Posted by: metamodguy on Nov 16, 2010
Tagged in: Untagged
How Christian missions have changed. When Hudson Taylor sailed from England to China on his first missions journey in September 1853, it took over 5 months to make the trip to Shanghai – the fastest clippers and their cargo (including mail) could reduce that to just 4 months at best.
Today, a message from China may take just milliseconds to arrive.
At the same time, expectations about the quality and speed of communications have skyrocketed. For someone requesting information about a missions opportunity, a 2-day wait for a reply is barely acceptable. Paper forms and snail mail are so last century.
The organisation I work for*, OM (formerly Operation Mobilisation), is a large, inter-denominational Christian Missions organisation. We have over 5500 workers, many serving cross-culturally, in over 110 countries.
The IT needs are enormous. Let me tell you something about the part I am involved with – web.
(*) my time is split 80:20 between OM and Brandon IT Consulting / MetaMod
Web in OM
OM has somewhere near 100 web sites in addition to www.om.org. Our CMS of choice is Joomla, with a few other technologies thrown in. We have need for content managers, site admins, people skilled in hosting & security, translators, web designers, trainers, Joomla extension developers, SEO and social media strategists and more.
Have I mentioned your skills yet?
Many of our “Field” web sites serve a varied audience. The audience ranges from a local audience in the local language wanting information about events, contact details, or a gospel message, to an international, multi-lingual audience wanting information about local ministries in that location, in order to pray, give, or go.
Some Fields could use someone looking after their web site full-time – adding new content, building in-bound links, and working with other communications staff. Other Fields just need their sites brought up to date and an eye kept on maintenance and site upgrades. In these cases we sometimes organise someone to spend a few weeks on-site, then the rest can be done remotely.
Could this be you?
The main office for OM International is in Carlisle in the north of England, and we’d love for new people to join the communication team there. However, I work remotely from New Zealand, and there are full-time opportunities in a number of other countries around the world – see the list of IT jobs here.
Working with OM
Uniting all “OM’ers” is a love for Jesus, and a shared desire to bring his love and hope to the peoples of the world – to truly “transform lives and communities”. So working with OM isn’t quite your average IT job! There’s also the opportunity to spend a proportion of your time in active ministry.
A few years back, my wife and family and I spent 20 months working with OM in the Czech Republic. We loved our time there, but I really found my place to serve when we left and I started working with the International Web Team. I get the chance to use all my technical skills to enable others to serve. Sometimes that’s working on Online Giving, SEO, design, management, development or site admin. On an average day I might be in communication with colleagues of multiple nationalities in 3 different continents… I love my job!
It’s not always easy. Like many non-profit organisations we’re understaffed and not in a position to go to the job market to hire. We need people who are committed to the work and who can meet the challenges of working in cross-cultural settings alongside other volunteers. It can be a challenge to remain motivated when communication is tough and time-zones work against you.
Part of the ethos of OM is that we raise our own support. This means that each of us has the privilege (/challenge) of developing a team of financial partners whose financial support covers our living costs and expenses. While this can be daunting, help is available and it also means that each of us has a team of people behind us who care, pray, and support us and the work we’re involved with. So don’t be put off by this – find out more.
Find out more
- Talk to someone at your local OM office
- See the main list of IT jobs in OM, and information about joining
- Send me a note including a list of your skills and something of your heart for mission, and I’ll try to put you in touch with the right people.