Here are 5 comments from visitors that I think are worth restating in a post as they each address larger issues facing many of us who design, develop, deploy and maintain church and/or charity websites. The format will be a brief on what the original article stated, and then snippets of what the commenter contributed; so in no particular order:
In this post, I associated my extensive studies of spiritual abuse with a number of the problems that face church website design and development that include, heavy-handed deacons, know-it-all pastors, and/or congregational curmudgeonry.
In a John 11:35 response, utoo73 offers the following in a 12 paragraph comment:
I am currently suffering through many of the same issues with my church.Â As a board member, I stated from the beginning that my covenant was with the congregants of our church.Â I have found that this was more than a little impossible mission given the construct of the church …
… Today, after 5 weeks of sheer hell in which I and other active members of volunteer committees were repeatedly told that we were “not coming from a spiritual place” by our ministers.Â Where the President of the Board, even after being advised of these abuse and seemingly worked as a mole for the ministers, while assuring me they were working towards resolution, brought a small measure of vindication for myself and others who have held tightly to the spiritual truth that “all of us” are created by and within God …
… Unfortunately, for me, the cut may have been to deep for me to remain in my church.Â I will see once I have helped my Board put into place safeguards to assure that situations such as have occurred over the past 5 weeks, NEVER devolve to the place where congregants must leave to find peace & safety from the very place where they should be receiving comfort.
One doesn’t need to read too many of my posts to realize that I’m all into the Web 2.0, disruptive technology that Google provides. That said, there is an old aphorism that warns “not everything that glitters is gold” – in this post, I point outÂ some of the potential risk that come along with the rewards of moving your church office to Google Aps.
Salgoud, a charter friend of Heal Your Church Website also provides a Luke 14:28 account worth considering:
My wife manages the church phone list for our small church (120 or so members). Itâ€™s just an Excel spreadsheet. She uploaded it to Google spreadsheets to give it a try and sent me an invite to edit it. Would make keeping it current a lot easier.
When I followed the link, it immediately let me see all the content. Every church memberâ€™s address, phone number, email addresses, kids names and birthdays. All of it. I wasnâ€™t even logged into Google yet. I was shocked. I couldnâ€™t edit it, but once I logged into Google I could.
I was never given any authentication info for logging into the document nor was I asked to verify that I was the person who was given access. How did Google know that I was authorized to edit it?
In preparation for my journey to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, I wrote an article describing some of the precautions I was taking that might be useful to other traveling abroad on week-long mission trips.
Another good friend of HYCW, Mr.Ben of JediMoose, offers this sound, practical, low-tech means for making a Hebrews 8:10 like defense:
One of the most interesting pieces of advice I heard on password strength was that, these days, the majority of cracking attempts happen remotely, not locally, so youâ€™re actually safer creating very strong passwords, and then writing them down and keeping them in a physically secure place.
This is the post where I basically tell pastors and graphic artists many times in many ways “you are not your user.” From what I gather of the “great cloud of witlessness” that’s still out there in terms of church web sites, I’d have to say they’ve got their fingers in their ears while singing “la-la-la, I can’t hear you …”
One pro who apparently appreciated my ‘1 Corinthians 9:22‘ point, Matt at Cordata Ministries, made me laugh when he wrote:
Iâ€™m not sure whether to slap the back of the head for your attitude or slap your back for being so right. I build web sites and tools for a living, and as I read your posts I am torn between the two extremes.
While on the one hand, I want to say â€œYes! I HATE when I see that. It cheapens the message and condescends to the viewer,â€ on the other I am half afraid that as I read through the rest of your site (oops, blog!) I am going to come across a web site I helped a well-meaning church put together.
In a post that drew ALOT of fire, criticism and personal hate-mail, I took the opportunity of Tammy Faye Bakker’s death as yet another example why the dysfunction of the evangelical church in the U.S. is fails the Body. A point recently quantified by the Pew Research’s recent publication of a survey entitled ‘The Religious Landscape of the United States ‘
Contrary to some of the more … um … impassioned “love notes” I received, long time HYCW friend and frequent commenter, b2blog offers these words of encouragement in response to my ‘1 Timothy 4:1‘ message:
Great post Dean!!!!
As parents, we might have called this a â€˜teachable momentâ€™. One that pastors are letting slip by.
I donâ€™t get Tammy, never did. Your post explained much about why she is important. Having the ability to discuss that â€˜over the water coolerâ€™ is important friendship evangelism, if we faithful are being prepared for it. Which, you are right, we arenâ€™t. Weâ€™d rather hide from the fact that she represents our faith.
Once again, thanks to ALL who leave comments here (in love) – all but a few are fun and useful to read – and I appreciate hearing from y’all.
So don’t be shy!