Heal Your Church WebSite


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

… it’s How you say it!

When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he do so to address several problems regarding that church’s carnality. One problem was a total lack of understanding regarding spiritual gifts. It seems as if those a Corinth were putting on flashy display of various gifts as if God would look down in Heaven and reward them for their ostentatious affectation. Paul in response to this wrote in 1 Corinthians 12.

1Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore
I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says,
“Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the
Holy Spirit.

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To
one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another
the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to
another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another
distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds
of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[2] 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts;
and though all its parts are many, they form one body.

In other words, we are to look at our lives, our gifts and our talents through a God-centric lens … for His purposes … and not our own selfishness. Similarly, it also means that there is a level of diversity in the Body we need to understand and accept. There is also a variety of means in which the Good News is preached. To me, as long as they are effective and do not deviate from the sound doctrine of Scripture, I say let them be.

A good example is the silly ‘King James only-ism‘ An analogous example in technical terms would be some of us thinking we are more spiritual because we conspicuously prefer tableless page layout and design.

In fact, Paul confronts such “fortress mentality thick-headedness” when he addressed the church in Galatia. Apparently, some thought that to be good Christians, you had to be good Jews, therefore you had to be circumcised. If you think I’m overly critical sometimes, check out how the man from Tarsus let into this branch of the Body in Galatians 3:1:

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

So while we should endure, in fact celebrate, each other’s diversity in design and presentation. We should also be ready to “teach, rebuke and correct” those who’s delivery mangles the saving message of Christ Crucified, Christ Resurrected, Christ Returning.

And it is with this in mind that I bring the following site to your attention, with the warning, DON’T DO THIS:

Now I realize and accept that some folks in other regions of the U.S. have different styles, different tastes, different educations and different approaches to delivering the message of the Gospel. But from a purely technical point of view, this page fails to convey its message in a variety of ways. Let me enumerate them for you, linking some to past articles. Feel free to add to the list.

  1. Get Real – Nothing says amateur hour like hosting your site on a “free service.” Especially when your “ministry page” is accompanied with a pop-up advertisement for a weekend of gambling and drinking in Las Vegas! Instead, go to GoDaddy.com and spend $8.95/year on a real domain name … then if you want, use their hosting services for $3.95 a month.
  2. Plan Diligently. Sit down and figure out on paper first, what your purpose is, who your audience is, what it is you’re trying to say/sell/convey. In this case, it would be the services of an evangelist, so we’re actually selling the individual.
  3. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” – still working on paper, take your diligent plans and map out how your site is going to look. How the navigation is going to work. Don’t know how? Look at some successful sites and take a cue for a clue, such as the website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association . . . Better yet, buy a book on the subject.
  4. One of the other advantages of buying a book on the subject, is that hopefully it teaches you some useful technical tips. For example, today’s site once again reveals the common misconception /mistake that reducing the height and width attributes of the <IMG> tag physically reduce the physical size of the file. It does not.
  5. Holy Jesus Junk! – animated gifs of Bible do not make people read the Bible. Teaching them the beauty of Romans 10:9-10 might, but not kitchy gimmicks.
  6. Consistency, consistency, consistency – Especially color consistency – No one is attracted by noisy gongs or incessantly clanging cymbals. Avoid the temptation to employ multiple fonts of multiple colors, all in bold, all centered, all followed by exclamation points! What that says to most people is that your message is so lacking, that you feel you have to dress it up with gimmicks. Don’t do this to the Gospel. Trust me, it can stand on its own two feet . . . Instead, pick out a simple color scheme, and simple layout and let your compelling content do the talking. If you’re stuck, then break a vase and spend $25 on a template.

If nothing else, during this entire process, always, always, always keep in mind “It’s not just what you say…

2 Comments

  1. If he is selling in-your-face evangelism, then his website is definately representing the product. There are better ways. Worst offense is his testimony in all caps against a textured background. The only thing to be ‘saved’ is my time in not reading it.

  2. Since I have family in that locale, I think I understand the mindset. Let’s face it – he’s ministering to a limited, local populace. Honestly, for a wordwide, sophisticated audience, this site is clearly not sufficient. However, I can just hear my brother, who is from that neck of the woods (born and raised there, unlike his city kin – me – I have been there only a few times) saying, “That’s a nice website!”. He’s doing the best he can with what he has, and as far as the culture he is trying to reach (yes, they all have computers, believe it or not)they will think it’s just peachy keen.