Learning to Work with New Technology

On Monday, Diane blogged about the need for more “seasoned” businesswomen to learn how to adopt new technologies for business purposes. Today, we’re introducing you to a woman who fills that need for her fellow staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ: Sus Schmitt.


Sus serves as a Technology Ministry Developer for Women’s Resources at Cru. Her goal is to equip Campus Crusade for Christ staff to have more effective ministries through learning technological skills. Her main medium to do this is through her blog, eQuipping for eMinistry.  Sus also maintains a personal site, Mike and Sus.org and an evangelistic site, The Sovereign.  You can find her on FacebookYouTubeTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest. When she’s not blogging, Sus is busy enjoying her new role as a “nana” to a cute, little boy.




4word: Of all the new technology out there – from social media to smartphones – which did you adopt first?


Sus: In 2005, a friend suggested I start a blog about the various ways I share my faith with people when I’m out and about. That was the first I’d heard of them, but I took her advice and started writing “The Sower.” A couple of years later, I joined Facebook, just because I knew a few people who were on it.


4word: As you adapted new technologies into your ministry, how did you teach yourself about them?


Sus: I’ve always taught myself. 85% of what I know comes from just getting in there and doing it. The rest is something I researched, took a class on, or asked my kids about.


4word: Your blog, eQuipping for eMinistry, aims to help your peers learn how to use new technology in their own work. Why did you decide on that topic?


Sus: While my youngest daughter was finishing high school, my husband challenged me to pray about what to do when I became an empty nester. I knew I had developed a lot of social media skills. I also knew that God has given me the talent to explain technology simply. I wanted to be a good steward of those talents.


One purpose of my blog is to multiply myself. I want to train our staff in social media ministry so more of us are using this medium to share our faith and because I want this type of ministry to catch on and grow beyond my own contribution. I want to take people past learning how to resize photos to how to use Facebook or a blog to reach people.


4word: Have you noticed any common hesitations or fears among your peers about using new technology?


Sus: A few people simply don’t see the value of using new technology for ministry. In their case, it might help if I can just get them to jump in and try it (sometimes with a little hand holding).


Another problem is being unaware of what’s available. Someone may be stuck in doing something one way and have no idea about a different or better tool or method that’s available.  She actually doesn’t even know what kind of help to ask for. Or if she does know there’s a better way, she can be overwhelmed by the seventeen options she could choose from.


A third concern that’s especially common is privacy. This can be a valid concern or may be unfounded, depending on the individual.


Another roadblock is when people think they can’t learn. I frequently hear the excuse that “I’m too old.” To overcome this hurdle, I try to accommodate a lot of learning styles. Besides blogging, I’ll do a demonstration, have one-on-one time with our staff, and provide for groups or for mentor relationships where they teach each other.


I don’t expect most people to be in the know about the latest, because technology changes so frequently. I’m happy to be the one wading through all the new stuff, figuring out what’s going to work, and bringing it to them. I hope your readers also find eQuipping for eMinistry a useful site for learning new technology.


It’s fun to move someone from saying “I don’t know anything. I can’t do this.” to a place where she’s equipped to reach people for Christ.



It’s your turn to share! What’s the latest app or social media site that you’ve discovered? Let us know in the comments.