Heal Your Church WebSite


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

Yo Dawg, McLean Bible Church Busted

You’re not cool enough to Play with us!

IMPORTANT: We’d welcome you to the Mr.Clean Bible Church website but …
Yo dawg! Yu git dis ugly page ’cause yo’puter ain’t pimped-up wid da latest ‘n “plug-in ‘n’ playa” tech. Fool!
Instead, all you’re left with is when and where it all goes down.

Whatever, if you didn’t get the message the first time – you need to download Flash now (fool).
It is free and makes me look really cool.

> After you have successfully installed Flash, please visit www.mcleanbible.org.

Confused? Check out the 42k screen shot the non-Flash
homepage for McLean Bible Church, VA on which this parody is based.

Many individuals living in the ‘burbs about D.C. know of, about or someone who goes to the McLean Bible Church (MBC) in McLean, VA. For example, many of my 11th Graders who went on to become successful young adults could be found at MBC on a Wednesday night simply because they have a huge, furtive singles ministry – and that’s okay. It’s also not so bad that they’re a bit Willow Creek or SaddleBack in their seeker sensitive, pop-issues approach – in part to reach out to their younger congregation.

So I can understand how a webmaster for such a church might make the mistake in thinking that because so many of the people they see are high-tech, then everyone who either attends or wants to attend has got the latest and greatest in computer equipment, browsers and what-not. After all … isn’t the web just like TV … or at least should it be like TV for such a visually oriented audience?

Not!

Reality check – if your MTV audience wants to experience the latest in multimedia production, then they’re going to watch MTV – not attempt to use a media-rich plug-in to navigate what is essentially a text-based enterprise, namely the church website. Especially if the seeker is someone older, like my mother-in-law who thinks her computer will blow-up if she installs anything new.

And even if you disagree with the MTV-audience assertion, you must at least agree that taking up 3/4 of the space ‘above the fold’ of your web page to make Flash-impaired seekers feel they’re lame is NOT the best use of Flash auto-detection.

Sure, put up a little snippet up in the right hand corner that says something like “see what you’re missing,” perhaps that links to a page that gives them gory details about how and why an information-driven repository needs a graphics-based client … though I can think of one or two other topics on which I might first want to practice evangelism.

30 Comments

  1. Amen, Dean. Furthermore, on my system – Win2k, Firefox 1.0, latest Flash plugin – the flash site is unusable. Flash seems to randomly lose track of the mouse pointer position. Load the flash page, PgDn, PgUp, and Flash is lost.

  2. If you’re designing for the “MTV” crowd I’d suggest Uncle Jakob’s article at:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20050131.html

    What I dislike about “auto detection” is that it usually assumes that if a user has Flash loaded, they must prefer it, so send ‘em on to the Flash version.

    If you’ve got a Flash and non-Flash version of your site, let *me* choose which one I want to use.

    I wonder what the usage of Flash blockers is up to? I sure like mine…especially when news and sites like eBay are going to using Flash for simple images in order to get around image blockers.

  3. Hey…didja notice that they’re hosting an “Accessibility Summit” ?

    Ooooh….must….hold…..tongue…..

  4. Hi Dean, et al… let me first say that I love your site and it usually either makes me crack up laughing or scream “AMEN” because you don’t pull any punches. Speak the truth, brother (in love).

    Secondly, let me also say that not only do I attend McLean Bible Church, but I was on the team that designed the website. So I feel the need to provide the other side of the story here.

    I must say that your column this week–especially your bling-bling paraphrase of our non-Flash instructions–helps to perpetuate the stereotype that Flash is nothing more than a cutting-edge, only-for-the-most-tech-inclined, multimedia tool that is used to boost the image of the designer but serves no other purpose.

    The MBC site uses Flash 6 (installed on 95.1% of computers in the U.S.) to achieve a number of design objectives, most of which were intended to serve the TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED users, while balancing the needs of an extremely large church with lots of competing priorities. For instance, certain typographical/font issues, menu structures, and inline search capabilities are presented on the site and would not be possible without Flash. Also, the site uses Flash to present randomly-rotating background images… this was intended to help the site stay “fresh”. (Note: the photos that are currently in use do not make the best use of this system, and aren’t under my control.)

    For those of you ultra-cool guys out there who choose to use Firefox, all I can say is sorry. You might have problems with this site and others, but at last check the MBC site has had maybe

  5. It seems that the gates of heaven open wider than the website of the church. :)

  6. Brad–I know where you live and I know what you do.

    You’re the guy behind the SiteOrganic; another cookie cutter church web site application service provider. May God help us, there are hundred’s of them…

    http://www.siteorganic.com/

    Dean is certainly within reason to fisk any web site designer/firm who claims to design sites “the way God intended”. I think he was too gentle given your firm’s tagline.

    Dean is right! Flash has its place but not as a primary technology for church web sites.

    I’ve designed sites exclusively for young, new, hip churches and still can not justify using Flash as a primary technology. Still too many people use dial-up, still too many people have no clue what Flash is and would not know what to do with the “you don’t have flash” message.

    That said I do use it for high end business clients whose customers use broadband and earn 100K.

    And excuse me, but the newest version of Internet Explorer that Gates promised to release by this summer will be the bastard (can I use that word on your site Dean) child of FireFox.

    Why would I design a site for a church so that can only be viewed on a browser introduced in 2001. My clients would kill me when they found out.

    So, it makes sense to design for web standards and support better technologies that MS offers. Because realistically, you’ll have to support IE7 very, very soon.

    I’m sure Brad will get calls from clients in six months asking why there site does not look right?

    Oh, its way too late for me to be writing this comment. I’m sure I’ve said stuff I’ll regret.

  7. As always, I appreciate everyone’s earnest comments … keep’m real, keep’m civil … but mostly keep’m coming, that’s how we all learn.

    I would offer this one observation: considering the target demographic of the McLean site, I might not be so quick to take a broad swipe at FireFox users — considering the rapid growth of this emerging user base — along the same demographic lines.

    I might also use a litle less space above the fold to evangelize for a particular browser/client application on a church website.

    As for concerns about being all things to a large church (technically challenged or otherwise), there’s always the sage advice offered at Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Accessibility

  8. Warning: The following comes from a web technology ideologue :)

    While I agree Flash can be a very powerful tool, it presents serious accessibility issues (and I don’t just mean the visually impaired here…), and I personally have to feel that it should only be used when to enhance a site, never be the primary interface. I know there are those who believe otherwise, and I would fight them to the death over it… :)

    But that aside, in this case, I can’t even see how it is necessary. You don’t explain the specific rationales, Brad (though you allude to some which don’t entirely make sense to me), so maybe you guys really did see issues I am missing, but it seems like the vast majority of the site could have been done just fine without Flash. If there are specific features that require Flash, why not just let users without it access everything but those? Many of the pages that are inaccessible without Flash are basically just text anyway, so it makes no sense NOT to allow access to them by all users. (And by the way, the menu change that happens when leaving the top-level page is REALLY confusing… That has to beat any possible absence of Flash in terms of usability issues.) The Flash also slows the site down considerably, at least on my computer. A web forms drop down box would be instantaneous; the Flash version seems unbearably slow in contrast.

    (The menus could be solved, it would seem in other ways – at least with Javascript – blech – if nothing else, but at any rate, a fall back would be good, and certainly not that outrageous. The fonts… Well, fonts are life, I understand that might not be ideal, but maybe they don’t have to be pushed so far. And I don’t get the search thing at all. Though, again, maybe I am just not seeing it.)

    Not that the Flash-enhanced stuff isn’t spiffy, but it also isn’t doing so much you couldn’t allow access to the text content for everybody.

    Having said that… These are my biases, so I may be wrong. (Shoot, I am so sick I check my pages in Lynx…) That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to fight to the death over them though ;)

  9. I whole-heartedly agree with everyone here (except Brad).

    While I think Flash is an incredibly interesting tool and can add a lot of, well, Flash to the site, it would take a lot of deep thought before I’d use it on the church website I run. Brad, the issues you described do not justify the use of Flash when it alienates users. This is particulary true considering there are easier/better ways to do many things that you can do with Flash. To me, it seems like Flash is being used because it’s “cool” and “new” and requires a simple solution to some specific problems. But it raises too many other problems in the process.

    And about Firefox, you better be prepared to support it. It’s becoming huge. And as a site designer, you’re being ignorant to the issue and shrugging it off as a browser only tech geeks use. It’s far from that. And you’re going to have to learn that sooner or later.

    I would just like to recommend that you check out some basic usability books. There are tons of good ones out there. I’m still learning how to make sites usable. It’s interesting stuff.

  10. The site looks OK for me on WinXP & Firefox1.0 – but I got really confused when I went to Dean’s link for the noflash page – it told me I needed flash 6. (I didn’t read the posting real close and I thought it meant it!)… but I have Flash 7 installed. So, talk about confusing.

    I use a flash header on one of my sites (http://www.famvin.org/en/ ) and I have been working to see that a user without flash still gets a single header image at least. The flash header is something I like, but I realize that not all of my users can handle it.

    One thing I would look at for any of church websites is “Can someone on a dial-up connection get any reasonable results in a reasonable time frame?” – Even it you have all the flash players, quicktime, Windows Media, etc – if you can go get a cup of coffee and 3 donuts and consume them all before the site loads, it’s not helpful.

    So Dean – you go! Open the gates of our websites closer to the way God greets us with open arms.

  11. Brad – I’m glad you popped in to leave a comment! I’m sure you guys spent a lot of time discussing the merits of various tools that you were aware of. The main thing to think of, though, is to degrade nicely for people with browsers less than ideal. That’s what Mark’s Dive into Accessibility discusses in great detail. Might be time to read!

    As for the specific items you mentioned that are only available by using Flash:

    “typographical/font issues”: May I kindly point to a nice alternative to flash-only text? sIFR is an excellent flash/javascript combination that dynamically replaces text with pretty fonts and nice typography–IF the user has it available. Otherwise, nice plain text that everyone can read.
    “menu structures”: Someone already pointed to JavaScript menus that work quite well, and if done properly, can degrade nicely to bulleted lists.
    “inline search capabilities”: Not really sure what you mean, but Livesearch by Michael of Binary Bonsai is much more useful (and just plain fun!) than your search utility.
    “randomly-rotating background images”: That’s quite funny! Flash required for this? I did it in three lines in server-side PHP (no client requirements!) for one of my sites. I see that you have ASP available, I’m sure you could easily do the same.

  12. What about us Nerds that use lynx? We are more techno that the flash guys. Also.. because flash is propritary… support in Linux is limited. I think a High Tech Site should use W3C standard like XHTML and CSS, as well as PHP, Java, Apache modules, and perl (Using Mod-perl). My nightmare is to rewrite my site so that it conforms to the standards… because I didn´t know much when I started.

  13. David, you had me until “drop … church organs.”

    I realize we’re all busy McDonaldizing our churches, but having a degree in music … having studied electronic music comp. as a minor … there is no replacing the harmonics generated by a well played church organ … just as there is no real replacement for the blare of a brass trumpet and/or the percussion baby-grand piano.

    Likewise, it is not that Flash is the devil, it is that Flash detection in this case was used to admonish users while wasting valuable screen real-estate.

    There are times and places to modernize, but not every aspect need be ‘brought up to date’ if it can/does provide something worthwhile.

  14. For the record, SiteOrganic is not a cookie-cutter site engine. I’m one of the designers on Brad’s team and the only thing I hate more than pumping out the same old design is people spitting in the face of Flash and gabbing on about how earth-shattering Firefox is. Every design I create for SiteOrganic is unique. I start with a blank 760×650 Fireworks screen every time I start a site. I am aware of web-standards, and as of this time last year, have been building our site designs around them. And yes, I am even aware of bulleted lists for in-line navigation (see http://www.synergydt.com/). If anybody in our audience here is a site designer, as in writing your own CSS to accommodate IE, Navigator, Mozilla, Opera, Safari and Firefox, you know how difficult it is to make sure your site looks right 100% of the time. We do appreciate your constructive criticism, but keep in mind we are well aware of our shortfalls and every site we design is better and more compatible than the previous.
    In defense of Flash. Not to pat myself on the back, but for being schooled as a designer, I write some pretty good JavaScript, and I’m even aware of sIFR, I went to school at SCAD with Shaun, the creator of it. Even the best at it will have to admit to you that nothing is as small, portable, and custom as a little XML and Flash front-end. Unfortunately, many people have bastardized Flash from the beginning…first with intros, then unintuitive navigation, and even those bloody ads…but it’s the nature of the beast…the program in itself isn’t in all bad.
    Regardless of what tools we use, our ultimate goal, and the reason I joined this company is to help church’s put their best face forward. Shame on you who scoff at that simply because you’re too good to install a Flash player. Go to siteorganic.com and read what we’re about, it certainly not so we can get rich. By the way we’re hiring…for those of you talking big game out there, maybe you should come help us out.

  15. Elliot … how do I even reply to such a rant?

    Remember, we are compelled by scripture not to return evil with evil. Likewise, I would think it not such a good idea to return the “cookie cutters” statements such as the use of “FireFox” and/or “too good to instal Flash.” This is especially true if you truly desire some of the very talented designers send you their resumes. Not cool at all.

    Moreover, the “shame on you” statement indicates you missed the point entirely — or didn’t bother to read the entire post. As I said, the use of Flash wasn’t evil, it is the fact that you used autodetection to redirect users to a non-flash page where just about everything above the fold makes the user feel lame for not using Flash. Also not too cool.

    As I also suggested, go ahead and redirect the user, but be a bit smarter with your real-estate and the message you convey above the fold. Stick a “see what your missing w/out Flash installed” link/icon in the upper right-hand corner and say good things about your Church … not a software product. Not even remotely cool.

    As for my humorous approach — we here at HYCW make fun of me all the time. Don’t take the “cool” remarks personally and learn from this. Very cool

  16. Elliot who works for Brad–okay, SiteOrganic is not a cookie cutter web design firm. My bad.

    I just took a shot at this particular firm because I think its tagline is outrageous–”Church websites the way God intended”–come on, you gotta expect that line to get made fun of…what happened, everyone hands during a strategic meeting by a burning bush or did God just write it on the whiteboard (unwarranted sarcasm).

    I just mean that you set yourself us as somehow having the answers and I just don’t think you do. In fact, I don’t think any of us do.

    Just get rid of the tagline. No, really delete it and join the rest of us who are learning about how this whole new media works.

    I submitted it to Church Marketing Sucks–but so far Kevin hasn’t posted it…

    Okay, synergydt.com does use CSS but it also relies on a huge javascript to run the fancy menus. That’s great I’ve done them to at clients insistence (SoThink dev tool is cheap), but for usability they are not good because the navigation never indicates where you are. And in this site’s case, you do not use breadcrumbs so far as I can see to provide the user that information. So the navigation is exactly the same on every page–easy for users to get lost.

    CSS styled navigation I am used to using (and stealing comes mostly from modifying these nice designers work)…

    http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/

    I did it for e-church.com–which has a problem displaying tags that don’t line up in IE (anyone know why?). Go ahead there’s site that needs some help…

    Don’t get me wrong either–Flash is cool. I’m doing a site now where the owner doesn’t care of some visitors can’t access it. That’s gives me freedom—cool but not the norm. I do not think I should be that free with a church site.

    I think Dean’s point is great and could be implemented easily without getting rid of Flash.

    And I know a lot of this is preference and that designers do not work in a vacuum–I’ve had lots of clients insist on doing bad things on the web. Who am I to stop them…that said, Dean’s site has the same goal and his suggestion in this

    Sorry Dean and Elliot for the sarcasm. It’s just that tagline…

  17. A couple of points Tim brings up are of interest to me.

    First is the notion of “place” within a site. On the one hand I sell myself as an “information architect” so spend alot of time developing structures on the web. And I know people like Steve “Don’t make me think” Krug really promote the idea of “signposts” to give users a sense of place.

    On the other hand…I’ve never been convinced that – on most sites anyway – users ever learn this structure. So the related question is – do users care “where they are” in a given site? Or just that this page does or doesn’t answer my question?

    Take this article from Uncle Jake:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040816.html

    And breadcrumbs….see:
    http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/52/breadcrumb.htm

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    I stuggle with this…on Boyink.com I don’t have breadcrumbs, nor do I have an “Active section” indicator in the nav bar. About all I have is the title tag that shows any sense of “place”…and based on what I read I haven’t had the motivation to do much more.

    Thoughts?

  18. As an attendee of the FutureGen conference in Orlando last week, I got to see and hear Brad of SiteOrganic talk about “Church Web Sites the Way God Intended” and it was a very thoughtful and sincere talk. The jist of the tagline “Way God Intended” involves creating an attractive useful site that effectively reaches out to both the current congregation and visitors. Part of the tagline is the “shock value”, which the devil’s advocate in me likes.
    although I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of some of their sites, I have great respect for their willingness to provide a multitude of services for churchs who have neither the technical ability nor the resources to devote to the intricacies of web site development. And they are sincerely devoted to Christ and believe they are playing a part in furthering His kingdom. Ultimately, that is what our goal should be. Web Sites don’t make a true difference, people do.

  19. It doesn’t bother me much when a site doesn’t support Firefox. Since I have the handy IE View extension, I just right click in the page and say View This Page in IE. So I tried this on McLean’s site, and I still got the “You need the Flash 6 Player!” message.

    Now wait a minute. I know I have Flash 6 installed for IE as well as Firefox. Flash 7, in fact. So why do I still “need the Flash 6 Player!”? Something must be broken.

    Oh! Hold on. Look at that address bar. It says:

    http://www.mcleanbible.org/home_noflash.asp

    Yeah, this site is definitely broken. It sent me to the same “no flash” page in IE! Or maybe it was just a glitch. I’ll try going to the home page one more time. The little “up one level” button in the Google toolbar is handy for this.

    Ah! This time it works! I wonder why it worked the second time?

    Of course, I figured it out at this point. I noticed that the Firefox address bar said:

    http://www.mcleanbible.org/home_noflash.asp

    so naturally when I clicked on “view in IE” it showed me the “you need Flash” page again. Good thing I’m a hotshot computer geek or I might not have figured this out.

    OK, so now I have the real MBC home page sitting in the background while I type this note.

    Whoa. Guys. Can you PLEASE make that stuff stop moving around on the page? It is making me DIZZY. Seriously. Getting pretty uncomfortable here. Maybe because it’s 12:45 in the morning, but hey, you know, sometimes people have a need and visit a church website when they’re a little bleary-eyed.

    OK, I’m going to try to ignore the swooping back and forth and try to read one of those feature items. If it will hold still long enough.

    Bingo! I hit the PrtSc key to take a screen shot, opened Windows Paint, and pasted the screen shot. Now nothing is moving and my stomach is feeling much better. The site is actually pretty nice looking now.

    So let me read that feature item. This one says Missionaries of the Week. Sounds interesting.

    Little problem here. VERY little, in fact. I use a ThinkPad A30p, which has a wonderful high-density 1600×1200 15″ display. That’s 133 pixels per inch.

    The body text in the feature items and elsewhere is 7 pixels high, 9 if you count the descenders. On my display, this text is 1/16″ high, or in other words it’s around five point text! Now I have excellent vision when corrected with my reading glasses–I can see every pixel–but do you know anyone who likes to read five point text?

    Especially when it’s completely non-aliased white on black? Windows XP has this wonderful thing called ClearType that does subpixel anti-aliasing and gives me beautiful, easy to read type. But it’s not doing me any good with this hard coded Flash bitmap font.

    Well, guys, I don’t have any real opinion on IE vs. Firefox, Flash vs. HTML, or whatever. I’m just telling you what my visit to the site was like.

  20. Oh man! I’ve been trying to do a little late-night hacking, and my ThinkPad has been running really, really slow. I wonder what could be eating up the CPU time? Hmm… Task Manager says it’s iexplore.exe.

    I see… I forgot to close the McLean website after writing my previous comment. Yep, every time one of those swoopy “today’s features” animation zips by, the CPU spikes to 60% or more!

    Well, time to close that site. Ah, MUCH better now. Holding steady at 3% CPU or less. It feels like my computer again, now that I’ve closed the McLean site.

  21. Okay, just to show I’m not a spoiled sport. Here is the staging IP address for a site that I’m working on right now (it loads very slow because its on a overloaded server),

    http://209.200.108.181/

    It is a CSS layout, no tables, but ahh, it has Flash.

    But if you look, no redirect. I found a great way to put flash in XHTML and if the user does not have flash it loads an (nicely worded) alternative text and a link to the plugin download page. No redirect, the rest of the page load normally.

    The flash movie is a repurposed from their old site and loops endlessly and is not formated to the new size. I’m working on that…

    But hey its not perfect–but so far its the best I’ve been able to code. The rest of the site is being built–so don’t expect much more than the home page.

    Hey, Dean you should open up a thread on your site for designers to post their “newest” work for others to see…

    Let me know if I can do things better…oh the orginal site needed some healing…

    http://www.kenyachildrensfund.org/

    Look at that javascript!

  22. It even displays on Mac OS9 IE 5. I’m psyched.

  23. I knew a pastor whose goal was to “Do few things and do them well.” I think this mantra should be considered in light of the web as nearly anyone can access (and link to) what we proclaim. There are many churches who probably shouldn’t have a web site, at least not until they are willing to commit the resources necessary to build a decent page. So, I appreciate organizations who seek to help churches communicate more effectively. However, Elliott Wrote: “Go to siteorganic.com and read what we’re about, it certainly not so we can get rich.” However their Gold package is “$3,995 setup and design fee” plus “$229 monthly fee”. If you’re not getting rich, where is all that money going?

  24. You’re all sick.
    McLean Bible Church is a wonderful organization who cares about people, all kinds of people.

  25. I have no doubt that McLean Bible Church is a wonderful organization that cares about all kinds of people.

    That doesn’t change the fact that my visit to their site was a thoroughly unpleasant experience, with its tiny fonts, nausea-inducing animation, and slowing down my computer when I was trying to do other things and forgot that I still had their site open in another window.

  26. Yeah, I have no doubt Mclean B. cares about all kinds of people. It cares about all the people filling up their services.

    Listen. I went there and allot of people make great connections and go on those little service trips they have like intencity in_ten_city. Cute isn’t it? I’m still trying to figure out how mtv road rules fits into growing real Christians or makes lasting connections with the people or ministries they are supposedly serving. You see, it just illustrates the prime result of Mclean. On the surface quick in and quick out, let me get on with my life and get to the next transient event. It’s kind of hit and run ministry. Look! Now you see it. Now you don’t! Until the next drive by ministry.

    I once heard of those silly animal categorizations that the Shape “ministry” parcels everyone into. I’ll just mention two to make my point. One, you got the otter. Playful, always up for a good time and in fact, that’s basically all he’s up for. If you’re not having one, he’s gone in no time. They don’t say that part of it but it is certainly true and we know for the church that’s all about growing the numbers we don’t want to risk insulting anyone with the pesky little thing called truth. Why would we want to do that. It hurts ratings. Oh, that’s right, this isn’t TV. Or ,at least, not yet. Oh and back to my point. Then there’s the Golden Retriever. Loyal, with you through thick and thin, accepts you for who you are and loves you anyway. Sound like anyone? Maybe like someone mentioned in the Bible? Well the Bible is good to put in your church’s name anyway. Well, I heard of these two also characterized like this. The Otter: A mile wide but only an inch deep. The Golden Retriever: An inch wide but a mile deep. Get it? The otter is all over the place and has acquaintances everywhere but knows nobody really deep. He doesn’t sit still for that. There’s good times to be had. The Golden is there when the good times are and when they aren’t because he truly cares and it takes time to care and it takes the effort to take the time and the caring to take the time to get past the shallow surface impression that comes in the short amount of time it takes to become someone’s acquaintance. The Golden takes a few acquaintances and makes them friends.

    Perfect analogy for Mclean. It’s the otter of all churches. If you’re an outgoing gregarious extrovert you’re in man. If you’re not, you better already know someone going in because you’re going to be forgotten about quick. You gotta be fun from the start or you’re just simply nobody. That was my experience and I’ve met allot of others who had similar experiences. I gave it allot of tries over 2 years. How long should it take? I think 2 years is enough to get an idea.

    I think Frontline is a great kinda Christian Vegas floor show but after the gig is over everyone hits the road and they go about their real weekday lives until the next drive thru ministry or until it’s time to hit Vegas next week for a Starbucks and an amen with the good and fuzzies all over with some sprinkles on top. Until then don’t intrude on my real life with your baggage man that’s not fun and they’re slip sliding away down the muddy river bank to frolic with the other otters.

    Hey, don’t bother trying to point anything out to the pastors. If you’re not a celebrity they ain’t got the time for ya. And besides they’re soakin in the cruise money to go on a cruise to “retrace Paul’s journeys”. I think that one is just too absurd to even comment on.

    Hey, I may hit Frontline again sometime I’m in the mood for a show. If I want to grow in my walk with Christ though I’ll go elsewhere. I recommend you do the same. Unless of course you’re an otter.

    Oh an to take this back to this site’s main point. What else kind of website would you expect a church like that t to have? Gotta get the attention of the shortened computer TV sitcom attention spans out there before they miss the next intencity drive by. I’m not so worried or concerned about Mcleaners commenting on this because they probably couldn’t sit still to read all this anyway. Bon Voyage Lon!

  27. Dear stillwater,
    Have you tried joining a MBC small group? This is where you get loved on by fellow MBC goers. If you get involved in service (volunteering), you also meet a ton of very nice people who will love you for who you are no matter what (Retriever).
    MBC is so big and growing for a reason, it is a Godly church. God is there in a big way. Yeah sure, there are lots of yuppies there because it is the ‘cool’ church and they may not be authentic (otter). But at it’s core, it is an authentic church- God is there, God’s word and wisdom are infused in the sermons, the music moves you closer to God, and lives are being changed for the better.
    I think that if you feel so strongly about this, you should write to the pastors-I disagree that they won’t have time for you.

  28. I’m a little irritated by the fact that this discussion went from a healthy debate over web standards, flash and other technologies having to do with a church website into the inner-church politics that those who never attended MBC and never will won’t understand. Who cares? The discussion was about web.

  29. I know nothing about this church, but I can assure you the website sucks. It sucks really hard. And the firm that designed it sucks too.

    From Site Organic’s FAQ’s page:
    Can I add my own logo to a SiteOrganic Express theme?
    “This work normally takes only an hour or two of billable design time.”
    (from http://www.siteorganic.com/express/faq.asp#q2)

    Just to put that in perspective…That adds $150 to the cost of your $500 website just for the logo. And yes Virginia, Site Organic Express is cookie cutter design. (Apparently just like God intended.)