Monday, June 27, 2005

Auto-emails of good news!

The other day, I was in a meeting about a possible new database system for our church. In the midst of the conversation, I suggested that they add functionality to support auto-emails to certain people when certain criteria became true in the data. For example, there could be an automatically generated email to the pastor whenever the given numbers drop for a second month in a row or an auto-email to small group leaders whenever LifeGroup attendance drops by a certain amount. I left my suggestion at that and didn't think much more about it until I was driving home.

In the car on the way home from church I was thinking (as I usually do!) and realizing that I had made a grave error in my suggestion. I had only thought of sending auto-emails when bad stuff happens. What about sending auto-emails when good stuff happens??!!?? Auto-email the pastor when giving is up three months in a row... email the whole church staff to celebrate every 10th person who signs up to serve in God's work, auto-email the staff when volunteers approach anniversaries of their faithful service to a particular team.

I guess my mind got slanted toward the "negative" automated messages when I worked in a large company as an engineer. I would get auto-paged at all hours of the day when a machine mulfunctioned or when there was another problem in production. Beep beep beep.... "NI401 down -- out of spec voltage"... "Lot 9014323 on hold - contamination". Why could there never have been a positive auto-page? Imagine... The pager beeps and I pull it out to read "NI601 - New record reached in machine up-time! Way to go!".

I need to always remember to celebrate what's right while not neglecting to fix what's wrong.

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