A few weeks ago, I attended the Code for the Kingdom Hackathon in San Francisco where nearly 150 technologists from companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Linkedin, Bank of America, and Zynga gathered to create progressive technology for the next era of Christianity.
At the start of the year, when I first began ideating with Leadership Network about the hackathon, I was hoping it would produce a 2 to 3 solid ideas. So I am thrilled that it more than tripled the goal. It is a testament to what can be accomplished with the right mix of prayer, talent, and brainstorming. It is a glimpse of what God can do when we offer our hearts, minds, and hands for His work.
Code for the Kingdom San Francisco was a collaboration between Leadership Network, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and Carpenters. Computer programmers, designers, and strategists worked as teams for 48 hours to build digital tools for Christianity with the help of occasional guidance from on-site mentors specializing in venture capital, Fortune 100, technology, and ministry.
Fourteen projects were presented in the end. Here are some examples:
Likewise coordinates micro mentorship within specific communities. In order to participate, you must be willing to be both a mentor and mentee. Participants give datapoints about how they would like to be mentored and how they are comfortable in mentoring others. Then the technology weaves a network of mentors and mentees, so that mentorship is a two-way street.
An app offering a kid-friendly email solution that allows children to email friends and grandparents drawings and audio clips while making moderation easy for parents.
- Free As Me
International Justice Mission sent a software engineer to give guidance on how to build tools to stop human trafficking before it starts. The result was Free As Me, an app where trained volunteers can report potential human trafficking using audio, photos, and text.
- 4K Interactive Map Project
Youth With A Mission, a ministry with over 18,000 staff in 180 countries, brought their 4K Interactive Map project. The 4K Map divides the world into 4,000 Omega Zones and reports the spiritual needs and basic life needs of the world on both a local and global level. YWAM was able to make new strides on their initiative by collaborating with other technologists including senior level developers from FellowshipOne, one of the leading church management platforms.
An app that allows users to quickly record and email an audio prayer.
An online Bible that pinpoints how users currently feel and then recommends Scripture based on their unique circumstances.
An online Bible that lets you share Bible notes with friends.
- Unique Giving
A crowdfunding site that allows church plants to specify needs such as “40 chairs” or “an equipment trailer” and fundraise around these specific goals.
- I’ll Join You
A site that identifies the skills and abilities of congregants to improve volunteer placement and assimilation.
Leadership Network will be taking the event to additional cities in the months to come as part of their Beyond Digital Initiative. This initiative seeks to accelerate ministry technology through the hackathons as well as a 2-year leadership community comprised of innovative churches across North America.