On Wednesday, I encouraged all churches to get a domain name, whether or not they have current plans for a website. Now you may be wondering, “So where do we get a domain name?”

There are many places. My experience is limited to Network Solutions, Aplus.net, and Yahoo. Yahoo! was extremely frustrating, Aplus not so much. But I’ve transferred all UB domains to Network Solutions.

Network Solutions makes it easy to configure domains to use with websites hosted by other service providers. We have domains scattered among several providers, and have never had trouble configuring things through Network Solutions.

  • UB.org and UBMissions.com are hosted on the Huntington University system (with the server in my office).
  • Ubonline.org (home of the UB News page) is hosted by Aplus.net.
  • Bluehost.com hosts our atmychurch.com and healthyministryresources.com websites.

GoDaddy.com is the largest domain registrar; Tucows.com is also popular. I’m sticking with Network Solutions (which is a bit pricier) for the UB accounts, because I’ve had such good experience.

If you open an account with an internet service provider (Bluehost, Aplus, GoDaddy–there are scores of them), you often get a free domain name (at least for a year). But make sure the account is in the church’s name (not the name of a staff member or layperson). Make sure the church controls the name.

To search for available names, go to the homepage of Network Solutions or GoDaddy.

What advice or experience can you share?

2008EnglishCamp.jpgI’m in China participating in the English camp for Chinese teachers. We had the teachers participate in a values survey.

  • The number one value among our teachers: “Respect and honor your parents and grandparents.”
  • Least important: “Keeping oneself disinterested and pure.”

This requires some explanation. What they mean by this is that they want to remain connected with people, in touch, not aloof. “Pure” in this context is seen as negative. It implies that you are unwilling to be “dirtied” by others. I like that.

Your church needs a domain name.

  • The potential domain names for your church decline every day. Unless your church has an unusual name, or you add “ub” to the end, you’ll probably have trouble finding an appropriate name. So get on it now.
  • When my church, Anchor Community Church, started a website in 2002, we had a terrible time finding a good domain name. Most any name containing “Anchor” was already taken, and that was six years ago. We finally settled on “Anchorpeople.org.”
  • Domain names are bargain-priced real estate on the internet. Prices vary, but $20 a year might do it.
  • Once a name is gone, it’s gone. Unless somebody forgets to renew it somewhere down the road (in which case, somebody else will probably grab it first).

You don’t need a website to have a domain name.

  • Even if you have no immediate plans to create a website, I recommend obtaining a domain name. Set it on the shelf until you need it.
  • The national office owns 37 domain names, most of which aren’t being used. We’re just saving them for possible future needs, and don’t want anyone else to own them (like unitedbrethren.com, ubchurches.us, ubchildren.org, and ubusa.org).
  • If you have an internet service provider, you can possibly use your domain name for email even if you don’t have a website.

To search for available names, go to the homepage of Network Solutions or GoDaddy.

What advice or experience can you share?

Craig Mickey is the new Assimilation Pastor at Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.). For the past seven years, he has been youth pastor at Prince Street UB church (Shippensburg, Pa.). Prior to that, he was an intern at Emmanuel.

Dave Datema, UB ordained minister and endorsed missionary, talks on his blog, Freakin’ Missionary, about how God works slowly, and of our attempts to speed him up. He started with a post called “God’s Slow Ways,” which was followed by “Speeding God Up.” The latter says:

I find it hard to know when to wait on God to work His purposes and when to launch out in faith.  Great perils await us when we go to either extreme. Some people wait and do nothing, expecting God to do everything. Others are always doing things, sure that “God helps those who help themselves.” So how do we know which to do?

Iglesia Reformada Emanuel is located in Jamaica Plain, Mass., a very urban suburb of greater Boston. It’s not a good neighborhood. They told me you don’t want to be out at night. When they hold late-night services, they ask the police to come stand guard during the service.

The congregation has a tradition of holding their Easter service at 3 a.m. This past Easter, while police officers stood around the periphery of where they were meeting, a young man in the house next door to the church was shot in the neck and killed. The officers saw the assailant toss the gun away after the shooting and while running through the back yard to escape. They caught him.

We just learned about a two-day conference called “The Sticks” which may appeal to you. It’s designed for churches in rural and smalltown settings. They’ve got some excellent speakers lined up, and seem to have a great spirit and purpose.

Date: November 11-12
Location: Loudonville, Ohio (about halfway between Columbus and Cleveland (near Mansfield).

Their promo says:

Do you live out in the sticks (small cities and towns of 50K or less).
Do you want to make a big impact?
Tired of small towns being left out of the conversation?
Have you bought into the lies…”We can’t do that” or “We don’t have the funds to pull that off”?

The sticks is a gathering to inspire and equip pastors in small to medium towns to make a big impact for the Kingdom!

They’re only taking 400 people (at $159 per registration), so if you’re interested, you might jump on it quick.

Scott Hardaway’s June 29 blog post, “What I Don’t Believe,” presented 26 things that he doesn’t believe. It’s an interesting list. Here are a few of them. (Scott is pastor of Pathway Community Church in Jackson, Mich.)

  • I don’t believe in the avoidance of pain or discomfort as a goal of life.
  • I don’t believe in the American Dream.
  • I don’t believe that inauthentic relationships are worth any time or effort.
  • I don’t believe that most people who claim the name of Christ actually have any kind of true relationship with him (in America, at least).
  • I don’t believe in cutting short the mission of the church to please the already-convinced.
  • I don’t believe in worrying about high or low self-esteem, since Jesus calls us to die to ourselves.
  • I don’t believe any church will ever be perfect.
  • I don’t believe any concept of joining people together will ever be greater than the church.
  • I don’t believe that the pursuit of power, pleasure, possessions, popularity, or prestige will ever lead to fulfillment.
  • I don’t believe an American political structure will ever work as an effective model for a church structure.

Does that peak your interest? You can read the rest of the list on Scott’s blog, and he invites you to add your own items to the list.