Posts

But What About…

Is this where the plug(-in) goes?

Our top goals for our Worship Times websites are: We want them to look good. We want them to be affordable. We want them to be easy to use, so our members can have the freedom to customize.

We design our templates to be elegant in style, and easy to use. We rigorously test our templates, plug-ins and integrations we add to our system. Not every template or plug-in designed for WordPress works well, and some may break your site altogether. Worship Times seeks only the highest quality products to offer our members.

Our members often have unique needs and ask us about adding particular plug-ins or integrations to meet those needs. They may say, “I love my site, but I really wish it did…,” or “What about this plug-in?” When we are asked about such services, like a good picture slider, a database system, or more, Worship Times looks at multiple options. Then we vet and test the ones that best meet the needs of the member requesting the plug-in. We also consider which plug-ins and integrations will best meet the needs of members with similar needs.

The ones that both meet the specific needs and work well with WordPress get approval. The ones that have wide appeal are added to the whole network, so other members can easily add those capabilities to their sites. It is important to us that every piece of your website works in concert with another. We have created a system where our members are very much in control of the content of their websites, but do not have to worry about security, system or plug-in updates, or which plug-ins will work best for their needs.

We have recently added several plug-in options as well as vetted new options on long-time, standard Worship Times plug-ins, such as Gravity Forms. We’ll be talking about all of these updates in the coming weeks, but we wanted to share a bit about the work that goes into each and every piece of the Worship Times system as your website needs change over time.

Do you have an idea that requires extra tools on your website? Ask us. We may already have the plug-in or integration tested and available to be added to your site, or will find one that works.

Introducing: Jennifer Haley!

jenniferhaleyThings are getting exciting at Worship Times! We have a lot of new members, and together we are engaging in exciting new forms of digital ministry. As we grow our membership, we have been looking for the right people to add on our Worship Times team so we can continue to meet the needs and dreams of our members as best we can. So, we just added a new site builder to our team who will be a wonderful fit, Jennifer Haley.

Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and a double minor in English and Psychology. Over the years, she has held positions in advertising, marketing, and television. With each job she has grown in her knowledge of communications and administration. Her most challenging (and rewarding) job has been that of stay-at-home mom to her children. This has blessed her with more compassion, organization, determination, and patience.

As the wife of an U.S. Army soldier, she has become highly self-motivated and holds a special place in her heart for the military. She loves spending time with family and traveling. Her hobbies include photography, reading, and antiquing. She is dedicated to being a valuable member of Worship Times. She currently lives in Murfeesboro, TN with her husband and two children.

Jennifer is already hard at work, and we are excited to have her work out in the world on your websites. Welcome, Jennifer!

 

Featured Client: Presbytery of Philadelphia

pby of philThe Presbytery of Philadelphia is a long-time member of Worship Times, and we were excited to recently build and launch a brand new site for the presbytery that includes updated design, navigation and other usability features. You might think we get sad when our members start talking about a website facelift, but we actually think it’s great.

We encourage our members to update the look of their sites every couple of years to keep them fresh and working well. Design and web tools change and improve over time, and we want our members to take advantage of new tools that have been created or added since their last updates. Also, we hope your ministries are growing and changing as well, and the website you created three years ago might not fit you anymore.

Our work with the Presbytery of Philadelphia also reflects the kind of relationship we like to have with our members. As the presbytery recognized the need for an updated look, and a website that better highlighted the specific work and mission of their presbytery, they began conversations with Worship Times.

When we work with our members, we appreciate these conversations about what the goals of a particular website need to be, the character of a particular ministry, and the needs of visitors to that ministry’s website. Our goal is to use our own ministry experience and web design skills to translate your ministry’s mission to a website that fits the ministry’s character and is easily accessible and understandable for users. As your ministry needs and mission are grown, updated, or become outdated, we want to continue to be part of those conversations.

The Presbytery of Philadelphia wanted to reorganize their blog, make navigation of their resources for each regional group of churches clearer, and better highlight ministry happening throughout the presbytery, all in a design that flowed from their updated logo and color scheme. The result is clean and user-friendly, and lifts up in new ways their innovative Ministry and Leadership Incubator, the work being done in camp and conference ministry, community outreach and connectional ministries.

Presbyteries do a lot of work, and have a wide audience, so their websites can be complicated. Being able to showcase that work in a beautiful and easy-to-use website is a satisfying job that we are happy to share with you. So, go take a look!

Top 5 Things Visitors Look for on Church Websites: #1- Worship Times

Worship Times – Using Events Manager, Events Lists and Widgets

Welcome to our first Thursday tips and tricks post! We’re starting with the basics – the top 5 things visitors are looking for on church websites. A great refresher on the basics of your Worship Times WordPress site, and going a bit deeper into utilizing our Events Manager, event lists and widgets.

 

Live Stream Your Worship Service or Event

Using uStream and Worship Times you can now live stream any event directly from your Worship Times website. This video tutorial shows you how easy it is.

 

Worship Times named Editor’s Pick

EditorsPick_2014_200Worship Leader Magazine has named Worship Times as one of its 2014 Editor’s Pick for web development.

Worship Times is a team of congregational leaders, and we are honored to be featured in this trusted resource for congregational leaders. Several team members have seminary degrees. Owner Michael Gyura credits a particularly memorable class in seminary as the moment when the idea for Worship Times was born: easy-to-use websites for congregations by congregational leaders who understand the challenges facing the church today.

We know designing a website can be a challenge, and we offer multiple themed templates that are easy to customize to your church’s unique identity.

We know that assessing your current website can be a challenge, and we offer a free website review where one of our talented team members will help you figure out what you’d like to see changed.

We know budget is a challenge, and we offer several options for pricing. If you’re a smaller church or church plant, we will make sure that Worship Times is affordable for your community. (Contact us for more.)

We know that congregational leaders have stressed schedules, and we offer multiple ways to get your questions answered to fit those schedules.

We know that technology in church can be a challenge, and we write an ongoing blog related to those issues.

We know visualizing your site with a Worship Times template can be a challenge, and we offer a 30 day free trial.

We’re here to help you. Questions? Comments? Want to get in touch? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can email us or use this contact form or call us at (888) 442-8731.

About Our Community

This post was originally published as part of WordCamp Nashville (2014), which Worship Times sponsored.

missionsOur community includes a variety of groups from small churches to large nonprofit organizations.

Some have been established for hundreds of years, and some are just starting out. Some just need the basics. They wanted a simple website that highlights the most important information about the church.

Some members of our community, like the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, want a traditional look with a compelling platform to be able to share their ministry with their worshiping and local communities. We also pitched in to provide high quality photography.

And some groups just need something specialized like LEAD–a non-profit focused on church leadership development. They needed a site to that combined the 4 colors representing the 4 main areas they work in in order to showcase the resources they have for all these areas without having an overcrowded or over-complicated website. We made a colorful but distinct homepage and Pinterest-style boxes on their resource pages so that users can quickly scan for all the info they need.

Working with Worship Times is joining a community. We’re pretty active on Twitter joining in conversations and linking to useful resources. All members of our community are encouraged to jump in on conversations, ask questions, and share ideas. The combined creativity of our community and our staff inspires us to constantly do things we’ve never done before.

Together our community helps small churches and big nonprofits and every kind of ministry in between. We know the pressures of 21st century ministry at the small church level, the big nonprofit level, and lots in between. We have the skills to handle any size job. But at the end of the day this is a ministry for us to support the ministries of others.

Take a look at our designs (we have some new ones!) and the features we offer for your website, and if you’d like to join our community contact us.

About Us

When was the last time you saw an ugly website? Like, a really ugly website? What was the website for? A business? A community event? Maybe a church?

Let me tell you, there are a lot of ugly church websites. Outdated, stagnant, rotating gifs, you name it. It’s a running joke within many church communities about how bad their website is. Three years ago Michael Gyura and the web design professionals at Poka Yoke Design decided that they had seen enough ugly church websites.

Worship Times was launched in the spring of 2011 as a joint venture between Poka Yoke Design, people in training to become church professionals, and pastors to meet the growing online needs of churches and church-based nonprofits. With most the staff coming from ministry backgrounds, we know the importance of an online presence to churches and nonprofits in the 21st century.

Churches and nonprofits don’t function the same way as businesses and neither should our websites.

Although the company builds websites, we’re also growing an organic community. We realized that a sustainable model of website design for churches, especially smaller ones, must use the strengths and talents of everyone possible. Scripture speaks of faithful communities as various parts of a single body–we may have different functions but we are all in this together. Members of our community combine their resources with others across the world so we can build cost efficient websites together.

Worship Times WebsitesWe have found many partners in our journey. We use the open source WordPress content management system so thousands of people are helping us develop better and better ways to be in community online. We work with denominations such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to provide bulk discounts for fledgling communities. We hired three new staff members in the past year and are continuing to expand our services.

Our goal is simple–we don’t want any church’s website to be the butt of a running joke. We create economically sustainable, user friendly, not ugly websites for churches in a community that will support these ministries for years to come.


Worship Times helped sponsor WordCamp Nashville which took place in early May 2014. This was one of a couple of blog posts about our company we shared introducing us to that community.

Facebook Fan Page Welcome

You are cordially invited to like Worship Times on Facebook!

facebook.com/worshiptimes

We’re dedicated to creating quality websites for ministries by ministers. We know that many churches are looking to expand their presence in social media. We’re doing the same.

Each piece of social media serves a greater purpose in our various ministries. Facebook is a great place to find information on ministries and churches as well as get updates about their ministries right in your homepage feed.

Our Facebook page features links to our blog posts and other resources we think you’ll will be interested in. It’s also a place for you to ask questions, post comments, and respond to polls. We’ll bring you regular news updates on what’s going on with Worship Times!

So head on over to our Facebook page and click like!

 

The Intersection of Theology and Technology

Worship Times is a community of churches dedicated to pursuing a faithful witness in the midst of a society that is rapidly embracing technology as a primary medium of communication. While there was a day when there might only be one telephone in an entire neighborhood, now it not uncommon for each member of the family to have their own mobile phone, not to mention the plethora of other computers and internet connected devices that dominate the technology markets. Like the intersection between gospel and science or gospel and culture, the intersection between gospel and technology is fraught with both highly practical moral concerns (e.g. can children bear the responsibility of technology adequately?) as well as questions of authority.

As part of our encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church is moved to discern what place technology should play in our communal life.  Should it be considered a medium through which the gospel must be preached, or is it dangerous to our life together and should be resisted? These questions, and many that follow them, require sustained prayer, attention to scripture, and theological reflection. It is my hope that Worship Times will be a place for inquiry and theological exploration of these important themes. Its purpose is not to provide answers, but to provide tools so that your body of believers can be empowered to live faithfully in your own place and community.

These tools will take varied forms. Some will be incredibly practical, exploring advancing technologies and considering how they could be employed in your church. You don’t need to subscribe to a hundred of other technology blogs to see how you could use the technology for your church’s ministry, we will notify you when there are great shifts coming in the technological world and how they might impact your ministry. In other cases, we will engage in theological and scriptural reflection, seeking to discern what role technology should play as we witness to the lordship Jesus Christ. Not every technology is equally useful for every congregation or ministry and we want to be a conversation partner with you as you seek to be a faithful witness in the post-technological age. Regardless of the form the tools take, Worship Times is a community of believers seeking to rightly appropriate technology to serve the church in its larger mission and ministry.

Let me encourage you to subscribe to the Worship Times blog, we look forward to bringing you a rich selection of information that will assist you in your life and ministry.