Revamping IT Volunteerism At GCC Part I

Over the past couple months, my team has spent considerable time and energy around revamping our IT volunteer ministry.  Volunteering in our area has gone through many phases in my 7yrs at GCC, but this is our most focused effort to date to find new ways to engage people of all skill levels and build community.  It was a challenging, but rewarding process that has given us a great foundation from which to build upon in the months to come.

As we brainstormed items like new volunteer opportunities, we also went back and refined, “What is Tech Ops?” The goal: give a quick big picture overview of our department from technical facts to team culture to “set the stage” for people interested in volunteering.  Here’s the result:


What we do:

The Tech Ops Department exists to equip the staff and members of GCC to be efficient and effective in the fulfillment of the Great Commission by providing relevant and strategic information, technological tools, technical support, and training.  In our service to the body of Christ, we seek to be positive, humble, approachable, responsive, and solution-oriented.

We care for:

  • Network of approximately 200 computers both Dell and Apple
  • 30+ virtual servers running on 2 Dell R710 VMware VSphere hosts tied to an EqualLogic PS6000E SAN
  • Heavy Microsoft server and applications shop. Gotta love that non-profit discount!
  • Server 2008 R2, Exchange 2010, SQL 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010 Foundations
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7, OSX
  • HP Gigabit to the desktop switching infrastructure
  • ATT MetroE 100Mbps down/10Mbps up with backup internet through Comcast Business 50Mbps down/10Mbps up
  • Veeam and DPM2010 for backups including offsite replication to DR site downtown
  • Full building public and private WiFi access

Who we are:

  • Group of Network ninjas, cable-monkeys, CIOs and everything in between who lives to empower people with smart and hard-working technology while simultaneously protecting those same people from technological pitfalls and vulnerabilities (including themselves).
  • Technology concierges who serve people—we whole-heartedly understand that how people “feel” about technology is more important than the functionality it has the potential to deliver. At the end of the day we’ve done our job if we deliver a peaceful, easy feeling for users on all every point of the skill continuum.
  • A unique and inspiring culture full of sled dogs that are energized, demanding, encouraging and a little weird—we have a deep appreciation for a serious sense of humor when under pressure.
  • On-call “IT” doctors with no office hours or geographic boundaries who understand that a good techie has less to do with degrees, certifications, and experience than being smart, passionate, and fearless.
  • Team oriented. No matter how great the talent, this is a no-ego fly zone.
  • At the end of the day— the why trumps the what—and we work as one every time.
  • Dual platform with love for both mac and PC users. We are a bi-partisan team with no annoying fan boys.
  • Super talented in a general way, each bringing our own unique blend of skills to the table to get a job done.
  • Leaders of people or projects—working together to rally the troops or the tasks.
  • Servants committed to supporting and fulfilling the mission, vision, values and goals of the church.

The above is now included our our volunteer interest webform (see under Technical and Skilled.

In part II I’ll go over some of the new volunteer roles we created and other nifty aspects of our volunteerism revamp. If you were interested in volunteering in IT at GCC, what else could we include in our “big picture” to help you determine if this would be a good fit for you?

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Jason Powell
Jason Powell is the Director of Information Technology at Granger Community Church where he, 2 staff, and a small team of volunteers manage a network of over 200 computers and 20+ servers. Learn more from Jason about information technology use in the ministry at his blog, Church IT and Other Musings.