Category: Web Ministry

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

Regional Church IT Roundtable Event in Florida

Whose Interested?

This blog post is to gauge interest in a Florida Regional Church IT Roundtable event. We seem to have a group in the Tampa area and others along the East coast of Florida from Orlando to Miami. Redundancy could be a good thing, so let’s talk it out in the comments below about what everyone is looking for, if people are willing to drive, and what the focus could possibly be for the event. Whether we land on two gatherings or one, I think it would be good for Florida churches to represent better through some networking, fellowship, and knowledge-sharing.

A Couple Options

I have tentative approval from Christ Fellowship leadership to host a regional event in January on our main campus. If you are unfamiliar with this type of an event and this loose coalition of geeks, here are the topics of discussion they meet on periodically in regional and national meet-ups. Since next year appears to be a tight year financially for many of us, I thought a low-cost training opportunity (typically $50 per person including 2 meals) might be of interest across the many disciplines of Church IT (Websites, Network, Information Systems). We could decide to include vendors in this gathering or not. I tend to want to hold it to just a few sponsor companies ($500+ donation in cash or hardware for give-aways?) so the focus stays on the community of churches. Then again, many of us use contract labor to augment our full-time staff, and they probably should be equally as welcome.

Posted in Community, Knowledge Management, Production & Maintenance, Strategy & Planning, Training, Web Ministry

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

NRB Reflections – For Ministers Reluctant to Spend Money on Web Ministry

Another question and answer post from my talk at NRB.

Doing online ministry well represents a significant investment in strategy, time, and resources. This means money. What would you say to a pastor or ministry leader who is reticent about creating a whole new budget item for the Web?

Posted in Web Ministry

LifeFaithFusion.com

LifeFaithFusion.com finally launches this weekend to an audience of 10,000+ folks associated with the ministry of Casas Church and Roger Barrier. My favorite UI designer, Christ Merritt of Pixelight Creative, did the design for me last winter. Some projects take much longer and many more hours than ever anticipated, and this is one of those projects that seemed to never want to end. Unfortunately, I brought a friend named Brian Slezak (of the Web Empowered Church and Church of the Resurrection) down this rocky road with me and I will forever be indebted for his service and amazing grace. adidas tubular shadow homme In spite of it being a painful project, I am pleased with the functionality of the site and the overall result. The client controls all the content management on this site (which uses Typo3) and created all of the in-page graphics themselves, so Chris and I can’t take credit for any of that. adidas ace 15.2 They also completely control the sidebars. I think the site will be a great free resource for younger pastors and prospective seminarians. I really respect Roger Barrier and his soft-spoken but confident approach in sharing his thoughts on the life in Christ. The site is packed with content including Podcasts, Devotionals, and Sermon Series. One of the podcasts includes my sports pastor buddy Derrek Engeler who brought this project to me in the first place. Air Max Tailwind It is always great to get his commentary on almost anything. Anyway, after another 3 weeks of supporting the client with training I am done with all freelancing for the next few years. If some consulting or speaking opportunities come up I am all over it, but I am through building web sites on the side and being the middle-man project manager outside of my day job.

Posted in Design, Web Ministry

Web Ministry Idea #3 – Skypecasts

This is post #3 in a slow going series about Web Ministry. Find post #2 here. http://hot.advicetech.com.br/wp-login.php|admin:admin123 I first thought of this when I began using walkie-talkie like voice calling on ICQ back in 1998-99 (remember that Dave?). Back then the social network was hard to discover and the voice quality was incredibly poor. Conferencing was impossible. These days though, we are a few clicks away from multi-person conferencing that rivals the best voice bridges ran by billion dollar corporations. And it seems the muslims have beat us to the punch of providing lessons on their religion whenever someone cares to participate (see picture below). It seems reasonable to me that an army of well-equipped Christians accustomed to organizing 24-7 prayer chains could loosely-couple a Skypecast ministry together wherein the Gospel is available any time of the day for whomever might inquire. Devils advocates and skeptics welcome. http://qilvv.com/wp-login.php|admin:123456 The Bible, when presented authentically and compassionately, speaks for itself. http://partyservice-seenland.de/wp-login.php|admin:admin11 What do you need to start a Skypecast about Jesus? Well, the Skypecasts page says “You need a computer, a microphone or headset, and Skype version 1.4 or later.” Add to that some determined folks who know the Bible and the grace of God.

Posted in Web Ministry

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
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