Christian Web Resources - Blog Providing resources for people with a passion for Christ and the web Copyright 2023 Christian Web Resources Wed, 27 Sep 2023 20:01:44 ImpressCMS 1.2.10 Final Blog 60 en Christian Web Resources - Blog 200 50 Facing New Challenges as a Church <p>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.</p> <p>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?</p> <p>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?".</p> <p>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?".</p> <p>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).</p> <p>These are big questions to grapple with. As you do, continue to proclaim an unchanging Christ in an ever-changing world.</p> Fri, 03 Jul 2020 18:00:00 +0100 Content Isn't King <p>There are times I've felt misunderstood. I've written great posts, but they just don't get much response. I've posted on <a href="" title="CWR on Facebook">Facebook</a> 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.</p> <p> <a href="" title="Content Isn&amp;#039;t King">continue reading ...</a> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 06:50:00 +0100 Why "Christian webmasters" and not simply "webmasters"? <p><img alt="Cables and connectors" src="" style="float:left;height:300px;margin-right:5px;width:400px;" title="We connect - and educate" />A little over a year ago, a question was posed in the forums - <a href="" title="Forums: What are the plans for this site?">What are the plans for this site? </a> 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.</p> <p>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. <a href="" title="Why &amp;quot;Christian webmasters&amp;quot; and not simply &amp;quot;webmasters&amp;quot;?">continue reading ...</a> Sat, 26 Dec 2015 19:00:00 +0000 Using Videos Effectively <p>Back on <a href="" title="Aug 19 ChSocM chat transcript on Storify">August 19</a>, the ChSocM chat topics were centered around the rising use of videos on social media and websites, and during gatherings. Here are the questions that guided that conversation</p> <p><img alt="use of video by brands is risign" src="" style="height:261px;margin-right:5px;width:400px;" title="Big brands are using video in a big way" /></p> <blockquote> <p>Q1: Why should we use video in social media?</p> <p>Q2: What’s a way you’ve seen video work really well in various ministry settings?</p> <p>Q3: Where have you found good video for #ChSocM purposes? </p> <p>Q4: For those who’ve created videos - any learnings, tips, tricks?</p> <p>      Q4A: How about good software/apps for managing and editing video?</p> <p>Q5: Quick. Name a biblical story that could work really well (not corny) through the medium of video.</p> </blockquote> <p>In response to Q1, the social cues and statistical evidence for using video are quite compelling.</p> <ul><li>We upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every minute, and watch 6 billion hours of video monthly just on that platform</li> <li>Visual content is posted more, and shared more, that any other type of content. <a href="" rel="external">http://www.socialmediaexa ... -research/</a></li> <li>Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram (three new fast-growing entries into SM that focus on visual content) all allow posting of videos. Vine is video only (albeit, each video is limited to 6 seconds)</li> </ul><p><span style="font-size:10pt;">Are those reason enough to foray into video for your ministry? Consider these points from traditional media studies</span> <a href="" title="Using Videos Effectively">continue reading ...</a> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 03:50:00 +0100 Are You a Digital Native, Digital Immigrant, or Digital Refugee? <p><img alt="It wasn't like this when I was growing up" src="" style="float:left;height:320px;margin-right:15px;width:213px;" title="What is technology?" /></p> <h3>"It wasn't like this when I was growing up."</h3> <p>Times change - instead of a single phone wired to the wall, we each now have cell phones. Instead of walking over to the television to change the channel or adjust the antenna, we use remote controls and cable TV. Our cars can give us directions without us having to figure out how to fold the map back up again or which way is north. Instead of going to a movie theater or drive-in, we queue up movies on Netflix and Hulu to watch on multiple  devices. Instead of handwriting letters, we type out emails or tap out text messages.</p> <p>The point in our life we get introduced to new technologies greatly impacts our reaction to them and our adoption of them, as does who introduces them to us and how. When is a phone not a phone? When it's a 'smart' phone in the hands of a digital native. When is a smart phone just a phone? In the hands of a digital refugee. It's not the technology, it's our view and use of technology.</p> <p> <a href="" title="Are You a Digital Native, Digital Immigrant, or Digital Refugee?">continue reading ...</a> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 17:40:00 +0100 Getting More Email Subscribers <p><img alt="Hey! Sign up!" src="/uploads/imagemanager/email-capture-stacked-blog.png" style="float:left;height:200px;margin-right:10px;width:171px;" title="Do pop-ups really work?" />Are you using email to communicate with your audience? You probably should be. One of the most effective ways of communicating with a group of people is with an email list, even in today's Twitter and Facebook culture. In order for your list to be effective, it first needs to exist, and then you'd like for it to grow. Just how do you let people know about it and get more email subscribers?</p> <p>Typically, you'll have a sign up form somewhere on your website, possibly on your Facebook page and you might get some referrals from current subscribers. In order to get more attention for their email list, there are plenty of folks employing pop-ups and overlays to get people to sign up for their list. <span style="font-size:10pt;">You may even already subscribe to this site's email updates</span><span style="font-size:10pt;">, but you get the pop-up, just the same. </span>I'm not sure this method is the best way to do that.</p> <p><span style="font-size:10pt;"> <a href="" title="Getting More Email Subscribers">continue reading ...</a> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 05:00:00 +0100 A Typical Saturday <p><img alt="Missing the target" src="" style="float:left;height:75px;margin-right:10px;width:100px;" />Saturday is the one day I don't have anything else dictating my schedule: Monday through Friday is dominated with work, Sunday is dedicated to church and family. On Saturdays, I tend to spend a lot of time sifting through all the social media updates for the past week. I don't look at volume, or engagement, or other metrics commonly used. Instead, I look at the posts and how they relate to the stated mission of the account (the bio should reflect this). I also look at what hasn't been posted - what is missing?</p> <p> <a href="" title="A Typical Saturday">continue reading ...</a> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 07:00:00 +0000 Everyone needs some 'Quiet Time'. When's yours? <p>I have had several conversations with a friend of mine about the practice of silence (kind of ironic, right?) The practice of silence, as it relates to our digital lives, came more to the forefront as we dug deeper.</p> <p>As communicators, we often fret over our next post - what will we say next? If you've disciplined yourself, you probably have developed an editorial calendar to keep track of upcoming events, deadlines and who will write the pieces.</p> <p>We also get trapped into treating our online communication channels as soapboxes and stages to cast our net even farther, which heightens our anxiety over silence. Some have such an anxiety over silence, they begin to talking over other people. Pretty soon, they're the only ones talking. And no one is listening.</p> <p>Do you incorporate silence into your schedule? Not just an absence of items to be written and posted, but scheduled blocks of time for listening.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:50:00 +0000 What Was The Question? <p>This popular US game show turned the tables on the contestants, giving them the answers and they, in turn, needed to provide the questions. When contestants did not respond with a question, they were reminded to "please phrase that in the form of a question".</p> <p>What is <a href="!" title="Wikipedia - Jeopardy!">Jeopardy!</a>?</p> <p><img alt="ask - get answers" src="" style="height:53px;width:400px;" title="What is your question?" /></p> <p>A major part of your online strategy is being able to ask the right questions before you attempt to answer them. A fair number of Jeopardy! contestants jumped the buzzer and blurted out the question before hearing the complete answer, only to miss an important detail.</p> <p>Do you know what questions are leading to your website? What are the answers they are seeking? How do you find out?</p> <p> <a href="" title="What Was The Question?">continue reading ...</a> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 03:30:00 +0100 My Dos and Don'ts of Twitter <p><img alt="Social media apps" src="/uploads/images/social-media-stack-180.png" style="float:left;height:180px;margin-right:10px;width:120px;" title="Social media outlets and apps" />What rules do you have for Twitter and who you follow?</p> <p>I generally spend part of a day each week going through my list of recent Twitter followers and getting to know some of them a bit better. I usually do this at least once a week, sometimes a little more frequently. But, I do give this personal attention - no automatic follows, unfollows, mentions or direct messages. I thought it might help a few of you in your process of developing some social media disciplines.</p> <p>My rules may differ from your rules, but there are things that should shape our rules, no matter what they are - <em>Why do I use Twitter? Why do I follow somone on Twitter? Why won't I follow someone on Twitter?</em> <em>Will I ever unfollow someone and why? </em>You don't need to follow everyone who follows you - I don't. Likewise, not everyone I follow also follows me.</p> <p> </p> <p> <a href="" title="My Dos and Don&amp;#039;ts of Twitter">continue reading ...</a> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 23:00:00 +0100