Web Site or Web Ministry?

June 27, 2005 by

Does your church have a web site or a web ministry? Silas Partners is a company that helps ministries with web solutions and they’ve put together an article exploring the difference between web sites and web ministries. This is an issue often raised by Andrew Careaga and the Internet Evangelism Coalition, but it’s always worth repeating.

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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11 Responses to “Web Site or Web Ministry?”

  • Dana O
    June 27, 2005

    Great idea!

  • Nathan Smith
    June 27, 2005

    It’d be nice to see web companies aimed at helping churches, if they actually knew what they were doing…

  • Michael
    June 27, 2005

    Good point Nathan…and a good reminder to get our site cleaned up.
    It is difficult to be everything to everyone. I know for my day job, we struggle with the balance between the fact that we are a marketing firm with a full service design studio. When a client needs a website, or needs their website updated we have the challenge of whether it can stay inhouse or if the site is complex enough to require an outside programmer/developer. At vision to sight we have the same struggle…we don’t do a lot of website developement outside of flash announcements and the sort, but when we do we realize our shortcomings and bring in a developer. It’s the only way to not suck.

  • Tim Bednar
    June 28, 2005

    Very good point. Web standards.

  • roscoepcoletrane
    September 2, 2005

    Nathan. Yeah…that site really is xhtml transitional. They don’t have a clue.

  • GaryStrong
    September 3, 2005

    The website seems to look good, function well. So what if its not completely xhtml transitional because of a few minor irrelevant tag errors, Nathan. The truth is that most, if not all, of those errors were likely generated by the CMS the site is on. Retard. And if you actual stop being such a geek and read their website, it’s abundantly clear that those people have quite a good handle on what they’re doing. In fact… they seem quite a bit more expert and accomplished than your website indicates you are when it comes to knowing their market. And their portfolio is stronger than yours, in my opinion. To ever be successful in the business and ministry, you’ll need to learn that life is more than perfect mark-up.

  • Nathan Smith
    September 3, 2005

    Gary: Even though this post is pretty old, I thought I’d reply. My initial post was not to imply that they don’t know marketing, or that I’m somehow superior. The point was that these companies should strive for excellence, and not settle for 49 lines of errors (more than a few, by my count).
    Perhaps they need a better CMS, but if you’re going to declare a doctype of XHTML 1.0 Transitional, you should make sure your site validates as that. Otherwise, just leave it off and go with plain HTML tags at the top like most invalid sites do.
    That’s the whole point of ChurchMarketingSucks, is it not – Helping churches improve and catch up with the world instead of lagging behind? I’m not saying Silas is doing everything wrong, but was simply pointing out what they could do better.
    Consider things like that next time, Gary, before you go firing off your mouth and calling people “retard.” Having a relative that is mentally-handicapped, I found that particularly offensive.

  • GaryStrong
    September 3, 2005

    Hi Nathan. I apologize for my previous comment. I spoke out of turn, as I’m not affiliated with the website in question, and I spoke much to harshly. I admit that I used bad judgement in what I wrote. Please accept my apology. I was sticking up for a situation I’ve been in before, and I did run off my mouth. I deeply apologize for my offense to you. I’m hoping to have this comment edited by the webmaster to a much more congenial assesment of the situation. Thank you for showing grace to me, though I don’t deserve it.

  • Nathan Smith
    September 3, 2005

    Gary, I forgive you. Perhaps I was too brief in linking directly to the W3C, without counter-balancing it by saying that Silas Partners does have a good ministry vision (and nice looking website). Upon visiting the blog of one of their employees, I realized that they are concerned about web-standards and are working on it.
    If you want to, feel free to email me via my website and we can have a further, more fruitful discussion. I’ve said alot of things that I have had to take back in the past, so there’s no condemnation / hard feelings from me towards you. Praise God for forgiveness. :)

  • Jacob
    September 7, 2005

    I work at Silas Partners and am happy to see an XHTML/HTML debate over our site.

    I’m on the production team that put most of the site together, and believe me most of the production team is sold out on web standards.

    To Gary’s point about choosing a different CMS, I would love a CMS that outputs valid code – that’s why I use textpattern on my own site(s). However, most of those CMS products don’t have the other features that our clients require. Specifically online donations and integrated CRM.

    At Silas we are about helping our clients be successful and ultimately advance God’s kingdom through that service. We have made the choice that taking donations online is more important than valid code. That doesn’t mean we don’t strive for that and are working towards that everyday.

    Thanks again for the interest and lively debate

  • Term paper
    March 5, 2010

    It’s quite appreciable that such information is being shared through a huge network. Keep it up.

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