Ben Eash

posted on April 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.

One Response to “Ben Eash”

  1. Gabe Taviano says:

    Looking forward to meeting you sometime Ben! It really is critical to notice how many of those little 30-minute slots we’re able to spend on pointless things without noticing it. Thanks for bringing that up…..something I need to remind myself of every day!

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