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Integrating Computers and Technology into Youth Ministry. Andrew Sears Coordinator, PREP Community Computer Center, Bruce Wall Ministries Director, Association of Christian Community Computer Centers “Giving People Skills to Make a Living and a Spiritual Foundation to Make a Life”

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Integrating Computers and Technology into Youth Ministry

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integrating computers and technology into youth ministry

Integrating Computers and Technology into Youth Ministry

Andrew Sears

Coordinator, PREP Community Computer Center, Bruce Wall Ministries

Director, Association of Christian Community Computer Centers

“Giving People Skills to Make a Living and a Spiritual Foundation to Make a Life”

Kingdomworks, 2001

  • Why should we integrate technology into youth ministry?
  • Examples of technology and youth ministry
    • In After School Programs and with Teens
    • From PREP and other centers
  • How to get started
    • Getting equipment and grants
why use technology in youth ministry
Why Use Technology in Youth Ministry?
  • Computers and Technology are an excuse to develop a relationship
    • It’s not about the computers, it’s about the people
  • There is a great social need
    • The “digital divide” is the gap that separates those with access and training on computers and the Internet from those without.
  • Our goal: “Providing skills to make a living and the spiritual foundation to make a life.”
the new economy

Computer Industry***


Jobs Down 55-65%*

Jobs Grown to 7.4 million &

Increasing 6.5% per year

Once provided 52%

of jobs to some groups,

but now only 28%**

65% of all jobs use computers

90% of all jobs use computer-

related technologies

* In a range of Northern cities between 1967-1987, When Work Disappears

** Statistics are for inner-city black men in Chicago

*** Other sources include Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Commerce

The New Economy
the new economy6

Average wage in IT-producing

industries was $58,000

346,000 IT jobs remain vacant

nationwide and 1.7 million

need to be filled by 2003

The New Economy

Computer Industry***


Jobs Down 55-65%*

Once provided 52%

of jobs to some groups,

but now only 28%**

* In a range of Northern cities between 1967-1987, When Work Disappears

** Statistics are for inner-city black men in Chicago

*** Other sources include Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Commerce

the church and the digital divide
The Church and the Digital Divide
  • The term “Sunday School” originated from a major literacy drive by the church in the 1800’s; Christians can also lead the computer literacy drive

Books Basic Literacy

Computers Computer Literacy

  • This is one of the best funded areas for serving the community
  • Schools and the government can only do so much
christians and technology
Christians and Technology
  • Christian Community Computer Centers
    • Defined as any ministry using computers as an outreach to serve the community
    • There are over 1,000 community computer centers in the USA and it is likely that over 100 of these are Christian centers
    • Range from ministries with less than 5 computers to ministries with over 50 computers
    • Association of Christian Community Computer Centers helps support these ministries
different levels of tech programs
Different Levels of Tech Programs
  • Level 1
    • Provide “Tech Time” in an after school or teen program
    • Need 5-10 computers and Internet access (modem)
  • Level 2
    • Provide limited classes or teen business or job placement
    • Teens volunteer and/or work as tech staff
    • Need 10-15 computers and Internet access (DSL or Cable)
  • Level 3
    • Provide full Community computer center which may include walk-in access and advanced classes to local community and adults
    • Need full-time tech program staff
prep community computer center
PREP Community Computer Center
  • Joint Program of
    • Bruce Wall Ministries
    • Dorchester Temple Baptist Church
    • Cambridge Vineyard Christian Fellowship
  • PREP Activities
    • 15+ Computer Classes to 220 students each semester
    • Walk-In Computer Center with 30 visits per day
    • Youth Run Web Design Business
    • After School Technology Curriculum
    • Computer Club
    • Mentoring: provides relational time with students
    • Saturday Lunch: provides relational time with students
sponsorship and growth
Sponsorship and Growth
  • In first year, received over $300,000 in donations from:
    • Microsoft
    • Adobe
    • Filene Foundation
    • PowerUP
    • Gateway Computer
    • Individuals
  • Now have a staff of eleven and about 50 volunteers
  • Have two computer rooms with a total of 50 computers
integrating tech with other programs

Project 21

After School Program

After School

Tech Curriculum

Tech Time

at Camp

Camp Ozioma

New Horizons

Teen Job Placement Program




Youth Volunteers/

Youth Staff/

PREP Enterprises

Dorchester Temple

Youth Group



(not in




Computer Center

Computer Club

Integrating Tech with Other Programs

PREP Computer


Other Youth Programs



spiritual and skill development plan
Spiritual and Skill Development Plan
  • Provide Experience and
  • Credentials Needed for Jobs
  • Provide discipleship


Staff &

Certifications (20)

  • Practice Material
  • and Advance Learning
  • Develop deeper relationship

After School (30)

Get Mentored (50)

Volunteer/Assist with Classes

  • Build Skills Needed
  • for Employment
  • Develop Initial Relationship

Eight Week Classes

(250 students)

Two-Week Classes (250 students)

Walk-in Center (2,500 visits)

  • Decrease Barriers to
  • Using Computers
  • Establish contact

Program Areas


Student Advancement

after school technology time
After School Technology Time
  • Integrate computers with other activities in after school program
    • Black History Month, Scan in Art, Themes
  • Project based learning works best
    • Teaching software does not work without a goal
  • We split K-2nd grade and 3-7th grade
  • We use Jumpstart software with kids
  • Help share curriculum on AC4 E-mail list at:
    • We will soon have detailed after-school curriculum information at our web site at
after school tech curriculum ideas
After School Tech Curriculum Ideas
  • Greeting cards: we use Microsoft Publisher
  • Research on the Internet:
    • Searched for poets and their poetry
    • History of Hip Hop on the Internet. Present findings using PowerPoint
  • Poetry: taught formatting in Microsoft Word by having students write their own poems and then type them into Word.
    • Students often need to compose poems before coming to computer
  • Encyclopedia Africana: do a Scavenger Hunt through the time line portion
  • Calendars: students scan in photos
  • Newsletter: written, edited, and laid-out by the students
  • E-mail accounts (filtered PowerUP accounts) and their own web pages
  • Lego Mindstorm: Robotics with programmable legos ($300 per set)

Suggestions and curriculum ideas provided by Mary Pavan and Chris Tsang from PREP

computer club
Computer Club
  • Field trips once a month for middle school youth to technology sites (businesses and computer museum)
  • Provides increased relational time for visitors to our walk-in center
  • Still in experimental stage
teen program prep enterprises youth staff and volunteers
Teen Program: PREP Enterprises, Youth Staff and Volunteers
  • Youth Volunteers Duties
    • Assist with classes
  • Youth Staff Duties
    • Supervise walk-in center and fix computers
    • Assist with classes
    • Work in PREP Enterprises
    • Learn on the job and through self study
  • Discipleship: all youth staff have regular time of discipleship and leadership training
prep enterprises
PREP Enterprises
  • PREP Enterprises is youth-run, web design business
    • Employ six high school youth
    • Develop web sites for businesses and non-profits
    • For hire for your Web site at:
  • Other Good tech businesses for youth:
    • T-Shirts: sell to college groups and non-profits
    • Graphics Design
    • Video Production: do weddings and other events
    • Computer Refurbishing and tech support
walk in center teens
Walk-In Center (teens)
  • Anyone can come in off the street and use our computers for free (30 visits per day from youth and adults)
    • Attractive to teens that would not go to after school programs and provides a safe, educational environment
    • Internet access and music mixing very popular (software: HipHop eJay) and we have them write their own CD’s
    • Adults use center for the Internet and to work on resumes, other personal projects and to learn
  • Provides good learning activity for youth staff
    • Youth supervise computer room, answer any questions and will help get computers working
    • There is always an adult in our building (church) although youth staff may be in computer room alone
computer classes teens adults
Computer Classes (teens & adults)
  • Two hour classes meeting once per week and mostly on Saturdays
    • Great opportunity for volunteers to get involved
    • Limited relational time, but it gets people “in the door” to start relationships
    • We’ve found youth want the advanced and media classes while adults want the basic classes more
  • Mentoring at end of class provides opportunity to deepen relationship
  • Students returning to assist with a class is key!
ideas for classes
Ideas for Classes
  • Make a major effort initially to let the community know
    • This is needed to have many applicants at start of semester
    • We handed out 3,000+ flyers & table-tents on street, in schools, stores & restaurants
    • Got mailing list of our community from Boston’s Voter Registration Records and mailed to 10,000 residents
  • Meals between classes can provide opportunities for relationship building
  • Project based classes work well
  • Teens and adults can work in same classes, but adults taking classes with younger children does not work
  • See list of classes in Appendix
ideas for church involvement
Ideas for Church Involvement
  • Establish Computer Ministry within churches
    • Great opportunity for teens and adults to volunteer
  • Great partnership opportunity for suburban and urban churches
    • Many people in suburban churches will get involved in outreach ministries in urban communities because of their interest in computers and provides great opportunity for reconciliation and transformation
  • Classes provide good opportunity for volunteers
    • Have teaching assistants who train their first semester to teach the class while helping with the class
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • Computer ministry should be relational ministry
    • “It’s not about the technology, it’s about the people.”
  • Center needs to be in an organization that is indigenous to community being served and raise up indigenous leaders
  • Web filtering software on all computers (see appendix for list of filtering software)
    • Some software programs do not filter Web based E-mail (i.e. Hotmail)
    • We do not allow chat or non-educational games
  • Security is a major issue:
    • BWM has an alarm system and motion detectors and are installing a “panic” button for lab monitors and video entry cameras
  • Software licensing is an issue
getting started things you need
Getting Started: Things You Need
  • God’s support
  • People: staff support/volunteers
    • Technical support is a must
    • Can get work-study students from colleges for tech support
  • Space: to house computers
    • Look for space in churches and Multiservice centers
  • Equipment: computers, network, Internet connection
  • Software
  • Advertising/marketing (unless only serving existing programs)
  • Money: varies depending on your goals
getting equipment software
Getting Equipment & Software
  • Make announcements in churches that you are looking for computer donations from individuals and companies
    • relational method works best
    • Suburban churches may have many people in companies with computers to donate
    • Specify minimum requirements and types of computers
  • Get 20 new Gateway computers by joining PowerUP (see grants section)
getting equipment software through gifts in kind compumentor
Getting Equipment & Software through Gifts-in-Kind & Compumentor
  • Register with Gifts in Kind International (
    • Cost $125 and must be Non profit 501(c)(3) and use software for service to community
    • Cost $225 for 5 used computers 486 & above laptops/desktops
    • Network hubs for $50
    • Get copies of most major software for $30 (Windows, Office 2000, Adobe products, etc)
    • Provide great discounts (90% off) on office products, projectors, clothes, etc.
  • Use Compumentor for software discounts (
    • Most major software for only $30 and no registration fee
getting grants
Getting Grants
  • PowerUP (
    • Get 20 new gateway computers with software
    • Get $20-40k in funding over 3 years
    • Looking to partner with faith-based groups with after-school & teen programs (awarding thousands of grants targeting youth)
    • Deadlines: March 15, 2001 and August 15, 2001
    • Requires that you have 2 full-time staff that can help with lab (but do not have to spend all their time on the lab)
    • Application at:
getting grants28
Getting Grants
  • CTCNET AmeriCorps/VISTA Grant
    • Provides full time staff positions for a year for $2,000
    • To apply must first pay $100 to join CTCNet (
    • Have some restrictions on these staff “leading religious services” during paid time, but one of the most open gov’t programs toward faith-based groups, and you select the staff
    • Should open application process around Feb, 2001
    • Contact Peter Miller of CTCNet at or 617.287.7371 or visit
  • Get list of technology grants
    • Directory of Computer and High Technology Grants ($53) from Research Grant Guides, Inc. (order on
  • HUD Neighborhood Networks Initiative will fund centers in housing projects (which Christian groups could run)
association of christian community computer centers
Association of Christian Community Computer Centers
  • Mission:
    • To support and promote the use of computers and technology in Christian outreach ministries
    • To assist the 60+ identified existing Christian community computer centers and help others get started
    • To partner with national organizations to support CCCC’s
      • Pursuing partnerships with CCDA, Mission Year and CTCNet
  • Web: or
  • E-mail:
joining acccc
Joining ACCCC
  • Join for free now, but may have a fee in the future
  • Benefits
    • Keep informed of events of interest to Community Computer Centers, Grants, Computer Donations
    • Share program information
    • Participate in future joint programs
  • Sign up on sheet or send E-mail to
for more information
For More Information
  • Visit Association of Christian Community Computer Centers Web site and join E-mail list
    • Get information on grants, hardware donations, share ideas, etc
    • Join for free now, but may have a fee to join in future
  • Visit or
  • E-mail
  • Call Andrew Sears at 617-876-2981
  • Join Community Technology Centers Network (, get on E-mail list and go to national conference each June
    • Best information resource available
  • Visit CTCNet at
  • Visit HUD’s Neighborhood Networks at
appendix office track classes


Intro to Word


Intro to Excel





Excel MOUS


(or start Track

for Multimedia)


Establish Basic Computer Knowledge; highly employable

in office jobs, administrative assistant and temp work


Appendix: Office Track Classes


Intro to Computers


Intro to the Internet

1. An arrow indicates a prerequisite of either taking the class or good

subject knowledge.

2. Students are encouraged to take other classes on this track in future semesters.

multimedia track classes


Web Design


Graphics Design

Video Production



Youth Run Business


FrontPage 2000



Employment or Start New Businesses as as Web Designer, Graphic Designer or in Video Production, Get FrontPage Certification


Multimedia Track Classes


Digital Music Studio

1. An arrow indicates a prerequisite of either taking the class or good

subject knowledge.

2. Students are encouraged to take other classes on this track in future semesters.

web site filtering software
Web Site Filtering Software
  • CleanWeb (
  • CyberPatrol (
  • Cybersitter (
  • CyberSnoop (
  • Net Nanny (
  • Net Shepherd (
  • Safesurf (
  • Watchdog (
  • We Blocker (free at
  • X-Stop (
setting up a network internet connection sharing
Setting Up A Network & Internet Connection Sharing
  • Need the following
    • Computers with one Ethernet card in each
    • Ethernet cabling between computers and Ethernet hub (called RJ-45 cable)
    • Computer to serve as “firewall” to connect to network (with either 2 Ethernet cards or one Ethernet card and one modem)
    • Proxy or Firewall Software
      • An easy setup version comes with Windows Millennium Edition as Internet connection sharing
      • A good inexpensive package is Comsocks (
    • Ethernet Hub
      • Get 24 port hub from Gifts in Kind for $50
      • Get 16 port hub from for about $200
      • Get from local computer stores
internet connection sharing


Internet Connection Sharing

Cable or DSL Modem

Ethernet Cable


Ethernet Cable

Ethernet Cables

Regular Modem

internet connection sharing configuration
Internet Connection Sharing (Configuration)
  • Do not need to do this if using Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing
  • Under TCP/IP Configuration
    • Server: on card connecting to clients
      • IP Address:
      • Gateway: get from network provider
      • DNS: get from network provider
      • Subnet Mask:
      • Other Card/Modem: get config from network provider
    • Client Machines
      • IP Address: 10.0.0.Anything from 0 to 255 but must be unique
      • Gateway:
      • DNS:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • Configure Options in Browser to Use Proxy at
  • Call proxy/firewall software provider for help