Christian Tech Enthusiasts Gather at Code for the Kingdom

Bitcoin in the offering plate?

Software allowing people to use cryptocurrency to give to churches was among the high-tech ideas under development at LifeWay Christian Resources during the Feb. 9-11 weekend.

LifeWay hosted its Code for the Kingdom event at its new Nashville campus where software developers worked long hours creating technology to serve the church.

Participants from across the country made 90-second pitches of their software ideas then formed teams to work on projects throughout the weekend.

Tim Hill, LifeWay’s senior vice president and chief information officer, told attendees LifeWay’s new building was designed with technology in mind.

“We knew we wanted to make collaboration easy,” Hill said. “We wanted this facility to be high-tech, and it is.”

Pitching ideas

Shamichael Hallman, a bivocational pastor from New Direction Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn., presented the idea of an app to help church members use their spiritual gifts.

“Once a person has taken a spiritual gifts assessment, I want to populate a list of church-specific ministries to get them immediately engaged,” Hallman said. “I think a lot of drop-off happens when people know their gifts but don’t really know what to do with them.”

Other pitches included:

— A social media platform to help people connect over topics related to sermons.

— An app for exchanging goods and services within the local church.

— An online directory of churches that contains sermon outlines and online giving information.

— An app to help with Scripture memorization.

To make the most of the time, several participants brought sleeping bags or worked all night. Teamwork with other believers made the extended hours enjoyable, they said.

“The tech industry can be really intimidating,” said Abby Fleming, a front-end developer from Lewisburg, Tenn. “Here, if you have a question, you can take your laptop to another team and ask for help. It’s not about competition, but collaboration.”

Hallman, a Code for the Kingdom organizer who’s been involved since the inaugural event in 2013, agreed.

“I’ve been to non-Christian hackathons where there’s a heavy emphasis on winning a prize,” he said. “Code for the Kingdom is more about helping others. I love seeing the cool projects that come out of it.”

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Source: Baptist Press