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Monday, July 28, 2008 

Things You Shouldn’t Put On Your Church’s Homepage

The days of looking for a church by thumbing through a phone book in a motel room are over, period. It is now the responsibility of church webmasters to present the congregation in a way that the folks who conceived of the yellow pages couldn’t even dream of.

I’ve relied on WebPages for researching congregations for some time now. I can get a pretty good idea where the congregation is theologically by how the present themselves on the web.

In the before times, in the long, long ago, the brand LCMS meant you could walk into a church and pretty much know what to expect. Those days are as dated as looking for your grandfather’s church by scouring two year old phone books in your second floor room at the Euclid Motel over on Route 31.

In looking for a congregation to visit this weekend via the web, I’ve felt like I’ve walked into a McDonalds run by Hindu’s afraid to serve up their most sacred animal. It’s frustrating that when I want a Big Mac that I only see tofu on the menu board.

The following are things that shouldn’t even be on a church website much less their home or front page;
1. Anything highlighting your dynamic puppet ministry that’s conducted during the worship service. I don’t care if you got the puppets for a really good price during the Lenten season blowout spectacular at CPH, leave Elmo at the house.

2. Mission statements explaining that while Christ’s Church is two thousand years old, you just now figured out how to make it relevant to me today.

3. Mission statements explaining that while Christ’s Church is two thousand years old, you just now figured out how to make it dynamic to me today.

4. Any pictures of Pastor Mike dressed up as John the Baptist. If Pastor Mike thinks himself a thespian, he should prayerfully consider a career change. Actors belong in a theater, not in a church on a Sunday morning.

5. Any reference to any document that was issued by a consulting firm to show you how to market yourself. The very fact that you have gone out and got people in the secular realm to tell you how to do your sacred job speaks volumes. If you paid one penny for such drivel, you got ripped off. Some guy named Luke already wrote a model for how to grow your church and didn’t charge one red cent for the darned thing. Read it. It’s been on the best seller list for a couple of years now and from the time it came out, it’s worked. Again, read it.

It’s a sad commentary on the health of churches in our country when it’s easier to find a Big Mac than a church.


Would you like fries with that?

I love it, you are so right!!!

Way to go, Frank! You made blog post of the week on Issues, Etc.!

no fracking way! I've been on the road for the last day and haven't had a chance to be one of the "64" listeners that the synodocrats said listened live. I always listen to the podcast the next day even if I'm at home anyways. I'll try to catch up (I'm two days behind already) after my Saturday class on measurement uncertainty and changes to the USPharmacopia class.

Great post! I posted about it on my own blog, with a link.

I think it's so frackin cool that you posted on my site! Now I have like "one degree of separation" between Todd Wilkins and me... Well... Sort of...

Michael I cant find your blog now. I thought I saved it to my favorites but I guess I goofed, sorry. Send me an email and I'll visit again.

You're like famous now, Frank -- You're on fire, baby, on fire I tells ya! We need to find a way to fan this flame of your fame... maybe there's some sort of SED mission facilitator that could help you develop a road show or something?

Or not...


Seriously, though, congrats on the well-earned shout-out!

not famous ghp, infamous ;-)

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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