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Value Added Content


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"Can I get fries with that? No. You can't. That's a different kind of Extra Value....

On today's episode, we tackle the frequently asked question: "I created a great website with all kinds of interactivity, but no one in my church uses it..." This is a common problem, and you're not alone. The fact is, churches aren't apt to use a new website if it's simply, well, a website. So, today we talk about the idea of extending your website outside of the normal bounds of the internet.

We talk about why value added content is necessary and address the question: "Why should churches care about this extra content?" We then dive into some different ways you can enhance your website with things such as audio and video, training opportunities, community interactivity, stuff for kids, and device integration.

But before all this, we talk about the possibilites of using Ustream or Talkshoe in the future, we become determined to make audio or video from the upcoming Web 2.0 conference available...and finally we ask a hard question: What are the requirements to be a modern church secretary?

Church Employment - Office Tech Skills

The problems with miss-matches between staff skills/performance as well as with bruised feelings (when there were issues) became such a concern that we've in the past had policies to avoid hiring from within our own congregation. While that no longer seems to be the case.... we still recruit strongly from outside the congregation and make regular hires from outside.

Our principle secretary has always been relatively tech and publishing savy and curious. However she has been with the church for 20+ years now and is now having a tough time keeping up recently. Part of that is the staff plan doesn't really adequately support time or development requirements in the tech area and recently been spending a lot of time in "triage" mode.

A big problem for older staff in general is that tech experiences outside of the office (that general life integration thing) is not high among the older age demographic. I know our Church Administrator has it on her objective list to reshape job descriptions with a tech requirements outlook and personally get more familiar and comfortable with the "life integration" opportunities.




Good real-life application story, Mark. Thanks for sharing. I'm really interested to see what other people think about this issue. It seems to be a big elephant in the room at many churches as the staff members begin to age...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host


yep.. do the video cast guys. At least try it out and see how it goes. If the ROI isn't good, you can drop it.

I am ordering an AppleTV soon so that will be sweet :)

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator

pick any two...

Hi - the only comment I would make about a vodcast is that either the file size will be huge or the quality will be poor or the elapsed time will be short... (filesize, quality, duration: pick any two...)

As an example, check out http://www.philcooke.com/node/1287 (which btw is an interesting piece on loyalty/staff competence in non-profits). The piece runs for 5'47", but it is 28MB in size. A 1-hour show at the same quality would be some 280MB.

I don't want to sound like a luddite, but for mine, audio-only really works for me - I can take it anywhere, including walking, driving etc.


Video: Great Idea

Not only would I love to see a video version of G&G, it would be good publicity for you guys, since you can post it to YouTube, etc. via tubemogul.com, which is a free and awesome service if you're not familiar with it.

Cohost, CrossFeed Religious News Podcast

Church Secretary Requirements

I listened to your podcast today for the first time. I really enjoyed the content and can’t wait to put it to use. I am a Virtual Church Secretary, which means that I provide secretarial services to churches from my home office. So I was particularly intrigued by your comments about church secretaries who are unwilling to learn new technology. I believe that a “church secretary” needs to keep up to date with the latest information just like a "secular secretary" would. The internet offers many free training opportunities, if one looks for them. If the church offers training opportunities and the secretary refuses, then it may be time to look for someone who is willing to take the position to the next level. On the other hand, a church should be willing to provide the time for training.


Horray for Secretaries Who Are Willing To Learn!

Hey Deirdre!
Thanks for speaking up! I knew there had to be many of you out there who were on top of things, always learning always advancing....thanks for sharing.

I think this is a great topic of discussion, not just with church secretaries, but with ministry folks in general....

Thanks for doing your part and staying on top of advances in your position...those little advancements are new ways that God can use you in the kingdom every day!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

Video Cast Suggestion

i would love for you to keep doing the audio podcast. However, an HD video cast would be awesome. maybe continue the regular podcast and add a vid cast once a month or whatever.

Another Comment on Church Secretaries

My wife is a church secretary, and as her husband, I think I'm supposed to brag on her publicly from time to time anyway, so here goes...

My wife worked at a couple of different times as the secretary of a small church. When she left there about seven years ago, she had worked hard to bring the office up to good operational standards. When she returned there about three years ago, her replacement had not made a single change during that time, and had fought the pastor on every change he'd wanted made. (Both technology and the pastor changed in those four years.) My wife had to immediately go to work on upgrading the computers, establishing a broadband Internet connection, updating the copy machine, dealing with phone issues, and all sorts of other things. She's really more of an office manager than a secretary, and has to wear quite a few hats. She's not a member of the church where she works, but treats her job as a ministry appointment anyway.

I think the skill set requirements might be a little different in a church with a larger office staff, but I still can't imagine a church flourishing unless everyone on their staff is faithful, available and teachable.

Isn't it sad?...

Isn't it sad that it's people like your wife that sustain churches and keep them from being irrelevant? (I don't mean it's sad your wife is like this, I mean:) Isn't it too bad that it usually takes one person, fighting against everyone else in the church to make sure things get done?

I know I connect with this, and I'm sure many geeks here do as well. Too often, it takes clawing and fighting to make the most simple advancements. The problem is, when you get tired of doing it or too frustrated to continue, you just gotta hope that God raises up someone just as passionate to continue carrying the torch.

But...here's to never giving up!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

Wonderful Podcast!

Wow! all I can saw is wow, what a wonderful surprise to find your podcast. As a technologist and "lifer" in the Church community (Teacher/Elder/husband of a staffer), I can't tell you how much I appreciate your honest assessment as to the sad state of technical integration into the church - its something that needs to be improved if we are to remain relevant in this generation and the ones to come.

Keep up the great work on the cast, You might not hear it often, but your high production value shows! God bless.

Love that text

Thanks for the great podcast - my first ever! :)

I understand what you're saying about text on websites (how it's soooo last decade and we need to move on). However, in some ways I think this is a golden age for text.

Search engines can only index video and audio and games etc so much. That will change in the future, but for now text is easy to find.

That means that it serves a purpose at a specific time. There may only be a specific time when I need to read that article "5 things to consider when you're depressed", but when I need it I'll really appreciate it.

In addition, text has unusual power to bring new people to your site. Those people may or may not become a part of your church, but they'll appreciate that statistic, that Bible study, that explanation. That's a ministry too.

True, we don't use text as we used too. We need to think about it differently. And it's great if it's not alone. Add the "value added" content, the podcasts, the calendar, the community, the art, but don't give up on the text quite yet.

For Sure

Hey Jim...
Welcome to the podcast!

Yeah, we agree with you totally. Text is a VERY important part of a website. The reason we did this episode, though, is because on church sites (normally) text is ALL you get. So, while text is still the lifeblood of a website, if it's all you have, eventually it will render your site irrelevant.

Thanks for the comment and for checking out the show!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host