But can we use this approach in ministry?
Wikipedia defines crowdsourcing as
the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.
In ministry this would seem to be a way of getting lots of people to start evangelising or even doing good works – but the familiarity of this concept won’t be lost on most followers of Jesus.
Despite the claim that Jeff Howe first used this term in Wired magazine in 2006, it’s community driven origins can surely be attributed to the great commission some 2000 years earlier?
For our ‘big question’ on the blog this month though we focus on the online nature of this, and whether ministry organisations can find a benefit in their online ministry by taking a crowdsourcing approach.
The wikipedia article goes on to say;
the concept of crowdsourcing depends essentially on the fact that because it is an open call to an undefined group of people, it gathers those who are most fit to perform tasks, solve complex problems and contribute with the most relevant and fresh ideas.
FEB family of organisations are currently embarking on a new era of online work. But they the man-power to implement all of the ideas they come up with, in this case I wonder if crowdsourcing can be part of the solution to a shortage of human resources?
yesheis.com is one take on this crowdsourcing idea. The site launched earlier this year by Christian Vision is a curated collection of online resources, mostly videos, that can potentially provoke, stir or move people on in their understanding of Christ and the Gospel message.
The premise is that Christians will come to the site and sign up, getting access to all the resources and being able to search and find things they like. They can then post, embed and share these videos across Facebook, Twitter and other social sites therefore reaching out and helping to spread the Christian message.
Christian Vision’s strategy is to mobilise the church and empower them with the resources to do online evangelism themselves – with lots of people signing up, they have a ‘crowd’.
As we look at a range of ideas, concepts and technology, how should a ministry “gather those who are most fit to perform tasks” and which tasks are right to give an open call? Contribute your comments and opinion here.