Ben Eash

posted on 4/11/2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beneash
Twitter: @beneash
Website: beneash.posterous.com/

Who are you?
I am an ideator, a communicator, a designer, and I’ve been blessed to do that within the faith-based non-profit arena all of my career. I began with a love of drawing, got into painting in college and found no use for computers beyond typing papers and email. When I interned at a community center in Los Angeles, God spoke through one of the older staff and informed my I was “wasting my talent,” by not doing digital design. I learned all I could about all the graphics software I could and within 2 years have developed a program to train at-risk urban youth in graphic design, web design, and video production, and find them internships in their field of interest.

Eventually, I was offered an opportunity to manage the communication efforts at a training organization for urban youth workers (UYWI). During the 5 years there, I was able to expand their efforts as a national organization, as I learned new technology to help equip, inspire and resource urban youth workers online and in print. Then 2 years ago, I was given the opportunity to lead the web efforts of The Evangelical Covenant Church denominational offices. It’s been challenging to work in an organization with so many moving parts and expectations, but my team has been able to deliver a cleaned-up, accessible website, mobile apps, and enhance a social media presence that may have been lacking before.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
My passion for innovation and my desire for the Creator fuel my creativity and the tools to cultivate ministry opportunities. Bob Dylan said “you’re gonna have to serve somebody,” and because my lifestyle is digital, I want to lay all of me, including my technology, at Christ’s feet. The gifts and abilities He’s given me are displayed and realized most often using technology.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
Probably Photoshop was the first ripple for me. As a fine artist that transitioned to be a digital artist (especially in the mid to late 90′s), it was revolutionary.

Because I’m a designer-turned-webster, I do visual problem solving and WordPress has been the technology that for the last 5 or 6 years has evolved with my abilities to be able to make websites that people can maintain with limited knowledge. It’s been a great tool for so much of what I want to bring to life on the web and using it has helped me transition from the clunky html sites to content people can use themselves and take with them.

I find Photoshop and WordPress both to be necessary and transformation tools in my own digital journey.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
My use of technology has made balance harder to achieve. I’ve found that I need to make time for the things that are important (God, family, life) and letting technology and the use of technology fill in whatever cracks are left.

Being someone who is visually oriented, I have easily been captured by using technology and losing track of time. Rather than focusing on real life, finishing my honey-do list, or doing devotions, it’s easy to fall into a mindset of, I’ll just play 30 minutes of Angry Birds, or spend time looking up apps, plugins, tools to enhance what is possible to do. Because I’ve put somewhat meaningless items first (technology or not), I haven’t given the items which should be highest priority, the priority they need given.

Other technologies, like the YouVersion Bible, certain iPhone apps, and digital technology discussions among believers enhance and challenge my faith in new and exciting ways. I see creatives and technology-minded people being on the forefront of the “next harvest” and that makes me excited for what the use of technology can bring.

Brian Purkiss

posted on 2/22/2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Texas

Location: San Antonio, TX
Twitter: @brianpurkiss
Website: www.boldperspective.com / www.brianpurkiss.com

Who are you?
I work at Bold Perspective, a design firm based in San Antonio, as an Information Architect and front end web developer. My skills include HTML & CSS, WordPress, PHP, jQuery and more. I am very knowledgeable and experienced in effective design on a wide variety of mediums, particularly on the web. If you are interested in seeing work I am apart of, check out the Bold Perspective Portfolio; it speaks for itself.

On a personal level, I like spending time with my girlfriend and friends. I also freerun, play paintball, and all sorts of sports and adrenaline oriented activities.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, stand by my second amendment rights, speak freely & bluntly about what I believe in, and strive to push the limits in all I do. I am very outspoken about what I believe in and have many discussions about faith and ethics with a wide variety of people through a wide variety of mediums. I enjoy these discussions and use them as an opportunity to grow in my faith and knowledge of others as well as reach out to those around me.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
HTML & CSS without a doubt. I started working with the web in my pre-teens teaching myself about the web. Since then, I have become very knowledgeable in a wide variety of previously stated web technologies, mediums, and practices and have since turned the web into my full time career.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
I have engaged in many faith and ethics discussions on the web with people from many different beliefs. This has allowed me to strengthen and grow my faith by teaching and discussing faith related topics with others.

Dennis Champlain

Location: Wyoming, RI
Facebook: www.facebook.com/worthyimage
Twitter: @worthyimage / @dennischamplain
Website: www.worthyimage.com

Who are you?
A child of God learning to walk joyfully in obedience. Entrusted with using the talents that God has given me as the principal of Worthy Image, a small visual communications studio that serves to provide quality creative design and exceptional customer service to businesses and organizations that positively impact the lives of others.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
Using the resources and technology available to ultimately take part in leading people to the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ via the web or digital mediums.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
The use of Content Management System based websites like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal have provided better functionality for small businesses and churches to provide better services online.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
The true work of what we do is the work that remains when the power goes out. All this technology is useless without power. While the power is on, this technology must ultimately result in offering the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18. My faith rests on God’s power.

Nathan Davis

posted on 1/30/2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Oklahoma

Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MediaPeople
Twitter: @mediapeople
Website: nathandavis.squarespace.com

Who are you?
Communications Director at Destiny Christian Center among other hats.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
Growing and connecting spiritually online.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
http://www.twitter.com

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
The connections which have lead to LCD experiences and conversations with people online have transformed my life.

David Abling

posted on 1/18/2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Tennessee

Location: Nashville, TN
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZionEyeMedia
Twitter: @zioneyemedia
Website: www.zioneyemedia.com

Who are you?
My name is David and I am “souled out” for Christ.  Hailing from the Pac NW, I now reside in Nashville, where I am a Life Group Pastor and am in the leadership team for New Song Hillsboro Village congregation.  I have served as the worship leader for previous life groups as well as serving as a sound tech coordinator and a special events program platform manager.

When I am not serving at church, I am a professional web design and online marketing strategist under the freelance name Zion Eye Media.  I currently work at Vanderbilt University full-time and have previously worked at cj Advertising and Microsoft.  When I’m not working 60+ hours, I hang with family, play music, breakdance, play with my iPhone, and drink lots of coffee.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
My love for Jesus is first and foremost, and that has given ample opportunities to use my abilities, personality, and passions for technology to spread the Good News.  Jesus partnered with disciples who, in faith, helped start a revolution to spread His Kingdom.  I am partnering and want to partner with people who, in faith and through using technology, like StickyJesus.com, to revolutionize how we use technology to reach the lost, see lives change, and serve our Lord.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
Smartphones in general have had a great impact on culture and technology.  I am an avid fan of most technology, and have no preference on what is being used as long as the end goal is met.  I am an avid enthusiast of Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and other proprietary products.

However, as a designer, I love www.cssremix.com and www.screenalicious.com.

How do you express your faith through technology?
“Television isn’t evil if you’re telling it no” ~ Mars Ill

I like this statement because technology can be used for good, righteousness, and spiritual growth if we use it wisely and correctly.  I have tons of Bible and Christian apps on my iPhone so I can go everywhere and carry His message with me, enabling me to listen and read in a portable fashion, and simultaneously give me opportunities to grow spiritually.  Not only does it help me to grow spiritually, but it allows me to start conversations with strangers and friends regarding the content, giving me an opportunity to witness to someone about the grace and resurrection power of Christ in my life — all because of my iPhone.

I listen to Daily Audio Bible from Brian Hardin, who used to go to my church.  I get a big chunk of my spiritual audio feed from our head pastor’s podcasts from New-song.com, who is an AMAZING SPIRIT-FILLED pastor.  My faith has definitely grown because of precise prophetic words spoken over me and to me through these podcasts.

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