Here’s more of my interview with Chuck Russell about his background and his decision to come to Resurrection. See part 1 here.
Clif: What have you learned from your time on staff at UMCOM? What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments there?
Chuck: My first real learning is that there are people at General Agencies that really do want to help and that are great at what they do. I had grown up pretty much divorced from the national church and really felt like it didn’t have much to offer. What I found is that while sometimes the national church is out of touch with the local church, sometimes the problem really is just that people don’t know how much assistance they could get just by picking up the phone and making a call.
As far as accomplishments, we have helped thousands of churches get started on the web through resources and products, and we trained close to 4,000 local church leaders in the use of the Internet for ministry. We worked with numerous annual conferences to help improve their web presence, and of course working with Resurrection and other innovative churches has been exciting as well. I also had the opportunity to lead seminars at some great national events like the Large Church Leadership Institute, The Healthy Church Initiative, and more. Finally I had the opportunity to work with Matt Carlisle on the redesign of UMC.ORG which will launch sometime later this year.
Clif: Now, tell the story of how you became involved in the web team at Resurrection and what your involvement has been.
Chuck: Long story short – you called me up one day just to talk about what the national church was doing regarding the web because you were in the process of re-working the http://www.cor.org/ website. We talked for a good long time and I eventually referred you to the folks working with the Web Empowered Church. (Or maybe you already new about them, but I reinforced that you should talk to them. Its hard to remember now.) WEC was working with TYPO3, a content management system I stumbled on several months earlier, and I thought that it fit exactly with what Resurrection was trying to do. From that point of contact we began to communicate regularly, having discussions about strategy and direction, and as the site went live I was brought in to train and equip the staff on the use of TYPO3. I’ve been back to train on a couple of occasions and worked for a week with Peter Metz – the Director of Communications – doing consulting for each of the ministry areas. I’ve felt like an adjunct staff member for a while.
Look for the final installment of this interview tomorrow.