-- the "Nuts n' Bolts"
By Total Love In Christ Ministries
This column will deal with creating
* Click for Volume Index * April 15, 2006
Welcome to the first issue of our NEW column, "Building a WEB Ministry -- the Nuts n' Bolts". Our plans are to publish bi-monthly, one issue on the 1st and one issue on the 15th of each month. However, plans and schedules CAN and DO change! Make sure that you check back for ongoing issues -- You don't want to miss anything!
Please take note ---- We WILL NOT be discussing merely how to put up a WEB based bulletin board for your church, but rather a true, functional WEB ministry. There IS a big difference !! There are plenty of Christian WEB sites, but not all of them are WEB Ministries. We will be considering both the practical aspects of developing and building the actual WEB site, as well as the ongoing aspects of content and spiritual direction. As Paul said, "FIRST came the physical and THEN the spiritual." So it shall be with this column.
The first, the MOST important, and the most obvious point to consider should be, "Did God REALLY call me (us) to start a WEB Ministry?" At this point you may ask, "Well, how do I REALLY know for sure?" We will bypass the standard answer that you, "prayed about it" for the moment. You might say, "I feel the desire to start one. It seems like a good idea. I would enjoy running a WEB Ministry. It is something that I feel is needed. It would be good advertising for our church."
With the calling comes the equipping !! The first point that I would consider is, "Do you have any talent and/or experience in WEB design and maintenance? Do you know anything about it? Do you have any artistic talent, any writing talent, any technical experience with WEB implementation? Do you know how to design a site? Are you able and willing to spend a good deal of time doing so, and have both the willingness AND the ability to continually learn a GREAT deal of technical, artistic, AND spiritual material? Bottom line -- are you COMMITTED to the goal ??
Just a word of CLARIFICATION. The specific details and techniques CAN be learned - the innate talent, ability, and equipping CAN NOT. When I started to design my first WEB Site, I knew nothing at all about WEB site design. I learned, however, over many years.
While it may be true that for disciples, Jesus choose, "ignorant and unlearned men", and that Paul claims that in the presentation of his gospel, "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom". It is also true that Paul states, "Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence."
However, it is likewise true that those whom God DOES call as His ministers are ALL none-the-less trained, equipped, and empowered in the, "School of the Holy Spirit".
Most important is Calling and Content. This is what you should search your heart about right now. Multitudes can BUILD a site. The question of importance is, "Why build it - what will be its purpose and message - what will be the CONTENT??" Previously I mentioned TALENT. This is a very important prerequisite. IF God has called you, He WILL have equipped you. I want to put this as "delicately" as possible. There are many Christian WEB sites that I have run across that show very little talent - technical, artistic, nor content. In my view, they DO NOT glorify our God and Creator. Look at His creation -- ALL of it is lovingly and meticulously handcrafted. Nothing was just "thrown together".
Ideally, it would be good if there is more than one person involved, thus distributing both the talent pool and the workload -- Different individuals to be responsible for different aspects of the ministry. This isn't necessary, however. Here at this ministry, I am responsible for the FULL ministry, both technical and content. It is pretty much a full time, ongoing activity, along with my business as a Computer Consultant. I am blessed that God choose to combine ministry AND technical talents into one, comprehensive package.
The main purpose of a "Ministry" is to attract Unbelievers. They are NOT going to spend any time at a poorly crafted, hard to navigate, BORING WEB site. They will just "move on" -- I DO. Contrary to what may have happened in a certain movie, "If you build it, they will NOT necessarily come!!" Fish need to be lured to the hook with desirable and attractive bait !! I spend much of my time trying to make our sites attractive and relevant. These are among the many points and items that we will examine in detail in future columns. This is going to be a "how to do" place, where hopefully I can impart to you some of the "nuts and bolts" that God has shown to me over the years of experience.
At this point, DO NOT be concerned about the financial requirements. They are surprisingly low. It actually COSTS very little to register a domain, obtain WEB space, acquire all of the necessary tools, and build and maintain the actual site. In future columns, we will discuss WHAT is necessary, WHERE to obtain them, and HOW to implement them-- MOST of it for FREE !!
Volume One-1 ---- "In the Beginning"