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Thank you so much for your help and input Jonathan. I appreciate it and will look into putting an advertisement into the Banner.
The Network website does not have a designated spot for a posting such as this. However, I believe the Banner magazine accepts classified ads if you want to investigate that route.
It is very interesting to see a list of some topics that have been important and interesting to us this year!
Oh my, just found this question today. Here's a short article I wrote some time ago that gives possible funding sources: Funding for Church Building Accessibility.
At this time it's just The Network and The Banner. And soon the main crcna.org site.
Some of the agency sites will also be hooked into this, but likely not Faith Alive because they use a more specialized, e-commerce system that would be more difficult to make part of this. Maybe down the road, but not likely in the foreseeable future.
FYI, you can also check out this news story posted yesterday to the CRC Newsroom.
Will this password also work of Faith Alive resources?
Thanks Tim, I used my regular username and password and it didn't work, so I logged in with FB no prob. Thanks for keeping the denom web humming.
I'm using Internet Explorer 8.0 with a medium setting on the pop ups. I don't have this issue with other websites.
Thanks for checking into this.
Thanks for the info. The system should set a cookie to ensure that only appears once per computer (assuming you haven't set your browser to block all cookies). Can you let me know what browser version you are using? Then we'll test and adjust as needed.
Tim, everytime I log into this site, I get the pop up about the new log in procedures. There does not appear to be a way to opt out of reading this even though I've already done so. Can this be fixed?
Thank you for your work and the work of everyone else who works to make this site a success.
Tim, I appreciate the work you do to make this website work.
Private groups is a great idea...
This is all good news to me. I agree with the assessment of the team. This is an essential tool for the denomination and I trust it will only get better. Keep up the good work. pvk
I like the idea of private groups. Sometimes I'd love to have a place I could talk with some of the church groups I'm working with in a way that doesn't result in everyone getting a ton of emails. We've looked into Big Tent but that has advertising and is sort of clunky to use.
The odds for me are definitely better at that time. :) (Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner!)
We've tossed around the possibility of offering webinars at some different times over the summer months, but nothing is firmed up yet. Would you be able to attend any if we were to offer them during noon to 1:00 p.m. PST? My thinking is that there are others on the West Coast who might appreciate a webinar that works with their lunch hour.
Thanks for the reply! I think this is a really great initiative, I'm so glad to see there are more webinars on the schedule!
Great point. Yes, we definitely want to keep those "attendees" in mind as well.
In fact, just looking at stats of our first few webinars the number of people who watched the recording are higher than the number who attended live. And those numbers will continue to grow.
Another interesting aspect is to see how many people huddle around a computer to watch the webinars together. That's something we ask about in the followup survey and it's cool to see how many do. What a great way to learn and discuss together.
I was just curious if the numbers of downloads or views of the recorded/archived webinars are considered when you determine if a topic has been successful? I only ask because although there have been some topics of interest, I haven't been able to attend any of the webinars live due to my work schedule (I work half time at two jobs and I'm always at my non-church job on Wednesday mornings.)
For example, in looking at the scheduled webinars, I was noticing that there are dates for trainings for Elders and for Deacons. Many in those roles probably serve in addition to their "regular" full time jobs, but may be able to view such an event in the evening, either individually or as used by a church in a scheduled meeting.
The Network has been both a website and an organizational entity that housed ministries such as SPE, SCE and ServiceLink, and also developed a number of new initiatives. The Network website has always been a partnership with CRC Communications. (In fact, that’s where the concept for the website originated.)
Based on the review team’s report, the Board of Trustees endorsed moving responsibility for the website to CRC Communications. For those involved in The Network site, the transition will be seamless, since the same people are involved and the mission is the same: to connect churches for ministry.
The review team was extremely positive about The Network website, commenting that: “The Network Online has become a dominant denominational communication and interactive web platform. We base this observation on traffic comparisons as well as the numerous testimonies and anecdotes we heard during our interviews and research.”
Its report also noted: “We see The Network Online as one of the great successes of this initiative. It has been a significant advance in providing a single interface for mutual learning and resourcing congregations....”
So, no, The Network is not going to change. In fact, I hope this gives the site a boost and gets more church members coming here to connect about the nuts and bolts of ministry.
Please use the Network Guide Application/Nomination Form to apply or nominate.
Thanks to those involved in setting up the network, the technical management as well as the guides and the contributors. It is particularly valuable to those who are busy, who are far from GR, far from the center of activities, and yet are interested in the contribution of the CRC to the walk of faith in the body of Christ. It provides a way for unfiltered and relatively unfettered discussion and sharing on the issues that are on the hearts. Thankyou. God Bless you. May you enjoy this Christmas time.
Thank you to everyone on The Network. The Network is a great community and great place to share, connect, and learn from each other. Without the community The Network would not be possible. I also want to give a special thanks to the guides who provide the blogs. Thank you for volunteering your time and talent to our church community.
Thank you for your faithfulness in serving the CRC churches. It is worhtwhile my while to take the time to read the updates as I have gained insights and valuable information to be used by our council members and the congregation.
Blessings to each of you,
I'm very glad to see this new page added to the website. I think it's a great idea and I hope many folks use it to share good ideas/resources and to get answers to questions they may have. By helping each other, we'll all grow stronger and better able to do the work of the church.
Captchas are not about protecting the integrity of a user account but about preventing bots from registering on the Network and posting SPAM such as links to advertising or to malicious or 'immoral' websites. Humans can much more easily decipher distorted characters than any computer program currently available. Theoretically, Captchas ensure only humans can register and post comments.
Anyone can set up a Twitter account so why hack them? My Twitter account was hacked and then followed a litany of Tweets purportedly from me but all featuring links to 'amazing new products'.
Anyone can open an anonymous Hotmail account but ALL users that I know have had their accounts hacked and all their contacts, including me, started getting torrents of SPAM.
Ease of availability of anonymous accounts of all conceivable types is no assurance that existing user accounts won't get hacked. A scenario: a malicious new account with a name you don't recognize SPAMs you. Do you open the email and click links or do you delete it because you don't recognize the sender? Hopefully the latter Ken! If a trusted friend APPEARS to have sent you an email, are you not much more likely to click on links in them, perhaps expecting to see something pertinent to both your interests? That's why user accounts get hacked.
Hope that helped.
Old thread but after returning to network after continuing illness, captcha and login requirements are more difficult. I really don'tsee the need anymore. What are we protecting ? I'm not worried about my password because who is going to hack a account when you can join annoymously? What are we protecting other than spam which can be blocked other ways. Thanks
Hi Tim, I really struggle with capca and the new login pass word requirements. It hinders to point off not posting when frustrated. Why do we need the protection? Who wants to hack a site where we talk about God when we can join in any name. It makes no since. Thank You
I think a denominational resource like this is absolutely necessary. It is fundamental infrastructure.
This resource may be an instrument of changing things in the denomination--in fact I'm hoping for that--and if it does, it will be because it will makes it a bit harder for a small groups of people to have a disproportionate amount of influence in denominational affairs. But, that is only if CRC members use it (and I think they increasingly will).
It's also just a great resource generally for CRC members, continent wide, to more easily and effectively exchange ideas and resources.
I would rather that the national Belhar tour (push) have been a national Network tour. Would have been more constructive.
Nice to hear. Thanks, Keith.
We've actually had a similar inquiry from another denomination. Since the platform we're using is open-source, it could be possible to share the codebase as well as the ongoing development costs of adding new features, etc. Not trivial to do and it would require a serious commitment, but it sure beats all of us building similar tools from scratch. Have them contact me via PM if interested.
Yes, it is much more user friendly.
And while I am at it, I had a meeting at the national office of The Anglican Church of Canada (episcopalians). Their communications office has become quite taken with the CRC's Network. They're impressed and they want to tweak it and make it suitable for Anglican use. They acknowledge that their version will "never be as popular as The Network" because, well, they're Anglicans and folks aren't as engaged in theological minutia and related issues.
Nevertheless, hats off to you, Jonathan, and the other communication types at the denominational office for creating an interactive, user-friendly connection between the denomination's 'structure' and those in the local congregations who are engaged in the REAL ministry of the church.
I really appreciate the network, and the opportunity to share and sharpen ideas/test thoughts that might be from the LORD, or whatever might be on your heart, with other believers that come from a similar perspective (mainly reformed)...
I have to laugh, last fall, about this time, I mentioned to a crc leader in the area, that I had some concerns about our denomination, and some of our position statements, etc. The response was basically, no one locally cares (i'm in the pnw), and it won't make any difference at the denominational level. So i thought, well LORD, I know I won't make a difference on my own, but I know You can, and You can use me if You want to.
When I first learned about the network in Febr. this year, I joined. I have been blessed by the many thoughtful, honest posts, seeking God's way of doing His Church. I have been encouraged by the expression of others, seeking better understanding of what it means to listen to and be led by the Holy Spirit. I have seen answers to prayers, that i believe the LORD put on my heart about His Church, and seeing posts that start to bring up some of the concepts. Other posts give insight on how to pray on behalf of His Bride, and some specifically for the crc denomination.
I too wish more people would share their thoughts here, and I encourage everyone to do so, because that helps the Body/Bride of Christ work together better for the common good, and we are much healthier.
I think it looks better. I like the links on the opening page. I am not sure I could tell exactly what has changed, but it is more attractive.
Mike, Thanks for dedicating your efforts to the start of The Network! We will miss you!
I really believe that The Network is the beginning of what will become a tremendous kingdom building tool! As a newly birthed tool The Network is providing a place for leaders to share ideas and connect with each other. As The Network continues to develop, it will bring ever more powerful technology to the churches. This is a place for agencies, colleges and Church leaders to provide tools, research, encouragement, leadership training and cutting edge resources to strengthen the church. The Network structure is a step forward for the denomination and will cost effectively develop into the hub of much more than simple conversation with each other.
As an example, I know that our small church struggles to train our new Elders and Deacons each year. I would bet that we are not alone! If it were possible for our deacons to attend a live practical, training webinar (or the archived version stored at the Network) led by a veteran deacon leader with the gifts of teaching and encouragement, what a blessing it would be for our church. Certainly the cultural context would need to be “localized”, but being able to cost effectively pull together ministry leaders with similar gifts, passion and mandates to serve, will enable our churches to become even more effective in their communities. There are great things happening in our churches around the country. The Network can be the tool that allows for the sharing and even perhaps “mentoring” of programs from church to church. It can be a a great support and connector for ministry leaders that are currently isolated either by geography or ministry specialty (for example – churches that minister to an urban population in a classis that is mostly suburban or rural). The Network can enable them to connect and share through webinars, workshops or question and answer times. This will make for healthier churches and more effective ministry.
The network, when combined with the denominations data management capability will make targeted and effective leadership development a real possibility. There are lots of “mastermind” groups such as this operating in the business world….let’s take some of this cutting edge technology to the church and build the kingdom!
As the effective resources and tools grow, so will the word of mouth endorsements. When you can combine these strong word of mouth endorsements with a well coordinated awareness building campaign (throughout the various classis meetings, agency mailings, Faith Alive, magazines etc.) the Network will continue to grow and will empower more leaders to make a difference in the kingdom.
Michael and others at the Network - it's no secret I'm a big fan of the Network, and I will add my thanks to the others already offered for the terrific work to build and create this site. I think you've done great work towards meeting your two stated objectives.
Every week, when I get the email with "what's new on the Network" I always find at least 2-3 articles or posts to read that help me with my ministry or that I can share with someone else. Greater even than a helpful tip is the idea that I'm not alone out here, there are plenty of other people thinking about ministry and challenging themselves and others to think about it and do it better all the time. I've posted questions and received helpful advice and I've been able to help others by sharing what we do or have learned at our church. More than once I've printed an article or sent a link to someone at my church to read. Although many at my church have signed up and some read articles regularly, I do know many are still hesitant to post.
I think the suggestions made are good ones when it comes to continuing to encourage participation and greater integration with other social sites (Mavis, I will be considering your suggestion to link to the network more often on our church Facebook page!). To that, I would add a suggestion that the agencies and ministries of (or affiliated with) the denomination get more involved in using the network as a means of distributing information. For example, the World Hunger Sunday materials were just made available and samples were mailed to our church. CRWRC could also post about this in the Deacons forum. Another example, our church recently received word that Youth Unlimited is hosting a Youth Worker Retreat on the West Coast (http://youthunlimited.org/retreats/westcoastusa.html) and this information could be posted in the Youth Ministry Forum. (I did just peek to see if these had been posted and didn't see them, but my apologies if I overlooked them in error!)
I would encourage the BOT to continue to support this effort, and I hope they will. I think as others have pointed out, it is still a very "young" initiative at 18 months, but I believe in it's potential to be a valuable resource for many who love and serve the church.
Many years ago, I attended Synod and was surprised at how the interaction of delegates outside of the formal sessions (around the firepit, so to speak) led to a wonderful exchange of wisdom. The senior pastors could advise the rookies, the new elders received help from the old-timers, etc. Synod itself was invaluable but so was the "networking". If we network, we get to learn by other's mistakes and successes instead of being limited to learning solely from our own experience. There is no sin in synergism and this Network is a prime example of synergism. No, we won't always agree but, as one of my business partners told me, if the 3 of us always agree, 2 are unnecessary (a good tip for Council meetings as well). I wish more people were made aware of this CRC asset and I think those of us that are aware should champion the cause. I (and my wife) are sincerely hoping there are countless other contributors who can smarten me up even further.
My opinion is biased since I was an early contributor and have now become a guide. But it was because I thought the network was such a great idea that I supported it so early. I think you've done an excellent job and created a quality site.
I, too, wish I could get more of my church members to join in. We have quite a few people on Facebook, so maybe we can figure out more ways to bring this there -- where they are. I could try to remember to share articles on FB more. I know you already highlight articles there. We'll have to keep finding ways to reach out and grow, but I think it's already done a terrific job.
I love sharing ideas and hearing things that other churches are doing. This site goes a long way towards helping all of us involved in our churches to connect and gain insight from each other. I hope and pray that the Board will see the that the Network is another method of spreading God's good news.
I have found The Network very helpful, mostly from a church adminstration and/or church finance perspective. I am somewhat disappointed with the number of people who do not use it (both in our local church and denomination wide). I would like a broader perspective.
I think the various "guides" have done an admirable job. There has been much thought and time spent from some very dedicated persons. My thanks to them!
I think the Network is a good idea, too. I've read and saved a fair bit of helpful material from the insightful and gifted people who populate this corner of the internet. I am thankful for Michael and his time and talents!
For me, the "something missing" is how the Network doesn't integrate into my existing communication and social media tools. I almost wish it were something like "crcnetwork.facebook [or twitter or whatever].com" – a unique area in something I'm already using. The Network would not regularly be on my radar without the reminder emails or the "headlines" in the CRC weekly newsletter, which feel more old-school than I think the Network is trying to be.
I look forward to seeing how the Network continues to develop and bless our church(es)!
I think the network is an ambitious undertaking and I'm very impressed at what you've been able to accomplish so far. I think many people who have never attempted to develop any online tools probably have little idea how difficult this undertaking really is and in my opinion what you've managed to do has so far exceded my expectations of what I thought you could do. I think it is a strategically important goal and like many ministry undertakings requires determination, support and prayer.
I have been impressed by the quality of some of what has been generated in this effort. There are wise and godly servants of the church and you have managed to gleen some of what they have to offer. Penetrating the din of information is a challenge that multi-billion dollar media companies work at every day. We just imagine "write good CRC stuff and people will find it." That's simply not true. Your task is not unlike that of starting a church, because you are really developing a community or at least trying to support one.
So good job on your start. I hope those who are evaluating this effort understand both the challenge and the importance of the undertaking. pvk
I like a lot about the network in many ways. I have printed off blogs for my elders and deacons for council meetings so that they might be up to date on a few items. On the other hand, I am a bit unerved sometimes about the harshness some people respond to posts in the forums.
I will be honest, there is something missing and I just don't know what...if that makes sense at all.
In the end, keep it up though, keep evolving and be fluid in how the Network opperates. It takes time for a child to learn how walk, it will take time for the Network to become what it is supposed to become.
We had some permissions issues and down time in the past 24 hours as our developer pushed out a system update. Should be all good now.
I hope this is the right place for this.
I signed up yesterday, and posted a comment. Today, I received an email indicating, I think, that some has responded to my comment, but every time I try to go back to the topic where I posted, or several other locations on the Network, I get this message:
Access denied You are not authorized to access this page. What's happening? Ken
I've sometimes just sent a personal email to someone at church along these lines.
I just spotted this article about [topic related your ministry] on the network, and I thought you might find it helpful for your ministry. It seems like there is often interesting information here, and you can subscribe to receive email updates for this [blog/forum/topic] by visiting this page. [Include link.]
Thanks for everything you do!
If they choose to sign up or not, that's up to them, but I know of several ministry leaders who have subscribed and read the content regularly, even if they don't frequently comment on the site.
So far, despite a lot of emails, and local bulletin notices, few in our congregation have registered on the Network. I would like to see more use of it as there is so much information, but perhaps there needs to be more interest stimulated and a need to go there. I don't have any suggestions right now, but would like to hear ideas that have worked.
Thanks! That "New to the Network?" page is exactly what I was looking for! Perhaps putting it on the home page would make it more assessable.
oops, I guess I have not been faithfully reading every article of the Banner!!!!
Thanks for your work!
Thanks for your comments.
1. Actually we do have an about us page locate here:
It's located on the right side of the homepage under "New To The Network?" We are thinking of ways to better highlight this page and are working to update this page in particular the video. http://network.crcna.org/about
2. The Banner recenlty did an artilce about The Network here: http://www.thebanner.org/church-at-work/article/?id=3118
Thanks again for you feedback it is greatly appreciated and helps us in improving the Network.
It would be helpful to have an about us/purpose page or something explaining the mission/goal. In order to find something, I had to search and find this form with the link to the email sent to churchs.
Also, perhaps including an article in the Banner about "The Network"
I'm glad you are longer thwarted by the captcha. I look forward to more captchavating captivating posts from you.