When should you have a “Christian version”?

At one time I thought that “Christian versions” were necessary and great. As I age, I’m not so sure anymore. Do we need a Christian FaceBook or a Christian YouTube? What about a Christian pencils? Where’s the line?

As I was thinking through what I want to do with TrinityDigitalMedia.com, the idea (which I haven’t told anyone outside my family, until today, is for a Christian version of Twit & LifeHacker).

photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc

photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc

You know that I love helping churches. That’s why I’m doing this. I also like teaching, speaking, training, and writing.

For some time, I’ve missed podcasting, but I was trying to concentrate on other things. A couple of weeks ago I found out that Jeremy Sarber was stepping away from his podcast, Tech Help for Churches. As it turns out, Jeremy’s audience is the same as mine and this gives me the opportunity to build a mini-network. Right now, the shows on the network are Tech Help for Churches and Tech, No Babel.

I’ll continue to blog (other writers are welcome) and I want to build my blogging to something that’s helpful to churches in the same way that Lifehacker is helpful to people generally.

Back to my curiousity about the “Christian version.” What I’m essentially proposing is a Christian version of these two sites. Is that worth doing? Is it a line that I shouldn’t cross?

I think it’s a fine idea and here’s why. In business it’s called the “unique value proposition” or “uvp”. It’s what sets your business apart from others.

I’m not sure I’d want to do it if the only uvp was that I am a Christian. To me, that would be like a Christian pair of jeans or Christian tires. I don’t think “Christian” should be what you use to sell your wares. Jesus is too important for that.

To me, my idea is to help the unique challenges that Churches have. Tech Help for Churches will look at the internet and the web through the lens of using them to help the Church. I don’t plan on using it to find Christian versions of other services unless there’s something uniquely Christian (not just the name or using Christian words like “fellowship”) they have to offer.

Tech, No Babel will continue to be about video and graphics in the Church. I won’t recommend a “Christian camera” just because it has the name. I will help Churches make the most of the medium and help them overcome their unique challenges.

I think that’s the difference. Adding a label doesn’t make something holy. Instead, the use makes it so.

I hope to always keep that in mind.

Paul

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of TrinityDigitalMedia.com, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.