Mark Driscoll's latest blog post on how churches should respond to pastoral crises of falling leaders (ie . . Haggard) has made me think about how churches and their web sites should also be geared to BLESS their rising leaders (ie . . . Anderson).
Yesterday I did a search for NAE Interim President Leith Anderson, not because i don't know who he is - i do and have eaten with the man - but I wanted to see what the world would find when they typed "Leith Anderson" in their search engines.
And guess who was first? An adversarial site [Lighthouse Trails] that does not appreciate the gift that is Leith Anderson. The same site that slams the emerging church for being six degrees from Dallas Willard and slams prayer movements for being contemplative.
[Having said that about Lighthouse, I should add that LighthouseTrails has a very personal message regarding Haggard that is worth reading and made me second guess the site. I might even order Catherine's book called Laughter Calls Me]
Anyway, where was I? I took another shot today at finding Leith and looky what happened. Lighthouse has gone to number 3 and Wooddale Church has moved to first place. My guess is that the folk at Google jumped in, expecting the rush, and added some human insight because the system was not going to work right for Leith Anderson. Yahoo is kinder to Leith and points to his books before landing at his church [No. 7]
Have you tried linking to Leith Anderson? Almost impossible. The only place on his church site is a group photo with frames. Here is why Leith gets no respect in Googleland . . . his church web site is flash driven and there is no static anchor text for Leith so he doesn't get the necessary permanent links he needs to control his own story.
Which causes me to say . .. hey . . . church webmasters . . instead of forking out the big bucks for fancy graphics and morphing flash icons, go out and buy a $10 book on SEO (search engine optimization) and let your pastor take his/her rightful place in the rankings. And if you cant do that, be honest and tell them to get their own blog and start laying down some history and some ranking cred because the day may come . . and indeed is now upon Leith Anderson . . . when the myriads and the masses will come looking.
Blessed is he who is found ready.