Month: March 2007

Where is Jason?

Everywhere and nowhere, that is where. In addition to some significant life changes I hope to blog about next month, I am in the midst of a big web ministry project at the church where I work. We changed our audience focus from insiders to outsiders, and are completely redoing our site visually and architecturally.

I did heaps of research on Church web sites, and was fortunate enough to partner with some of the greatest design and technology folks doing stuff for ministries. BUT, I missed one site that would have changed my entire perspective on this deal. Unfortunately, I am almost done… and it is too late to reverse course. I am just sick I didn’t see this before starting my project.
Bobby Chandler, one of two designers on our church staff, has the scoop.

Posted in Design, Programming, Web Ministry

One Look at Humanity You Might Want to See

I found this video through a link at Cultivate Missional Living, a ministry which is:

 “for young men and women [18 to 30 years old] who want to spend a year in an urban community living out God’s mission, while being trained and equipped as an apprentice of Jesus.”

I thought you might enjoy a solemn video that expresses my own view of humanity, Christ, and how we ought to view our work for the Lord.

Posted in Best Practice

What Highrise from 37signals Means for Ministry

Truth be told, that is just another one of my catchy subject lines to make you read the post (sorry to those seeking a trustful person, ’cause I am as depraved as any blogger). I have subscribed to 37signals news alerts by email and I just got one that summarizes something I have been looking forward to considering. You can read about their description of the product in the quote and at the links below, but let me just add that I am very excited to see how this tool could be used by church plants, smaller ministries, and those of us helping out ministries with technology. Looks to be a great way of keeping track of people in a low-footprint, agile kind of way.

We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our latest
product, Highrise (previously known as Sunrise). Highrise is a
shared contact manager that helps you keep track of who you talk
to, what was said, and what to do next. Like Basecamp helps you
collaborate on projects, Highrise helps you collaborate on
people. You can use it alone or with your co-workers. You can
think of it as a company-wide, web-based, shared address book
with a few twists.

Posted in Design, Web Ministry

The Return of the Tent Maker – The Unconference Scheduled for May 4th

Rex Miller, who I am meeting for lunch tomorrow for a little chat, has announced the Return of the Tent Maker – The Unconference. Details are forthcoming, but what we do know is A) he is calling this an unconference, B) it is being hosted at Irving Bible Church, and C) it is scheduled for May 4th.

An “Unconference” is a loosely-coupled, attendee-led grouping of talks that are highly interactive. Typically, everyone arrives at the conference and posts up a talk topic on a white board (which has time slots for various discussions) that they are interested in giving or moderating. Others who are interested in the same discussion may ask to help lead the gathering, or may just show up ready to dialog on the topic. Others may lurk in the back of the room waiting to see if something develops which is interesting to them. One of the common rules of these discussions is that if you are bored, get out and find something that interests you. This leads to some roaming between talks which is kind of interesting.

Posted in Community, Web Ministry

How to design News & Events pages for Churches?

We are in the middle of a new web project where I work as Web Ministry Coordinator. We are completely overhauling our site design and information architecture with the help of Chris Merritt and Nathan Smith. Of the many things we are trying to do, including creating a staff blog on the church site, rolling a News & Events page is top on our list.

Church news and events are usually a big focus for church web sites, but this focus is spread out throughout the site. At most church sites, you might get a calendar page with detail of upcoming events. We really want to create something which can compete with the major news outlets, but deals with hyper-local content specific to our church, it’s people, and the local community of 30,000 folks.

We want to include local news, church news, announcements, upcoming events, calendar events for the week, blog entry teasers, birth announcements, death announcements (which we will either name “Grieving the Loss” or “In Memoriam”), prayer requests, and service opportunities. The idea is to create a page that people might save as their home page in their browser, or at least use as a reference point within our site for everything new happening at and around the church.

Posted in Design, Web Ministry, Writing