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From Devastation to Innovation
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In the midst of devastation, we find an opportunity for innovation like never before. With this in mind, and seeing the global Church facing unprecedented challenges in our current health crisis, FaithTech, a global community existing to bridge the gap between faith and technology, hosted an online international hackathon from March 28 to April 4. The focus was singular: unrestricted by geography and location, to build technological solutions to the new challenges facing the Church in light of COVID-19. The results were encouraging.

Over the eight-day hackathon, the 684 participants from 61 countries formed international teams of developers, experts, and mentors to develop new tools that would respond to 10 immediate and long-term challenges pastors and ministry leaders are now facing. Problem statements were formulated based on data and responses collected from a survey of church leaders across denominations and organizations and the result was 55 solution-based projects submitted for consideration, with solutions ranging from hospice tools for those passing away from COVID-19 in isolation, to social media chatbots, to peer-to-peer discipleship applications.

The 55 solutions submitted were judged based on the overall level of impact in terms of quality and quantity, how the products addressed the needs of the global Church during COVID-19, and how scalable and implementable the solutions were.

The top four solutions included:

1. Sound of Your Love: a service for those in hospital, hospice or nursing homes to receive messages from family and friends while isolated. Watch the Sound of Your Love video HERE

2. Juniper Tree: an end-to-end solution for pastors, allowing resources to be collected in one document, curated, and pushed to develop a simple website for church members.

3. Flourish: a volunteer-matching platform connecting individuals with volunteer opportunities in response to COVID-19, based on their passions, skills and schedules.

4. Hello Neighbour: an application enabling church members to connect with new members, providing a solution to identify at-risk geographical neighbours, a way to check-in and meet their tangible needs.

“It is clear that God is moving. The Global Church has the greatest community of entrepreneurs in the world,” noted James Kelly, Founder and CEO of FaithTech. “During this devastating crisis, we can innovate, take risks, and play our part with our unique talents to put on display the great love of Jesus Christ.” With a new normal as the future of the Church, the hackathon solutions will mark a pivot point with an impact that will outlast this pandemic, serving and equipping the global Church like never before.

To learn more about the winning projects, click HERE.

For more information about the Global Church Hackathon, click HERE.