Let’s face it, we in the Western North Carolina Conference are feeling the pinch of the economic crisis at the conference level. The Bishop and DSs have taken pay cuts and there are less and less people working at the conference office over the years. Times are tough for many in the local churches and on the conference level, so what I am about to say will easily get shot down.
If we, as a conference, are going to improve our communications it will take money. Currently the person in charge of Communications for the conference does that 2/3 times and then has another obligation for the other 1/3. We all know that this person does 3/3 in communications and 2/3 in the other area as well. For communications to be done right it does take a full time person. I am not saying our conference person is not doing a good job, he is, but once again the church is putting communication low priority list.
I too would put it below the ministries and missions of the church. I would much rather know we are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and taking care of the least of these than have a cool website. But how much more effective could we be in those areas if we could communicate with the thousands of churches in our conference.
One area that I think screams to have more attention is on the district level. There are 15 districts in our conference and only 11 have a working website. Three actually look like they have been professionally done. The vast majority look like websites in 1995. Why? I know my district doesn’t have a website because one of my parishioners were asked to create it. He worked two jobs and didn’t have time. For many districts they rely on volunteers because they don’t have the funds to pay a professional to do it.
It would only take a penny per member per district to bring all districts up to speed with a website. They don’t have to look different but just hold the relevant information for each district. $.01 per member. That couldn’t be too hard? That means my church’s apportionments would go up $1.90 and we would have access to other church’s mission opportunities and Bible Studies.
We are a connectional church and have tools to keep us connected at our finger tips. I think we have reached a point where this is not a low priority but one we have to play catch up with if we are going to Follow Jesus, Make Disciples, Transform the World.