Our team at MonkDev released the Q1 White Paper – 2013 State of the Church Online Report. The State of the Church Online Report emerged out of a desire to build a standard for church website best practices and usage. The data included in this report has been cultivated from 2009 to 2012. This is the first report of its kind to include such a robust set of data, gathered from over 50 churches spread across the United States. These churches are both large and small, urban and rural, and every stripe of denomination. The one thing they all
have in common, of course, is a desire to serve their congregation through their website.
Every church has different personas that make up the congregational body. Each of these personas— New Visitor, Return Visitor, Engaged Member, and Mature Disciple —all need different things from portions of the church website. Additionally, we believe churches can use their website as a ministry tool. The church website has an active role in moving individuals from one persona to the next. For example, connecting New Visitors to directions on the website will allow them to find the church easily. Doing so reduces “visitor friction,” allowing for more opportunity a New Visitor will return and transition to a Return Attender. This is a very small example, but it illustrates the point: church websites are more important than ever.
We hope it is useful, download your free copy here: http://www.monkdevelopment.com/free-resource-state-of-the-church-online-report/
Increasingly, we run into churches who invested in a website, but realized it did not help them do ministry. The website raised more problems than it solved. Stop Wasting Money on Church Websites by Starting with a Ministry Design Process. Our commitment is to ensure clients at MonkDev never experience this pain.
What is Your Ministry Design Process?
One of the ways we feel that we deliver tremendous value, is we approach things from a Ministry Design Process.
The Ministry Design Process identifies how your church does ministry and then works to translate this to the web. We do this as part of our Strategic Service offering during our Organizational Strategy Session. The image above is a small taste of the process. (If you’re interested, click here to learn about our Church Strategy Process.)
The goal is to take the mission of the church and walk through a process to discover key ministry initiatives which we help translate to the web environment. Sample ministry challenges we’ve helped churches with include:
The church has stopped growing or the congregation is aging.
Communications is not clear or reaching the desired audience.
People aren’t engaged or participating in community and they don’t know what is the next step for them.
Leadership development and discipleship paths aren’t clear.
Giving is down, serving is down and people don’t know how to get involved.
Learn more about our Church Website Strategy: Ministry Process Design.
Over the last month the team at MonkDev has been quietly producing amazingly valuable content for churches.
Develop a Church Content Strategy to Create a World-Class Website – A great guide to understanding how to deliver content that creates ministry results for your church.
What is Your Church Online Giving Strategy? – Participate in our research and receive the results to learn how other churches are handling online giving.
Build Attendance For Your Church Events Using an iPad – Our free iPad give-away for churches that purchase a website.
Free Ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Ministry Process Design – Examining the home pages of 3 churches and the top content people click on.
The State of Mobile Church Websites – See the options people are selecting when choosing a mobile strategy.
Multisite Church Content Problems (and Solutions) – How do you navigate the unique challenges of a multisite church?
Churches – Designing Your Own Website – Do you plan to design your own website?
I think the church does a poor job connecting people to the Father Heart of God. For how much Jesus talked about the Father, it seems Christians talk about him far less. Re-read the gospels with this view and I think you’ll be surprised. I think about the disciples saying, “If we can just see the Father, that will be enough.”
1. Many Christians would view their ‘saving’ as that they are saved from Hell. In fact, this becomes central to so many gospel messages to unbelievers that they need to believe in Jesus to be saved from Hell.
2. Many Christians view God the Father as displeased with them.
3. When people talk about heaven, they are more focused on the place and the absence of pain then being in God’s presence.
We miss a lot when we don’t focus on our relationship and connection to God the Father.
I imagine part of the problem is the failure of our fathers and the world’s systematic degrading the role of father in our culture. This Thanksgiving we had 23 hours of travel time to see my family. Over the drive my wife and I listed to a series by Found by your Father by Dave Patty. I was surprised to hear a way of thinking about God the Father and how my own childhood experience with my own family has shaped me. My wife and I wept at times as we prayed through parts of our own story and already I’ve found healing as we went through the process. I highly recommend you check these out.
We see God’s Father heart most clearly when we watch the perfect relationship he has with the Son. At the base, Patty states that Jesus experiences four streams of God’s Father heart and that each of us need that too.
1. Identity – John 5:16-19 Without identity from the Father you will be defined by the people and circumstances around you. This will be constantly changing and unstable.
You will be very vulnerable to your environment and not have a clear sense of self. You will constantly need to prove yourself or defend yourself.
2. Love – John 5:20 Without love, you will be constantly trying to gain love from those near you. Their love will never be enough, and you will be chronically disappointed. You may cope by turning off your emotions and becoming distant and cold.
3. Pleasure – John 5:30, 41-44 Without pleasure from the Father, you will become addicted to pleasing people and vulnerable to hedonism. You may cope by avoiding all possibility of failure or rejection.
4. Place – John 5:21-27 Without place, you will be constantly fighting to make a place for yourself. You will fear that your life has no significance and be easily threatened by
others. You may cope by scaling back your expectations and making a place that is small but defensible – like when people curl up in a ball, hide behind something, or retreat to a corner.
Use his Father mapping tools and see how you’ve experienced these four streams. Learn how these elements are fundamental to spiritual growth, our understanding the good news, our relationship with the Heavenly Father and how these things release us to bring the Father Heart of God to those around us.
Listen: Found by your Father by Dave Patty
This weekend I was thinking about why missional community life often feels broken. More specifically, why do people resist or fight against the call to be missional in community? As I’ve thought about my own experience and gathering from some of what I’ve learned as part of the GCM Collective, I thought of the idea of The 5-Dysfunctions of Missional Community. Agree? Disagree? I would love to hear your take on what I’m saying are the 5-Dysfunctions of Missional Community.
Working theory: Calling people to be missional or in a ‘missional community’, is the absolute wrong place to start. The very name puts the emphasis on the ‘results’ or fruit of the Christian life rather than who they are in Christ. (Aside: If I were to start over, I don’t think I’d call them Missional Communities.) Because, for many, the way of life of the missonal community is so foreign from their Christian/Church experience it ends up being a new law, or way of living they try to perform in their desire to please God. The issue becomes one of needing foundational discipleship for people in order for them to move to a place where living life on mission is a joyful result of a transformed life.
What common dysfunctions cause the mission to be derailed? Here’s what I’ve been toying with called the 5-Dysfunctions of Missional Community. The pyramid on the left represents the corresponding areas of discipleship that would need focus on. The right upside down pyramid represents the ‘right-side’ errors that that need to addressed. (Another set of errors around licentiousness exist).
So what should we do to address these potential dysfunctions? Go after the 5 truths needed that lead to a life of fruitful mission. I’ll unpack these from the bottom, up.
Identity: At the foundation, people’s identity needs to change. First and foremost this begins at conversion, but continues where people see the idea of ‘adoption’ into the family of God as Sons is critical. Often believers struggle with one foot in the world (eg. consumers) versus finding their identity as the Kingdom of Priests. Without this identity changing, it is difficult to move upward. (Part of the reason that I wrote Going Deeper: Preaching the Gospel & Your Identity)
Gospel: After the identity change, people’s motivations come into play. If they are not adopted sons, the legalism/licentiousness errors creep in as people find motivation for acceptance on what they do (orphan mentality) rather than who they are and the grace that changes everything. If the gospel isn’t the motivation, mission will be short-lived.
Glory: Next, people have to see and behold God’s glory and fear him. This will be the beginning of wisdom and cause them to live as God commands.
Worship: Next as these come together an attitude of joyful “I get to” takes place. Rather than duty, mission becomes an act of worship because we are loved by God and love Him.
Spirit: Lastly, we see we cannot do this by our own power. It is only through prayer and seeking the Holy Spirit’s lead can we embark on mission. It is in our resting in God and His Spirit that spiritual fruit is produced.
So, right now my working theory is that we start at the bottom and work up as follows:
What foundational discipleship do you see necessary as you lead your people on mission?
I found the document posted below from years ago. It brought together a variety of resources and thoughts I and others have posted on leading Mission/Gospel Communities. It takes a lot of the writing/posts I did back in 2006-2008 on how Kaleo transitioned to Missional Communities. Some of these things looked great in theory, some worked and others are a work-in-progress.
It has been rewarding to hear of people over the years who have been influenced by some of these writings and the impact it has been to them. I have been blessed to hear some who were introduced to the MC-model through Goodmanson.com. I’m blessed to have been connected to people like David Fairchild, Jeff Vanderstelt, Caesar Kalinowski, Steve Timmis, Tim Chester, Mike Goheen and many others who shaped my thinking. Much of the thought has gone further than these ideas, and you can find them at the GCM Collective. The GCM Collective exists to promote, create and equip Gospel Communities on Mission. Today the GCM Collective is the largest organized community of missional leaders in the world.
For those who’d like to grab this pdf (see below), here’s an outline of some of what it covers:
The Values of a Gospel-Centered Missional Community
Forms of Expressing the Church
- Triperspectival Ecclesiology
- Plurality of Elders & First Amongst Equals
- Leading a Decentralized Movement
- Missional Eldership
- Leading a Movement not an Institution
- The Gospel work in Community
- Missional Leaders in Community
- Leadership Development in Community
>> Missional Community Leaders
- Missional Community Leader Assessment Interview
Multiplying Missional Communities
Organic Movement – Reverse Church Planting
Download: (Sample of some of the pages, full pdf is 34 pages long)
Hope this is helpful! One day I wanted to take this, edit it, update it and create a e-book of sorts. Here’s a sample of a graphic from the pdf:
Each week our family meets to go through our family meeting. This gives us the time to reflect on the week, prepare for the week ahead, share goals, learn about each other and have fun with a family game. Here are some of the things we cover:
1) Our family mission, values & rules.
2) One Word Open about how we are feeling.
3) Review of the responsibility Chart (our boys earn allowance based on these responsibilities & bonus things assigned to them).
4) Our family charity. In addition to money we tithe, we selected a family charity we are giving money toward. We update this each week.
5) We go over the highlight, low point of each week as well as any concerns or things we are looking forward to the week ahead.
6) We all have 2 goals we are tracking. Here we update what took place during the week (status) and what we plan to do next.
7) We come up with a question of the week. (eg. What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Where would you like to travel to? What super power would you want/and why?
8. Family Fun Time. Each week we rotate who gets to pick the family game we play.
9. Lastly, we do a one word close to select how we are feeling now. It’s always cool to see the change from the one word open.