In this new feature article for THE AWF CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, we will address topics in each issue that are relevant to the local churchís endeavors to provide meaningful worship and effective ministry for its parish and community using modern computer technology. Guest articles are welcome, so if you have something you want to contribute here, just submit it to the editor, Andy Ellis.
For this premier issue, I will discuss a ministry that every local church can provide, regardless of size or location. Iím speaking of the creation of a Prayer Chain and Announcements List. My own home church, Tabernacle United Methodist in Dothan, AL, has already been using this approach to the ministry of prayer for more than a year now. A couple of lay women in the congregation volunteer to send email prayer requests and church meetings/events announcements to everyone who has joined the list. Believe it or not, there are even some members of the list who are neither members nor attendees of Tabernacle, though they are connected by family and/or friends who attend there.
The best news about starting a Prayer Chain and Announcements List for your local church is that it requires no additional software or hardware other than your existing personal computer with its Internet Service Provider (ISP) connection and current email software. In other words, if you have an account with any ISP, you can start an email list. However, there are a few "Nettiquette" rules we need to keep in mind before getting started.
There are probably many more common sense rules to use in managing a Prayer Chain List, but I think these are likely the most important. Now, all you have left to do is gather the email addresses of those in your local church who are interested in joining your list, and youíll be ready to create your local church email Prayer Chain and Announcements List!
In the next issue, I will address the use of computers and digital video projection in worship services, church administration, and other miscellaneous local church functions. Donít miss it!