It has been a joy to share here, but just as technology changes, things here at ForMinistry.com are changing too. Today is the last entry for the eQuip blog, as we rearrange the furniture to specifically serve those who use the ForMinistry Web Builder toolkit to build church and ministry websites. The many ideas and tips shared here at the eQuip blog will remain online in an archive format as a useful resource for some time.
As an aside, I'm a part of a team working on a redesign of the American Bible Society website at www.americanbible.org, which is scheduled to launch around mid-September. Stay tuned there for an article describing some of the behind-the-scene look at how we went about the redesign.
Since the launch of this eQuip blog in May 2004, many other websites and blogs have launched to share tips, ideas, resources and strategies about doing online ministry (also called "internet evangelism", "eministry", or "web ministry", or "digital outreach.") Please visit these other websites and blogs about online ministry & technology:
TruthMedia has a number of Internet ministry training videos online for free (Macromedia Flash required.) Topics covered include:
Church Tech Matters raised a great question about church website design: What is the life of a website design? In other words, how often does the design need to be redone to keep it fresh? How long a site should go before being given a facelift?
In his conclusion, he shared some insights:
The Christian Post article, Dotcoms Bust but Christian Websites Boom, describes the growing impact and readership at LeaderU.com, whose website Web site traffic grew from three to eight million from 1998 to 2001. From January to May 2005, LeaderU.com generated 9.2 million hits, 4.7 million pageviews and 2.3 million visits. Each visitor spends an average of 18 minutes, unusually long for a Web site.
More info about the LeaderU.com's 10th anniversary is featured at LeaderU's 10th: A Decade of Growth & Impact.
Main Street has commissioned an independent survey on church communications. This survey will collect the first national data on how church communications departments are organized, staffed, and tasked.
All participants in the survey who provide an email address will receive a copy of the executive summary for free. And the results will also be presented at MinistryCOM in Houston on September 16, 2005.The survey is limited to churches in the USA who conduct regular worship services. (Non-profits and para-church ministries should not participate in this survey.) This survey should be answered by the church director of communications, or the person most directly responsible for communications in the congregation. Complete the online survey to participate. Surveys must be completed by Monday, August 29, 2005.
[hat tip: Kem Meyer]
Outreach Magazine has for the third year listed the Top 100 fastest-growing megachurches in America. There is much to be learned from these churches in terms of what are they doing that is different from the typical church and how that might be related to their fast growing attendance. The magazine probably focused on that (it's only available to subscribers to the print edition, and not published online.) But there might also be some things we can learn from their websites.
Someone at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is in process of putting together a very helpful web page titled: Ranking the Big Church Websites. As of this writing, they have evaluated 8 megachurch websites on criterias like creativity, design, bells & whistles, and content. The top scoring website to date is www.fellowshipchurch.com. Stay tuned there for more rankings to come.
Comments about their rankings may be posted here.
[hat tip: tallskinnykiwi]
Kem Meyer blogged her notes from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last week, viewed by more than 53,000 leaders. She provided an excellent summary of high quality teachings during the 9 main sessions. Kem is the Communications Director at Granger Community Church and a stay-at-home mom for three kids.
Online ministry is all about communicating and sharing, and blogging is probably the fastest way to post information online. What are you blogging?
is the website for Touch Africa, a grassroots involvement movement to
reach out for the AIDS orphans crisis. The Touch Africa 05 team members
have been in Zambia and surrounding countries since July 25, and will
return on August 17.
GospelCon 2005 is being billed as "the most important online ministry conference of the year" by Gospelcom.Net, the most popular Christian website in the world. Speakers include Terry Mattingly and Quentin Schultze and it all happens on September 15-17, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois. Registration is $350 before September 1st, and then it's $1,000,000 per person after that date.
An online ministry track is devoted entirely to the care and feeding of an internet ministry. You'll hear about what works and what doesn't from people who are out there with you doing ministry online, who've dealt with the same challenges you face.
The GospelCon blog keeps all updated on conference news. No word yet if they will provide live instant messaging, streaming webcast, or podcast audios.
The 2005 Internet Evangelism Coalition Annual Meeting is scheduled for September 14-15, 2005 in Chicago, at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, IL. The cost is $95 per attendee. This meeting will discuss topics like Internet Evangelism and Legal Issues, Privacy Policies, International Internet Evangelism, and Online Internet Evangelism Training and Churches.
Speakers include: John Edmiston (Cybermissions, Asian Internet Bible Institute), Dave Hackett (visionSynergy), Walt Wilson (Global Media Outreach), and Karen Schenk (TruthMedia). TruthMedia Internet Group runs 24 websites in 12 languages for online communities of evangelism and discipleship.
Here are 2 great resources for children's ministry: Child Ministry Ideas and Inspiration at www.kidinspiration.com and the Children's Ministry Blog at www.childrensministryblog.com.
Both resource website are done by David Wakerley. David Wakerley and his wife Beci are children's pastors at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. They both have a passion to see children’s ministries around the world flourish and thrive. Together they are integral to the childre's praise and worship at Hillsong Church, leading teams of awesome praise and worshippers and writing songs that reach into children's hearts and minds.
And this September, David also plans to launch a Children's Ministry Podcast at www.childrensministrypodcast.com .
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about this blog
This blog is a "web log" of examples and ideas for effective online ministry. You'll also find comments about web technologies and how they can be used for Christian ministry and spirituality.