Is this hacking the kind where people break into computers and steal passwords? No, that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about “hacking” which combines creativity, critical thinking, programming skills and a lot of teamwork to build quick digital solutions.
That’s what we did during Labour weekend at the Indigitous #HACK Hackathon. We had four teams from Auckland and Wellington who worked tirelessly on creating apps, websites and games. While the average hackathon aims to solve problems for big companies or to create startups, #HACK was all about the mission of making Christ’s disciples in all nations.
Missions Interlink, an association of Kiwi missional organisations, wanted a tool to help people overcome apathy and fear to use digital evangelism resources they have access to.
One team at #HACK looked to give people a trusted method of sharing how they have had success using online evangelism tools so that users could have confidence in the tools they found.
They created a website to help people browse and choose from a variety of evangelism resources. People could also share their experiences of using different tools and content for evangelism and leave ratings for them. This means that people could find out about different online evangelism tools, and choose ones that had a proven track record with other online evangelists.
Jesus.net, a network of international Christian organisations, wanted to create Gospel-centred media to point non-believers to Jesus using storytelling.
The team at #HACK that responded to this challenge decided, after weighing up a number of different options, to make an interactive storytelling game.
The game takes you on a journey set in a peaceful kingdom which becomes plagued by a curse, leading to a climax where the ruler of the kingdom sacrifices himself to cleanse his people of this curse. The example of this king (who is like Jesus) inspires people to think about the supernatural response of God’s love to our fallenness.
What kind of people attend these events? Well, there’s space for programmers, testers, designers, illustrators, data scientists, engineers, or marketers, whether students or professionals. Most importantly, all of us have faith that God can use us, are open to new learning experiences, and can collaborate with one another.
Hear what one participant had to say about the event:
I went to #HACK mostly to meet new people in the tech field and to build a cool product together. So I wasn’t completely expecting it to be such a good growth opportunity for me. Firstly our team devotions were perfectly timed reminders that the results are all God’s doing and our priority in all we do should be to give God the glory. Secondly it opened my eyes to see the needs that I can help fill with digital solutions for ministries all over the world and particularly in NZ. Thirdly it was just a great, fun experience to build up a wider and spirituality beneficial community. And the swag! I praise God for leading me to #Hack 2017.
– Angelica Legaspi
We live at a time where our lives are deeply affected by technology. This means we can have a huge impact on God’s Kingdom through partnering with Him in tech. These days we can learn almost any skill online for free. So we have no excuse not to create new “hacks” to bring the good news of Jesus through digital means!
If you want to be part of an existing project, or invite others to work on your ideas, follow these 3 simple steps:
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