Honey, Where's My Web Department?August 22, 2005
One of the unanswered questions in my recent post about changes at Fellowship was what these new roles mean for the web team. The question of where the web department should be located within an organization is one every company and church faces. It's also one of the most common questions I get asked, so I thought I'd describe how we are structured at Fellowship.
Before Terry Storch, became the Uptown Campus Pastor, he was in charge of all technology at Fellowship, in addition to other areas such as HR. Technology was divided into two camps: Information Systems, led by Terry Chapman, which includes all desktop, server, software, and network management, and the Web, led by myself, with responsibility for our four websites. We also had a separate Communication department that handled all print, worship guide, and signage needs.
With the change, we started to ask ourselves where should the web department be located within the organization? Should it remain tied to technology or should it become part of communications?
The answer? The web team is now part of the communications team.
Why? Simply put, because web development is more about creativity and communication than about technology.
We had heard cautionary tales from numerous churches about combining the web and communications departments. To make it work, there has to be a large amount of open communication between groups that sometimes speak different languages. There also must be understanding that we share similar objectives, but we're painting on two very different canvases.
Our designers use Power Macs, Photoshop, Illustrator, and high-end printers and plotters to deliver creative work. We use PCs, text editors, Photoshop, PHP, databases, and servers to deliver creative work. We both make heavy use of technology, but the technology is only the tool.
The true benefit comes from two teams working together who share so many common projects. Communications and the web are two of the only departments whose work includes all four campuses, as well as Creative Pastors, Fellowship Connection, and Ed Young Ministries. We also now share a common leader, Troy Page, who has a great vision of what it takes to reach our culture. All of us will be challenged to take our work to the next level.
We're excited about this change and hope it helps Fellowship communicate more creatively and effectively the story of Christ and the local church.
Bonus points to the person who can name the title's pop culture reference.