In case you haven’t checked in the past few days, we have had a major update to the website (www.ubcfayetteville.org). We are still doing some “clean up” on the site and trying to better organize some pages, but the overall re-design is done. Following are some specific things I’d like to point out…
One of our greatest needs as a church is increased communication. While I believe we’ve made significant strides in this, we want more and better communication overall. We are hoping that increasingly people will go to the website to get the most updated information as well as articles, monthly newsletters and even leadership training (in part). It is a work in progress, so please be patient.
I’m not one of those guys that things authentic community happens online. There is something different (and more real) about being face to face with others. However, our community development can be fostered by better online presence and interaction. For instance, we will be setting up a Twitter account for the church that will give you key updates and even scripture memory reminders throughout the week. Also, on the new website you’ll have the ability to connect what we’re doing with your Facebook account. Think of this. Your “friends” will be able to know what’s going on at UBC and it’s a type of accountability to be associated with your church by your friends online. Perhaps gospel-centered conversations will arise from that.
Again, caring for one another has to happen through personal contact, but having fresh information is vital to this caring process. We are hoping to develop a way for people to report care concerns online so that we are updated immediately. As well, ministry leaders will be able to get in touch with those in their ministries more readily as the site is developed. In addition, our deacon family ministry plan is only as effective as the deacon reports. We want to provide a way for deacons to report of their family contacts so that real time updates are made to family profiles, which will help the pastors know more clearly what’s going on in the body.
One effective use of a robust online presence is training leaders. We want to encourage and equip our ministry leaders to do ministry and love ministry. Whether an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher or a LifeGroup leader, we can help equip these leaders by providing secure access to leader pages and address specific issues in a timely manner. Currently, the leaders meet every other month with me to go over needs, be encouraged and give input on the future of various ministries. It’s the “in between” weeks we want to be more aggressive in encouraging and equipping these leaders.
While I believe it is increasingly clear to member and attender alike that our ministry as a church centers on the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures, we need to remember that being “attractional” is not an evil thing. No, we’re not veering into marketing-driven church growth. Not at all. But to take what we do and make it look fresh, sharp, colorful, even inviting is a healthy thing. We want what we do and who we are to look as “alive” as it should. I believe the updated site is going to help provide this needed element…at least online.
One note, many of you know that I’m not a big fan of pictures of Jesus, but on the site is an icon for Discover Christ that has an artistic rendering of Christ. I’ve been persuaded (at this point) that when engaging lost, but often religious, folk that seeing something like that is engaging and attention-grabbing. My bigger “beef” is when people use images of Christ in settings where worship is central or prayer is regular. There is a tendency toward idolatry when someone feels that they need such an image to worship or pray regularly. Next…
One of the biggest updates on the website is the new logo. Let me explain some of the elements that went into the design. First of all, the cross design is simple. When we used the more “gothic” cross it was simply a replacement until we could come up with something a bit more UBC-like in its design and meaning. We have very simple crosses around the church. From our sanctuary, to the garden by the fountain, to the bell tower, the crosses around UBC are simple and profound — we want a cross-centrality in every part of UBC.
Next, the design around the cross has meaning. This is one place we wanted something “church-classic” like a stained-glass effect, but with meaning. The colors were chosen (in a stained glass, mosaic design) to represent the four areas of our ministry plan (Discover – Equip – Reach – Renew). This ministry plan is how we live out our passion statement. The mosaic / stained-glass effect also reminds us that while there is fit, there are pieces that make up the whole. We are all called to use various gifts by God’s grace, for His glory and the building up of the body.
Lastly, the words. The name of the church is pronounced. The font used helps say that UBC is established and has been around a while. The tag-line under our name represents our Passion statement. Our passion statement reads: GLORIFYING God by TREASURING Christ above all things and REACHING others that they may find lasting joy in Him! So, GLORIFYING…TREASURING…REACHING are central words to our passion and helps remind all of us (as well as introduce new people) to what we’re about.
It’s a work in progress and we’ll update you on features along the way that we hope will benefit you and the body greatly. I would like to especially thank Brian Armas for his work on our site.
That’s enough. I’ve had a great early morning run, brought donuts home for the girls and need to wrap my mind (and heart) back around Leviticus 1. I look forward to a great day in the Lord tomorrow.