by Dale Jonasson, past DISC president, Diocese of San Bernardino

In real estate, we understand  the importance of Location, Location, Location. For our organization, we must understand the importance of Mission, Mission, Mission. An organization of our scope must follow its mission. Let me reiterate the mission of DISC.

The Diocesan Information Systems Conference  meets each year to promote the spiritual growth of the members, provide data processing expertise and professional service to the local and national church, encourage development of professional relationships among its members, and facilitate the free exchange of ideas
and information. DISC  welcomes all those involved in the use of electronic technology for the work of the Church at the central office and/or local levels.

The following are the objectives of the conference:

  • Encourage the free exchange of information and ideas
  • Promote professional development and business relationships
  • Assist the Church in evaluating information  systems needed to support its ministries
  • Maximize the Church’s investment in information systems

DISC must have a mission that motivates, is understandable, supportable, up-to-date and needed.  Without that mission, what’s the point of our organization? Our mission is to meet  each year in a conference setting that gathers professionals from  around the world in an environment to meet its objectives.  But as read above, our mission has several facets and objectives that provide services to our membership. Yet, there are many organizations that can not fully partake in the benefits of our organization. DISC offers its membership to Dioceses from around the world, but primarily reaches dioceses in the USA and Canada. As stated in our By-Laws, DISC offers membership and associate membership to those Diocese, but not to other organizations. While DISC  does allow any and all individuals the opportunity  to attend its annual conference, I believe that DISC  is more then just about its conference. The conference is one of the vehicles that by which we obtain our objectives.

So I ask all of you who read this. How do we implement our mission? Is our mission clearly understood?  Is what we are doing and how we are doing it meeting the objectives of our mission? But most of all, does our mission service those people that are the purpose behind our ministry within our Dioceses. As you read again our mission statement above, it clearly states that DISC  welcomes “all those involved in the use of electronic technology for the work of the Church at the central office and/or local levels.” It does not single out “all those involved” as just those at the diocesan level. It reaches beyond that.

What will be the future of DISC in the years to come? Where are we headed? Where have we come from? At our conference  this past year in Monterey, the DISC board was charge with explaining  to our membership  answers to these questions. I believe that it is incredibly important for our organization to address these issues and determine  a solid vision for where we are going. This vision, our mission, and our objectives must all clearly point to The Where. Where we come  from,  where we are now and where we want to go. If we do not understand that, we can not determine clearly The How. How are we going to achieve our mission and vision? What should The How look like for the next five to ten years of our organization? Join with me as we explore this together.
I encourage you to provide comment on this discussion during the next several months as we lead up to our next conference. Send your board members your thoughts and comments. We look forward to the challenge that has been laid before us.