Year: 2007

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 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

Transition Blogging

As many of you who follow my blog know, I am slowing down on my posting here as I am transitioning out of building sites & applications (on the side and during the day job). I’m moving back into leading IT teams and projects and interfacing with executives, and that means my focus is shifting in life and in technology. This is a great move for me, but I am realizing I never really accomplished what I wanted to with this blog. I had hoped to give churches a resource for making decisions about the internet and software, and also to reduce the demand for my time by other churches who daily reach out to me for help (selfish, I know). Some of that happened, but not to the extent I was capable of. Sometimes we are left with regrets like this that we can’t go back and correct.|super:test In this case, it was a personal choice to not prioritize blogging more than I have.|admin:password Thankfully, others have stepped up to more than take up the slack and do it a lot more succintly than I can.|admin:159357 As always, the Lord provides (see the far sidebar of this site). So now I am rethinking the kind of blogging I want to do moving forward. I really love the stuff David Drinnon and other IT leaders bring out about how giga-churches make decisions about technology and manage the change that comes with it. There are so many great guys dealing with the trees in Church IT that I may attempt to look at the IT Ministry from a satellite perspective. As I begin to wrestle with the realities of life in a church where the money is available and the leadership understands the importance of using technology as a foundation for ministry, the opportunities and responsibility shift to doing things that haven’t been done before in the Church IT microcosm. Why? Well, because my new church is doing most of the regular IT stuff really well (don’t look at the web site though). While I *think* i’m up for doing something extraordinary, I am not positive I can paint the pictures and form the words needed sell the vision to leadership and to the stakeholders who have to live with this stuff. Maybe my writing more blogs and your feedback can help draw that out of me and refine the story, I dunno. Previously this blog has not had a strong set of commenters, probably because I haven’t prompted you with stuff that was seeking input. But as I process what I can do that will help others and help myself, one thing I know will change is the length of my posts and the frequency of posts. More posts, less words. I rarily talk personally about my blogging. People who blog about their blogging always kind of bug me because it seems so imbred. But I felt like letting everyone know what is going on with me is only fair since people may begin to think this is a dead blog. Its fate is not yet known, but I won’t be shutting up anytime soon.

Posted in Writing

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.|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|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

    Web Ministry Idea #3 – Skypecasts

    This is post #3 in a slow going series about Web Ministry. Find post #2 here.|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.|admin:123456 The Bible, when presented authentically and compassionately, speaks for itself.|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.|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


    As I said previously, I have been in the midst of rethinking what I want to do with my IT blogging. With some prodding by my former office mate Barry, I have decided to blog about things other Ministry IT folks may not be covering. So on this late night I created a new blog I am titling a church cio. I have moved my old posts for historical reasons, but my new focus will be on documenting my experience as a Church CIO (with a director title). Read my about page for more info on my long term goal.

    I am more broad than deep in my knowledge of Information Systems and Web. While those in my sidebar geek out at levels I will never attain to, I prefer to live high in the clouds of staff productivity, budgeting, IT governance, strategic planning, social engineering, user experience, staff culture, enterprise integration, internet marketing, Web 2.0, social networking, etc. Sure, I come down from the 50,000+ level to manage my team, but someone needs to be dreaming about what is up next and where we are going. I believe God has wired me and prepared me for that. Staying grounded and in the day to day is of course critical for my knowing enough to prepare the way for the folks who really do the hard work. Thankfully I have landed at a place where I can do all of what I love and just a little of what I don’t.

    Posted in Blogging, Knowledge Management, 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

    Getting Started with a New Design

    David Drinnon was kind enough to reference a comment I left on his site in a fine post this morning on building site maps and information architecture. In it he even calls me a friend!

    What I love about blogging is that I left a partially thought through comment on his site last week and then he gives me kudos today and places my thoughts alongside his wisdom such that I come out looking like a champ! The reality is that he has some great nuggets in that little post including Web Sort and Adobe’s Website Production Management Techniques.

    In a beautiful example of what goes around comes around, I am today beginning work with my team on the Information Architecture for a new site we are trying to crank out by the first two weeks in December. David’s help could not have come at a better time!

    Posted in Design, Programming, Web Ministry, Writing

    Small Church Website Building Tips

    Stuart was kind enough to post a comment asking for helpful hints for building a web site as a lay person. My comment grew larger than the comment window, so I decided to just post this in case it is helpful for small churches using an all lay person team to build their a website.

    First of all, Stuart, bless you and all those out there like you with willing hearts who want to contribute something via the web. I pray you can get it done and done in a timely manner.

    It is impossible for me to download 7 years of thinking about this stuff into a simple post, but let me get you started with just a few tips:

    1. Don’t over reach. Understand your churches needs and the expectations of those who care about the project.
    2. Don’t get too many people involved. If it is a small site, keep the total team smaller than 5 … including decision makers.
    3. Know your audience. Is it insiders or outsiders? Is it local people or people new to the area?
    4. Focus on your churches message and mission. What are you on about? What kind of church are you. Use stories and editorial type content to show who you are.
    Posted in Design, Web Ministry, Writing