Intranets, Extranets, and Blogs. Dale Lature sums up my feelings in his entry:Getting a Clue in Church about the Web. He not only critiques church web sites but also gives good solid advice on how to actually pull it off.... [e-church com.munity weblog]
The only thing is that I haven't actually achieved it yet, since I'm still at the "seeking support" stage. We need to have access to a server that will enable us to post multiple blogs (like Radio's rcs) and the backing of the people who see the value and consider it important enough as an audience. That seems to be very slow in coming. But , I won't give up on it. Whether or not my family stays as members there (which we've been mulling over, mainly due to the feeling that we want our 13 year old son to be going to church with at least some of the people he knows in school. Going downtown to church makes that an unlikely scenario here, since we live 15 miles southeast in secluded suburbia.
I have been toying with mail to weblog features today, and having another online group I interact with (also church related) to a special category I have set up using Radio. I have also set up a category for my church. What I REALLY need now is sub-categories, and ways to set up separate mail-to security so that mail can be sent to any of the subcategories, like public contacts for different ministries, sermon archives (which would be posted as Stories in Radio), Youth Ministry (with its own subcategories). Since this is all done in XML, doesn't it seem technically possible to tweak this architecture for churches? It seems that also users could be set up with different access levels so that members could "post their own blog" to public interaction areas, but only ministry contact people assigned to "blog the ministry" of that group could be given access to blog copy for the descriptions and calendars for that group? The church office could administer the calendar for all groups and church-wide events, and eventually all this Instant Message posting, PDA-enabled posting, etc. could enter into the equation and create a truly "blogged" Church.
As I see it, the same reasons that people have for being enthued about the KM (Knowledge Management) functions of weblogging can be similar reasons for church people to be excited about blogging. Even more so, actaually, since some businesses can do just fine without KM as a strategy, while churches , in order to be what the Church is, HAVE to enable KM, because it is a simple point of theology that seems to be lost in so many churches: the church's mission is to enable mission (this is an emphasis of and modus operandii of The Church of the Saviour). In other words, the people are called by God to gather together IN ORDER TO DERIVE their call. God constantly calls. (Because the world constantly changes, and needs arise that need our help. For me , it has to be something to do with helping the Church awaken to the communication tools available to it, and specifically , today, in this whole weblog/Web Service/coming "Smart Mob" era. There is a structure to the "Weblog tool set" that encourages and "reveals" the things of its writers which really light a fire under them (and so I blog as I learn and as I see what is emerging in this as a ripe opportunity for the Church.
Thanks e-church (and Tim) for stirring me to more "blog-alia" Now what we need is more "translators" of this brand of "glossolalia" so that movement can happen on making this happen.