Do you have the right people on the bus?

school-busOver the last two decades, I have spoken with many people about websites.  Most of them were from churches, while some were from schools, owned their own businesses, or operated ministries.  Some were the only people who made up the “web team” while others were one of a few people who were the web team.  And for those who were part of a web team, Bravo!  I have written about and created a short video that addresses the importance of creating a web team.

What I have found, however, is that many times the person that is making the decisions for the website is not the right person.  Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here.  99.9% of all the people I talk with are great people.  They have great hearts for service and helping others.  Many are volunteers and are selfless of their time.  But just because they have a great heart and are wonderful people, doesn’t mean that they should be running point on the website.

Now for those who are running a business on your own, it may be hard for you because you are one person show.  But for all the other organizations, you usually have a larger resource of staff or volunteers from which to choose to have on your web team.  The key is how do you get the right person on that team?

Good to Great

A few years ago, I read the fantastic book by Jim Collins, Good to Great.  Granted, my audio version of the book was eaten by a friend’s malfunctioning car stereo (thanks Dave), but that is another story for another time.  One of the greatest concepts that Jim discusses in the book is that you need to get the right people on your bus and get them in the right seats.  What this means is that you need to get great people to be a part of your organization and get them functioning in their most appropriate roles.  So just because you have someone who is young and has a Instagram account, doesn’t mean they should be your webmaster.

I love music and I love to sing at church, in the car, and occasionally in the shower.  But just because I love music, does that mean that I am qualified to run the music program at a church?  No.  In fact, if most churches put the wrong person in charge of their music program, it would be lead to sure failure of their music program.  So why do so many organizations put unqualified people in charge of their website and wonder why their website fails?

Below are the top 5 reasons I found that unqualified people are in charge of an organization’s website:

  1. They are young.  Just because someone isn’t old enough to remember when the Berlin Wall came down, doesn’t mean they are qualified to run your website.
  2. They run the youth  ministry.  This usually goes hand-in-hand with #1, but often times youth pastors get handed the responsibility of webmaster.
  3. They used to work at Radio Shack.  Granted this is a bit of an exaggeration but I have spoken to many “webmasters” who were primarily selected because they worked in some kind of tech field sometime in their past.
  4. They run their own website.  This may seem like would be a good qualification and it is, however, it should not be the only qualification.
  5. They are well organized.  Just like #4, this is also a good qualification, however, it should not be the only qualification.

Remember, if any of the below describes you or someone you know, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a good webmaster.  It just means that it should not be the only qualification you have for running the website.

So what are the qualifications you should look for when choosing people to be a part of your web team?  I will write about this next week but would like to get your feedback on what you have found are good qualifications for people to be on a web team.  Please list 3 qualifications below…

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

2 Responses to “Do you have the right people on the bus?”

  1. dannywahlquist Aug 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I have had primary responsibility for website & social media updates for many years. My three primary requirements are:
    1 love for God
    2 love for & knowledge of God's Word
    3 desire to know & communicate what God is doing in our ministry.
    Also, as usual, character trumps skills for this position.

    • Mark Steinbrueck Aug 25, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Great requirements, Danny! Do you require any specific experience or organizational skills?