Providing resources for people with a passion for Christ and the web

He is Risen. Indeed - Now What?

The cross is empty, the tomb is empty and – on Easter – churches are full. Alleluia!

Over the past few weeks I've been reflecting on the Easter Sunday experience, both from an in-person and an online perspective. For most of us, there were a lot more people in attendance than usual and many of them may have been people you haven’t seen in a while – or ever. There was special music and more musicians, and more flowers and other décor. The staff was busy and you recruited more volunteers. Everyone was probably a little dressier than usual – ladies and girls in Easter dresses; men and boys in Easter suits. You may even have had a special meal or brunch for everyone.

Now – what about the weeks after Easter? Easter Sunday is definitely an important Sunday in the year of the Church, but it’s not the only Sunday. Every Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, even the Sundays during Lent. What if every Sunday at your church had the same attendance and engagement as Easter Sunday? (If they do, I’d sure like to hear about it!) What if Easter led to a higher average weekly attendance or higher engagement on your website and social platforms for the rest of the year? Let’s see how that might play out.

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Lenten Practices for Church Webmasters

Cross, ashes, candle, nailAs we emerge from winter and move towards spring, we also move through the season of Lent - a time of reflection, prayer, and contemplation. In the time of the church, Lent is a time of preparation, of looking forward. We also look back on the sacrifice made for us. We bring this into the present - the here and now.

In the life of a Christian webmaster and our churches and ministries, Easter plans are being laid out. During this time, our intention is to strip away the things of this world and simplify. For some, it is a time of fasting - giving something up, maybe even some of your digital connections - a digital fast.

Let us not just put our technology aside for a while, let us think deeply about how these avenues and channels can have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of others. I suggest adding something more (giving something extra) to your practice during these 40 days - reflecting on your church website and social media accounts and their content.

Lord, give us knowledge, wisdom, insight, and discernment as we contemplate your Word and your work in this generation.

Lord, give us the gift to see ourselves as you see us, and others as you see them.

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Facing New Challenges as a Church

As a group, churches are faced with 'new' challenges during these (and all past and future) disruptive times. We are accustomed to meeting together at least weekly - for worship, for fellowship, for spiritual nourishment, for sharing of the sacraments, and for doing the work of Jesus Christ. Now we are trying to find ways to do all of those without gathering together in one space. And we, as are many businesses in our communities, are also trying to find ways to stay financially viable and support our ministries.

Many see the web as a machine and very technical and transactional. It is far from it! The web was created to be relational and provide ways to connect with other people that were physically separated - perfect for the situation we are in. We live in a time when it only takes minutes to start sharing live video and it reaches people in our neighborhood and beyond. We can host virtual meetings and see and hear everyone, regardless of their location. Just how do we do what the apostle Paul did through his letters?

For everything you place on your website, ask "Is this how I would do it if I was face-to-face with a visitor who came to my church?". Consider this instance - "Would I greet them with an offering plate? ". "How and when do I encourage stewardship with the people who visit our space?".

There is a time and a place for this, once you have established a relationship with them. "Hi, my name is ___, what's yours? What brings you to our church today? How can we help you?".

There are a lot of things behind the question "How do I add a donate button to our site?". Some are transactional. Some are relational. Some are technical. Some are administrative. Some are financial. The first to address are the relational. To be good stewards, you also need to consider the technical, the administrative, and the financial (these are all part of the transactional aspects).

These are big questions to grapple with. As you do, continue to proclaim an unchanging Christ in an ever-changing world.

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Content Isn't King

There are times I've felt misunderstood. I've written great posts, but they just don't get much response. I've posted on Facebook and Instagram and not gotten the likes and shares I thought the posts deserved. I get frustrated when I get interrupted. I've made observations many times, and then someone else has this "brilliant idea" - which is exactly what I've been saying all along. There are reasons for all these, and I've figured out why and what I can do to change them.

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Why "Christian webmasters" and not simply "webmasters"?

Cables and connectorsA little over a year ago, a question was posed in the forums - What are the plans for this site?  Then, as now, the hope for this site was to be a resource for people with a passion for Christ who wanted to share their stories online. Stories of faith, of struggles, of joy, and of pain. Stories that educate, equip, encourage, enable, and empower each other. It was a way to bring together the people with the technological knowledge and skills together with the people with the talents for witnessing, sharing and story telling.

Within that post was another question - why "Christian webmasters" and not simply "webmasters"? It may seem a bit narrow in appeal and that could limit its reach. I find boundaries are OK - they help you stay focused and on track. With too broad a definition, we drift into other areas rather than dive deeply into the topics. continue reading ...

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