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May 15, 2018

Mind of a Developer

By James Pavlic

Software Development and Ministry

In my previous posts I outlined the importance of having a theology of work and understanding the importance of Imago Dei. Now we look at the beauty of God’s image in IT types.

Unfortunately, IT people are the brunt of many jokes. As a class of people, they are stereotyped as extreme introverts. Many of them are ignored and discounted within the church. Yet, their beauty is striking when considered through the lens of God’s image. To see God’s image, we must enter into dialogue and relationship with them. With introverts? How?

The answer is found in seeing the creativity of God, His command to love, and the teaching on the body of Christ.

Creator, Creativity, and Beauty

First, our God is wonderful. Among many attributes, He is creative, redemptive, and renewing. When we look at this world, His creativity shines through and shouts, “Pay attention!”

God is also redemptive. God sent His One and only Son to live a perfect life and die a terrible death, to bear our evil so we could be rescued for new life. God loves to renew. He takes broken people and makes them whole. At redemption, we are given new hearts so we can be agents of renewal and restoration.

So, let’s use these ideas to find beauty in IT folks.

Creative

Some IT people have the ability to look at large, complex problems, or systems, break them down into manageable models, then make them real on a system or network. It is amazing to be part of a brainstorming session as they find solutions for complex problems. As they meet, they come alive with energy, ideas, and creativity. It is incredible to witness. The technological advances we have seen wouldn’t have happened without people who live and breathe in the world of thinking and analysis.

How are we using their analytical minds in our churches? Are we just using them to fix our computers, or are we bringing them to the table to help resolve complex problems in our churches?

Redemptive

Others within the IT space have the uncanny ability to take broken things and restore them. Not only do they do this well, but, they come alive when they do it. They restore programs, systems, and networks that have become corrupt or non-functional. It is here that they image God in His redemptive work. They perform analysis and pour out their energy to save something that is essentially useless.

Can we see this as something wonderful? Can we enter into partnership with them for the sake of the gospel?

Restorative

Still others within the IT space are masters at restoration. They see a network that is slow, a program that is bogged down, or a system that can be made better, and they come alive. They see opportunity to reclaim, restore, redesign, and reimagine.

It is here that they image God in His restorative work. God loves to make things new. He loves to restore things to a state of full operation. He transforms, sanctifies, and makes broken people as they were designed to be.

Can we see introspective people as workers of restoration together with us?

The Greatest Commandment

Second, the law of God is summed up in two commands: love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40). We are to see each person as created in God’s image, beautiful, and reflecting God to us. We are not allowed to dismiss people because they don’t look like us, make us feel uncomfortable, or don’t seem to be advantageous to us (James 2:1-7).

The great law of liberty (James 2:12) tells us that we should not judge others by their appearance, their status, or what they give us. We are objects of mercy, not judgment, and must treat others this way. God loved us simply because He loved us (Deut. 7:7-8; 1 John 4:19).

So, do we view God’s people like this? Do we simply love them for what they are? How can we change our perspective to see a person’s beauty no matter their extroversion or introversion?

A Beautiful Body

Third, Paul tells us that the body of Christ, his people, have many gifts and each person is created as a unique and amazing gift that builds up God’s people to more image Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-26; Eph. 4:11-14).

Are we entering into life and ministry with each and every person, even extreme introverts?

How do you determine with whom to minister? We should bring more people to the table to work through ministry issues, visions, plans, and strategies. Let’s not allow introversion to deter us from using every part of Christ’s body. IT people are in your church and ministry for a reason.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Pavlic

James Pavlic (@jtpavlic) is a bivocational pastor who has worked in software development for almost 20 years and currently lives in Mesopotamia, Ohio where he is on the journey of rural church planting.

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