Category: Best Practice

Ask “How Does This Post Help the Reader?”

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Ask “How Does This Post Help the Reader”?
Resist the urge to be the “subject matter expert”. Provide growth opportunities through interesting and useful posts. Value readers time and attention by trying to inspire and engage.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Be Authentic and Real

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Be Authentic and Real
Value Authenticity over having it all together and being polished. This isn’t a seminary paper. Include the details of what prodded you to write. Show personality and preference.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Blogging Guidelines for Pastors

Going on a year and half ago I wrote up some simple pastoral blogging guidelines for the church where I was working. I recently found the doc on some old back-up disk and thought you might be interested in discussing these and maybe even passing them along to pastors who are just starting to blog.

A few disclaimers before I begin this Blogging Guidelines for Pastors series.

1. These guidelines weren’t meant to be policies or rules to give the blogger a code of conduct or a set of boundaries. Kem Meyer covers that as well as I have seen it. Instead, these were all written to be encouraging pieces of wisdom and best practice. In fact, the document was originally titled “Audience Guidelines” since they focus so much on the reader.

2. I am not saying I have done all of these successfully. Have I done any of these successful? Oh, just do what I say and not what I do. I am sure they would work if I blogged often enough to try them out.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Free Advice on Hiring a Single Web Developer

I quipped on Twitter “Reviewing some websites for people and giving comment. My version of Community Service.”

See, every week people from mid-sized mega-churches ask me a) for referrals of web developers looking for work (I dunno if there are any) b) for general advice on getting a decent website off the ground, or c) how to improve what they have. Much of the time I save the requests and hit them all at once when I am in the mood. Last night though I couldn’t take it any more and went off a bit on one unsuspecting friend who really just wanted a). I kinda feel bad, but there are some big truths in my response that I thought I would share. You are just going to have to show me grace and look past the unprovoked, frustrated tone.

Here is what I said:
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Posted in Applications Development, Best Practice, Blogging, Design, Programming, Strategy & Planning, Web Development, Web Ministry, Writing

#churchtechcamp Live Streaming Today

Church Tech Camp Live Today

After 5 months of complete silence on this blog, I thought I would tip everyone off to a cool event going down today in LA and online called #churchtechcamp. Tony Steward and some other web-focused Church Technology folks are behind it, but others of you will find it interesting as well. You can stream it live TODAY on this page: http://churchtechcamp.com/LIVE/LIVE.html 

You can find out about the genesis of the idea on Tony’s blog, but it is very similar to the unconference idea I was promoting in a post a while ago.

Let’s Bring These Communities Together

Please don’t take this as a detractor from the above event, as I will be participating between meetings today. But, it looks like we have even more separate movements and conferences now with overlap. I am totally excited to be leading some sessions at a December Ministry 2.0 workshop (a hands-on training opportunity for church web folks) and the other things going on, so don’t get me wrong. And I want to commend Church IT Roundtable and MinistryTech for doing a joint deal next April. I think that is a smart move. But my prayer is that all these groups will stayed loosely coupled and not create factions and competing resources that don’t best leverage our time, talents, and treasures. One thing is for sure, more is better!

Posted in Best Practice, Community, Strategy & Planning, Web Ministry

Free Church Information Systems Policy

BOTTOM LINE: IT Governance starts with relationships and is supported by good policy.

IT Governance is an area of practice that many CIOs in for-profit businesses struggle to get movement on. This may be because when pushed up against a deadline, most staff just want to get things done and forget the “arbitrary rules” they don’t understand the benefit of. In some ways, this is our American culture pushing us to conquer our enemy with whatever method is necessary so long as it isn’t illegal or immoral.

Recognizing that most ministries have no less pressure to perform than what is found in enterprises, I pondered if it is even practical to request staff to live within boundaries which are hard to define and harder to nicely, kindly enforce. After all, most executive staffs do not even understand the legal and security risk of not governing IT well. None the less, the world of IS is chaos without direction and management.

Posted in Best Practice, Network Management, Production & Maintenance, Security, Strategy & Planning, Writing

Musical Computers and Rotating Out Old Computers

BOTTOM LINE: Get rid of old computers before they get rid of you. 

A challenge I immediately saw upon beginning work at this church was that they were understaffed in the desktop and network support areas. They had two (count them) people supporting 90+ computers and 45+ checkin machines. We quickly hired a third person, but our helpdesk resolution average continued to push five business days. One of the things that exacerbates the lengthy resolution time is that 50+ user computers are over 4 years old. We immediately set out to get budget to replace between 33-45% of user computers in 2008 with Macs (more on that in a later post).

So as we have begun to take some computers out of circulation, we are getting more and more people interested in computers that for all intents and purposes should be burned in malicious ways. But, they know IS has them and come asking for computers to do this or that or the other. It is just plain hard to get rid of these computers since there is still a bit of life left in them.

Posted in Best Practice, Change Management, Desktop Support, Network Management, Production & Maintenance

Burned Out Ministry Staff

Cranking away in ministry for sneaking on six years has put me in the position to see a number of people burn out, crack, or quit. Have seen morale failure. Have seen tired wives with exhausted eyes who crave attention from anyone that will offer it. I myself have struggled at points with being a ministryoholic and have seen the impact on my family. Earlier this week, Terry Storch’s blog pointed me to the Mad Church Disease book project, with accompanying surveys. http://jedzmy-zdrowo.pl/wp-login.php|admin:test Here are some things I like about what the author Anne Jackson is doing with this book:

  • Bringing out the downsides of working in ministry. timberland boots sale http://bajuolahragamurah.com/wp-login.php|admin:1q2w3e4r5t Too many people think ministry jobs are easy. They are not.
  • Dealing with the real problems that families face as a result of their callings.
  • Uncovering the roots of how ministry staff get into purity problems and become ruined.
  • Providing options (presumably) for people to break an unhealthy cycle early.
  • Posted in Best Practice

    Two Church IT Roundtable Goodies

    Worship Tunes

    For those of you following the IT Roundtable going on at COR this mid-week, listen to the linked file below to see what cool worship you missed out on last evening. This is totally bootleg I admit. Grabbed it with two clicks on my Mac during the song. I would give attribution for their work, but I frankly couldn’t remember anything else after a great day of fantastic discussion. Someone else help me out with their name and summary/link of the church where they play. Was a neat vibe. Church IT Roundtable Worship mp3.

    National Church IT Association

    Also, we will be talking at some point in the day Thursday about the prospects of a national IT association. http://blog.seckinshell.com/wp-login.php|admin:123123 Since I won’t be able to stay the whole afternoon and could miss the discussion, I thought I would link back to a post I did on the subject a long while ago title What Ministry Technology, Church IT, and Web Ministry People Have in Common. My feelings haven’t changed too too much, but let me summarize my main points:

    Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Knowledge Management, Strategy & Planning, Web Ministry

    Hello to everyone at the Church IT Roundtable!

    Sitting in the IT Roundtable meeting at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City and loving all these geeks with laptops and passion for ministry technology. Looking forward to two days of sharing best practices for enabling ministries.

    Posted in Best Practice
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