‘Confusion’ about the Body online

What a great week. You guys (and gals) have really carried the ball in some excellent discussions of what it takes behind the scenes to get and keep the content on your church website current and compelling. As you can see, I just sat back and took it all in … which is good because it was the last comment by Ken at Apex Community Church that got me thinking when he wrote:

We decided to take the approach that our website was an extension of Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Just like we wouldn’t just hand the microphone to just anyone then, we don’t just hand the “keyboard” to anyone on the web. And, in reality, we do. We just take time to approve it. Any issues that arise from this aren’t just swept under the rug, we just deal with them offline.

This reminded of the Apostle Paul mentioned in his first letter to the Corinthians when dealing with the issue of order with regards to the public use of Spiritual Gifts, in which the man from Tarsus writes:

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV

With that in mind, what approach then should we take to publishing content online? Should we as webservants become the singular conduit for getting information online, thereby creating a bottle-neck from a single point of view? Or should we open the gates wide and allow anyone to post anything on any topic without regards to the purpose and personality of the church?

Yes, I realized I just cited the radical extremes, but in showing them, I’m hoping we can all figure out some middle ground. For example, do we offer forums for prayer requests? If so, do we moderate them so we don’t have people dominating it with requests for their kitten with the sniffles? Similarly, I mentioned getting staff involved, but not all staff is all things to all people … or websites. Is it wise to cut them loose, or worse, let some post their own content why denying others?

Again, I’d be very interested in your responses. Oh yeah, and about that. They’ve all been sooooo good I suspect this weekend I’m going to pick and summarize some in some sort of post so you can discuss these on your own blogs as I think the more we talk about it, the wiser we become as a Body online.

Thanks again for all the intelligent, thoughtful and respectful debate. You make running HYCW such a joy!