Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Don’t tell me your problems …

As a trained, operatic soloist, one of the things I can’t stand are auditions or performances where people get up and tell a little story before they sing. Or what I call, apologizing in advance. You see, if the content of the song is any good, then there is no need to explain it. In other words, shut-up and sing. Let your peformance and the music do the talking.

Similarly, when a someone visits your church web site, they are doing to satisfy some need or requirement they have — not to hear your excuses. For those of you who haven’t read THE BOOK, there is a wonderful section caption that describes this entitled “Don’t tell me your problems. Solve Mine!”

And that is exactly the case we have with the Living Word of Faith, origins unknown (though I suspect its Lubbock, TX).

At least leave up the old site until you can get the new site up. While there are some sites better left offline until an update — I think from what I can discern from the Google cache that this is indeed a case where something would have been better than nothing.

12 Comments

  1. AMEN AMEN! I don’t know how many times I’ve complained about singers explaining their song before they sing. Like you said, let the song talk for itself! You can always tell how professional an artist is by comparing the ratio of time spent explaining to time spent performing.

  2. Unless of course the lyrics are so ambiguous that you need an explanation… at which point the analogy falls down. But did I really need to say that?

  3. I dunno Andrew — I’ve performed for audiences singing Italian, French, German and in one case Greek to some “Amurikan” audiences. They got it — not as readily as “Inglush” — but they got it.

  4. Uhh…guys I think this is one of those times when getting the whole story about why the site is down might be appropriate. There might actually be a good technical reason for the site not being available (what would happen if the database for your database-driven site went corrupt?).

    Not every church has the skilled technical types who tend to post here…maybe we should be offering our services to help get them back up instead?

  5. Dean, sometimes talking first is useful, if your song has a specific message. My public speaking teacher used to say: Tell them what you are going to tell them; Tell them; Then tell them what you told them.

    Repetition of your message is good marketing too. But since churches don’t do marketing ;-) , then I’m probably wrong in this case.

    Anyway, there is no reason they can’t at least list their contact information, unless it was in one of those missing images.

  6. I think in the end there is a much bigger issue than simply individual churches having bad sites and the technical skills to implement a decent web strategy. My argument has been for a while that there needs to be some sort of leadership from above the individual church. I think the seriousness of the web needs to be seen much more than it currently is by the Church leaders in the upper echelons of the heirachy.

  7. Interesting thought, Andrew. How do you see a renewed “seriousness” about the web manifest itself at the local level? What about churches (like my own Community Church) that don’t really fit into a heirarchical church structure as much as some other denominations?

  8. I do understand that not every church will have a ministry that is as effective as can be online. That is the nature of churches since they often cater towards a need in the community specific to their area.

    However if you take seriously the results coming out of the Pew Internet Project research, then you can come up with some practical ways of being “serious” about the web at a local level.

    Even the use of mailing lists is a step towards building community online and drawing people in. In my church we often discuss political issues and current events online (through a mailing list). People who do not belong to the church often are able to simply read, learn and stay in touch. This is often a way for people to get “familiar” with Christianity or to see it in action as it were. There are other various ways of implementing a serious approach to the Net at a local level.

    I must admit yes, I overlooked the individual church such as yours Mike. I think however in the case of the individual church there does need to be something which they can turn to for help (if they need it that is). At my site Niphal, I argued this:

    The success of blogs in the last couple of years has been due to tools such as Blogger and Moveable Type. Now if something of a similar nature was available to churches freely then you could possibly have the same effect with church websites as you have had with online publishing in the last couple of years. Yes there are tools out that are similar to this specifically for churches at the moment however they are not always completely FREE.

    Even on an individual basis churches such as your Community Church Mike, would be able to have some sort of structure set up for them which is outside of the individual church. That is only a relatively quick idea. Obviously there are problems associated with it but that is how I see it at the moment.

  9. By structure, you mean site structure, or hosting structure, administrative structure, or just the tools? I dunno – it may be my past experiences working in corporate America at play here, but my initial reaction is that what is seen as “help” from the upper end of the heirarchy would likely be seen as just beaurocratic red tape or micromanagement by those on the lower end. I’d also be concerned with the speed at which the church at large could keep up with advances in technology and make those available to the public at large. Keep in mind too, that my church is very techno-savvy, and would likley just choose to go do our own thing anyway. But I can see possible advantages in smaller congregations or more closely knit church structures.

  10. I wonder… how would a SourceForge-for-churches go over? Providing domain hosting, subdomains, mailing lists, email addresses, stock designs, and other tools for churches to create an instant web presence.

  11. woops, didn’t get linked in the last post:

    http://www.sf.net

  12. “By structure, you mean site structure, or hosting structure, administrative structure, or just the tools?”

    Yeah maybe I should clear this up. Blogger is the example I’ve been using and it’s (I think) the model on which I’m thinking of structure. They provide everything (similar to hotmail for email). It’s simply a matter of having something custom made for a generic church website. That’s pretty much what I’m saying. Hope that clears it up. I’m going out now for myself and my girlfriend’s 2 year anniversary :)