Church Web Sites Linking to Pastor’s Blogs

November 3, 2005 by

More from Mark Oestreicher, this time around the Church Bureaucracy Award of the Month. I know Mark doesn’t actually produce these items (like Worst Church Idea of the Month) on a monthly basis, but it must seem that way when you’re in a position to constantly hear crazy stories. This time around a youth pastor asked his church leadership if they could link to his blog from the church web site. Here’s the response:

The “task force” considered your requests to provide links to your blogs on the Church web site at our last meeting. The following conveys the committee’s thinking on the subject at this point.

Whereas blogs are typically personal and should not be controlled, censored, or managed by anyone other than the owner of the blog; and

Whereas links and/or sub-links which may be placed on a blog could have content inappropriate to the purpose and audience of the church web site;

Therefore, the “Information Policy Task Force” of our church states that unless and until the IPTF is able to produce standards to which blogs must conform in order to be consistent with the purpose of the church web site, no blog references will be identified on the church web site.

Wow. Talk about not getting it (I won’t even get into “whereas” and the IPTF). Certainly a church shouldn’t link to every member’s blog from the church web site, but why not link to a blog by the pastoral staff? If a pastor is writing about or linking to something the church doesn’t want to be associated with, then I think they’ve got bigger problems.

Openness, honesty, authenticity. That’s what we want. Blogs can offer that. So why would a church be afraid of what their pastor is going to say on their blog?

Terry Storch and Brian Bailey need to hurry up with that book. Churches desperately need it.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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15 Responses to “Church Web Sites Linking to Pastor’s Blogs”

  • Greg Vennerholm
    November 3, 2005

    Okay, it’s great that they have a group of folks (the task force) to consider weighty issues such as this. However, they’re really missing an opportunity to “show” how relevant they are.
    Any pastor who has is own blog is fine by me, at least he gets it.

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  • marko
    November 3, 2005

    i’m not sure i agree that it should be so obvious that churches link to blogs of people who happen to be on staff. HOWEVER, i was (in that post) lobbying against having an “information policy task force” that uses “whereas’s” and “therefore” to communicate their information!

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  • Faith Media Group
    November 3, 2005

    Red Tape In the Way!

    It is interesting that just as fast as people such as myself are trying to get churches and ministries to use technology, the churches themeselves are getting in the way of that use. In reading this article, it makes no

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  • Greg Vennerholm
    November 3, 2005

    having some folks to “think” about this stuff, in my opinion, is probably a good thing. in my experience, getting anything done without “buy in” from at least a small group of leadership is next to impossible.
    however, this particular groups is taking themselves WAY to seriously!

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  • Boyink
    November 3, 2005

    Whereas we don’t trust you.
    Whereas you might say something bad.
    Whereas we want to be in control.
    Whereas we don’t understand this new thing called the Internet.
    Whereas we don’t understand that, link or no link, people will find your blog and make the connection back to us.
    Whereas we fear this.
    Therefore, inaction is our only action.

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  • kevin
    November 3, 2005

    Marko, I’m not trying to say that churches must link to their pastors’ blogs.
    I’m trying to say they shouldn’t be afraid of liking to their pastors’ blogs. If the pastor wants it linked, and it makes sense for what the blog is and what the church is doing, then why not link it? There are always issues of needing some guidelines and making sure it’s done properly that should be addressed, but what’s with the all-out fear of the guy’s blog? That’s weird. You let him speak on Sunday (or to the youth group), so why be so concerned about his blog?

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  • s. zeilenga
    November 3, 2005

    Yeah, personally I would love to read a blog written by my pastor. If you need bypass and workthrough all this red tape just for a few paragraphs in a blog then God-forbid you try release a book or something. What would the IPTF think of that?

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  • Stu McGregor
    November 3, 2005

    As a pastor with a blog, i don’t want a link from our church website. i like the independence and even though there are many times i stop myself before i write something that could be a tad detrimental to my ministry, i do feel as though it’s another form of expression that i have open to me that works precisely because it is that little bit removed.
    I agree with Kevin though, if your pastor is given the pulpit each sunday, why not let him blog? the comments in a blog create interaction that the sermon often doesn’t. if he wants his blog to be known, then he’s the one taking the risk, not the church. He’s opening himself up to all the criticism the net has to offer.
    But he’s also providing another avenue for pastoral care.
    besides, the information task force can comment too : surely that will provide checks and balances to their fears.

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  • Anthony
    November 3, 2005

    Is milk best served cold or warm — depends on what you want to do with it. Same with a blog. If the blog is to be a “hip” extension of the main church and its’ message so that it will speak to a specific niche of people — why not link it up? If the blog is to be some private ramblings or rumblings — let it stand alone. But — the trust factor — or lack thereof — does speak volumes about the relationship the church has with its staff members (wow)

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  • Michael Rew
    November 4, 2005

    Unfortunately, many of you may not grasp how ignorant people can be about how the Internet works. Some time ago, I joined a Yahoo group in order to share an occasional poem. A member of the group wanted to use some of my poetry in her women’s prison ministry…until she looked at my Yahoo profile. She made a gigantic leap in logic that my profile’s links to “Interest Groups” in which there were links to other profiles with pictures…any pictures, because she thought the mere presence of the camera icon by a Yahoo ID meant the person with that profile wanted to engage in cybers*x…meant I was addicted to p*rnography. When I tried to explain what the camera icon really meant, she accused me, of course, of lying to her and being in denial.
    So I did not email her anymore, and I remained part of the Yahoo Group…until the owner of the group looked at my Yahoo profile and came to some of the same conclusions. I persuaded him that I had no control over what other people put in their profiles, so he was less bowled over than the woman. Even so, I left the Yahoo Group lest another yahoo email me and falsely accuse me out of ignorance.
    Both accusers were older Christians and regular users of the Internet. But imagine the dissension that could descend on a church if accusations like that got out…about the pastor or the youth pastor…or anyone!

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  • Greg Fisher
    November 6, 2005

    “Youth Pastor” is a low status classification…he’s done a couple of edgy things in the past…and, is probably on the way out. Better not encourage him.

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  • Chasing the Wind
    November 8, 2005

    Quick Hits

    From Church Marketing Sucks: Stupid Church Rules The “task force” considered your requests to provide links to your blogs on the Church web site at our last meeting. The following conveys the committee’s thinking on the subject at this point….

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  • albert
    July 24, 2006

    So many churches have great graphics, a cool look and feel, and wonderful toys but I have no idea who the people that are behind the site are.

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    October 26, 2007

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    October 26, 2010

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