I recently received an e-mail from a pastor who resigned from his congregation. The last straw for him was conflict over the design of the congregation’s web site. (That’s right, a well established congregation in a major denomination is just now building its first site in 2008.)
We had a large disagreement about the purpose of a web site. They wanted it for upkeep of our calendar and shut-in lists, etc. I wanted it to be an evangelism and educational tool- sermons, blogs, mp3 and video. When I tried to convince them that it could be all of the above they really didn’t want to hear it. It was a small example of the big picture problem I’ve had with them for 7 years.
The pastor was working with Vine Hosting to build a Web Empowered Church site using the WEC Starter Package and pre-built templates. Presumably the project will be abandoned now that the pastor has left.
Even though I’ve lived in the dysfunctional, dying part of the US Protestant church for my entire life, this kind of thing still upsets and saddens me. Congregations like this one seem determined to continue their overall decline, missional inattention, and kingdom irrelevance.
I’m proud of the part we play in the work of Web Empowered Church. WEC’s greatest obstacle is the all-to-common attitude displayed by this congregation.