Thursday, February 26, 2009

Caught in the Web

My little congregation is trying to figure out a way to more effectively use the web. Our website is a semi-functional little thing, which gimps along with regular updates but a woefully inadequate appearance. What we offer is pretty much nothing like the stuff that's out there in other ministries, as my template-based fumbling just doesn't come anywhere near being state of the art. We're thinking about putting some more resources into web design.

Then again, I'm just not sure it's a level playing field. It can't be. We don't bring the same level of human or financial resources, or the same insanely professional slickness to our new media efforts. Take, for instance, the distinction between what a small church like mine is capable of and the radiant design gloriosity of our local Jesus Mega Center. It isn't just that a little community church can't compete with their toight as a toiger really big show worship. It's that their web presence is of a different category altogether.

They've got a solid base site. They've got subsites for young adults, and for married twentysomethings, and for single twentysomethings, and for thirtysomethings, and for older adults.

They've got a crazy slick flash subsite for college age folks. Do they have the blogging? Check. The FaceBook integration? Check. Everything Web 2.0? Check. There's not a chance in heck a small neighborhood church can even begin to compete. It isn't just that our worships are smaller. Our ability to project a presence on the web that meets current expectations just ain't there.

I can do the theology and the preaching and the studies...but I don't have the tech and marketing.

When it comes to web presence, they're Walmart. I'm McGinty's Corner Hardware and Tackle. And things don't look so good for the McGinty's bottom line.