Notepad and laptop in the office

Getting ideas out of the notebook

A look at digital creativity project Kingdom Code, from web developer James Doc.

I love that bit at the beginning of projects when as a team we’re just throwing ideas around. There are post-it notes, sharpies, a big clear bit of wall and each member of the team is just putting their thoughts out there. The harder bit is taking those thoughts and ideas, condensing them down into a plan and then getting on and making that plan happen.

A while ago, a friend of mine told me “Ideas are cheap, it is the execution that is expensive”. It’s not a new or original quote, but it was the first time that I’d heard it and the words stuck with me. It resonated with me because I carry a notebook around that is just full of ideas, but so few of them have gone any further. Why? Because of time, because of fear and because it will be a sacrifice of something else. Because there are just a lot of other things to do.

Genesis 1:27 says: “…God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NIV 2011). The great creator made us in his image, the creative God made us with creativity. We’re not made to sit on ideas, locked up in notebooks.

That is one of the reasons that I’m involved with a group called Kingdom Code. We’re a group of developers, designers and entrepreneurs who, in some way, want to use our ideas, gifts and skills for God’s glory. We want to catalyse serendipity, bringing together a community where ideas are sparked, relationships are formed and technology is made that glorifies God.

Right now we’re planning an event called Code for the Kingdom in the first weekend of October. We’re joining with 12 cities around the world, bringing ideas people together with coders, designers, product managers, and others in the technology world to set aside time and space to turn these thoughts into products that glorify God.

We’re setting challenges, encouraging people to think around themes and ideas. How can we use technology to encourage people to be generous with what God has given them? What can we do to enable Christians to build relationships with their Muslim neighbours and bring the gospel to the Islamic world? Can we make something for our children that is more fulfilling than Minecraft, Angry Birds or Temple Run? Then from these challenges we encourage teams to form around the ideas that are triggered, giving up a weekend to put them into motion, not letting the idea get lost or trapped in a notebook.

Code for the Kingdom is taking place on the 2nd-4th October in the Impact Hub, Westminster. You can find out more about joining in with the weekend and about Kingdom Code on our website: www.kingdomcode.uk

James Doc is a web developer working for the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is talkative on Twitter (@jamesdoc) and occasionally shares his thoughts on his blog (jamesdoc.com).

Paul Arnold
paul@themedianet.org