Serving on a Church Website Team

So you want to be a web geek for us? Many smaller churches jump at the opportunity to bring someone into the fold and help volunteer their time and talent. Yet in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Paul outlines some very specific things you should consider before bringing them into your ranks. How can you apply them to your website team?

Although serving on a web team is a little different than inviting in a pastor or making someone a church elder, a screening process should be in place. Their name will be attached to your church and your website. Even when it comes to volunteers, you should ask that they go through some sort of screening and "hiring" process before you just bring them on. Here are a few steps I would encourage you to take.

Investigate

When someone applies for a position or requests to serve, ask for a résumé. This is the first piece of information you will gather to see what sort of person they are before you move on with the process.

  • References: After you have a résumé in hand, if they appear to be qualified, move on to references. Ask for people in and out of the church so you can get a better feel for their personality and nature.
  • Online Profiles: Examine any social media profiles and see what sort of content they are posting. Are they sharing nature photography, or self shots while drinking at a club? Granted we all make mistakes, but a history of bad decisions may want you to direct them to a support group before joining your web team.
  • Criminal History: Luckily the church website is somewhat separate from many groups, as you can accomplish much of the work alone. But if there are any histories involved where you might feel somewhat uncomfortable with their having access to certain information; plan to limit their involvement. Access to personal data on other computer systems can, and should, be separate from your website information.

Interview

Of course you will want to interview them, preferably in person, and preferably with more than just yourself. While you are concentrating on questions and talking, the other person can be taking notes or watching their body language. I would encourage you to ask one or all of these questions.

  • Motivation: I imagine you will inquire why they wish to serve on your team as a volunteer, or a part or full-time staff. Many times a job or time working on websites is far more lucrative than with a non-profit entity such as a church. So what is motivating them to do this?
  • Spiritual Maturity: As Paul alluded to in scripture, make sure they are not too new of a believer. While you want new believers to find encouragement and connection with groups, serving in this capacity may not be 100% ideal. Yet give them the benefit of the doubt and ask some tough questions about their faith to see if they reached a level of maturity your team is comfortable with
  • Social LIfe: If they are married, ask about the health of their marriage. Instead of joining a web team, their time may be better used in a counseling group. If they are not, inquire about their hobbies and spare time. If there are any questions raised by the investigation into their social media accounts, this would be the time to mention it.

Action Item

The church should do what it can to help people free themselves to pursue a better relationship with Jesus. One opportunity may be offering a job or a volunteer position to someone in need of help. However, this article wants you to consider some of the tougher questions, and although you may not turn them away, you might direct them to ask for help in other areas of your church, or take a lesser role until they prove themselves. Regardless, you want to protect the reputation of your church and its many web properties. Follow the ideas in this article, and you will be one step further to a cohesive, Bible loving, Jesus following, website team.

Note: This article was inspired by reading the scripture of 1 Timothy 3:1-13, which I heard via the Daily Audio Bible on 18 October 2013

Photo courtesy of Tara Bowen

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

3 thoughts on “Serving on a Church Website Team”

  1. Good points. I think it all starts in 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." That may be the first thing you need to address. There are many who do web design, but do your beliefs and values match up with theirs? You, of course, want to find someone who's knowledgeable in the web design field, but it's also very important to hire someone who's on the same page.

  2. The church I attended years ago is one of the largest and oldest in my city but now mostly empty seats on Sundays. The people there were very old and about half of them were from another church which had closed because of falling numbers. Every week I would hear the sad news of another members death and my sadness grew with the number of empty seats. I decided to try and bring in new people and so spent thousands on software and computer programs and courses. I was met with a blank wall to my emails and suggestions. Nobody seemed interested in the use of modern technology and we're suspicious of it. I never asked for money from anyone there. Churches need young people with technical abilities, need young people to attract young people and judging us and ignoring us just pushes us away. Without youth it makes for a cold dead church, dead as the dust on the mummy's tomb and you can't get much deader than that. This breaks my heart!

    1. I grew up in a church that now has much the same fate. Older members with no focus on the future OR use of technology. While I agree 100% that we need to welcome everyone into our church, we need to be up front and a little selective about who we allow to serve.

      For example, despite knowing that they are repentant of their sins and forgiven in Christ, we would not (and by law could not) allow a convicted sex offender to serve in a children's ministries... regardless of how badly we needed volunteers. I am simply pointing out to those older leaders that they need to investigate a little beforehand, lest they be unknowingly drawn into a scandal.

      Thank you for your comment and I pray you find an outlet for your technical passions!

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