When Moses died, Joshua led the Israelites through the desert to The Promised Land. There’s no image that better illustrates the state of church Web programs than a bunch of people wandering around in the wilderness trying to reach this great benefit that was promised to them. – Deane Barker, the Joshua Project
I’ve always joked with my wife that if I ever won the lottery I’d use the money to establish a charity that would help promising young teens only lacking in financial resource to get into good schools and get their degree; and then spend whatever time I had left fixing web sites, writing programs and/or establishing effective office automation plans for local churches and charities.
Of course, I don’t do lotteries, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already a very wealthy man. When I take account of what I have and compare it to the general population of the World, it becomes painfully clear that I have been blessed with a humongous amount of gifts and talents that have been given me by God not to horde, but to share. So I do many things on my own time and my own dime. This web site is one of them.
One of my favorite techBlogs is Deane Barker’s Gagetopia. Deane also understands the responsibility that comes with blessings. An understanding that is partially reflected in InfoCentral, a free software to help churches and non-profit organizations track information about their membership. More recently, Deane’s charity comes in the form of what was previously introduced here as the “The Deane Barker Project,” and has now come to fruition as the “The Joshua Project”
The Joshua Project is a very simple concept. Deane, an obvious expert in software, web design and usability, imbues his wisdom on those who also wish to learn and do the same. The ‘tuition’ for this high-tech training is simple: “The students must each complete a Web project for a faith-based ministry within 90 days of the last class.”
As anyone who’s studied discrete mathematics at any level will tell you, this plan, even if only partially successful, could exponentially change the face of church and charity websites in a relatively short period of time.
I like this idea so much, that I’m hoping Deane will produce both a teacher’s and student’s guide so that experts such as myself can do the same, both at my church, and perhaps with a local boy-scout troop. I also have some contacts with a local mentoring program where this might work, but to do that, I need the courseware (hint, hint).
My point? One of the primary reasons I created HealYourChurchWebSite is to address the great cloud of witlessness that is the church online. What was needed someone to provide constructive criticisms, along with some experienced technical advice on backups, coding and other fun stuff. Deane has a similar passion and is fixing this problem in the form his course (and hopefully soon-to-be courseware). How about you? As the praise song by Kurt Kaiser says, “it only takes a spark …”
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matthew 25:19-21