In the business world we understand that having a website enables your organization to reach a much larger audience at a marginal cost and in 2012 it’s a must. But what about God’s business? Many people don’t think the two are related (or maybe that they should be), but they are. We are an iPad and Smartphone generation…and that’s just a fraction of the technology buzz this last year! Most of our kids have them right along with us! We want and often need accessibility to ease our busy lives, hearts and minds too. Since the goal of most church ministries is to evangelize the Word of God and promote biblical teachings and doctrine, a website is a wonderful and essential way to do just that. In this blog, I submit the Top 5 Reasons why your church should not only consider having a website, but also the ways in which it can which it can contribute to the bigger goal & higher workings of it.
1st Stay in Touch ~ For most churches, they limit their “marketing” to handing out Sunday bulletins or posting newsletters on the bulletin board to keep members informed of and publicize events. However, many of your members may forget to pick up a bulletin or lose it sometime during service and miss out on key information. By having a website, you can post that information and so much more with just the click of a mouse day or night. Therefore, a website is a great interactive way to stay touch with and inform your members whether within the walls of their own home or on vacation via their laptops or on any other on-the-go gadget or handheld device.
2nd Casting a Larger Net & Being Fishers of Men ~ Reach out to impact the kingdom of God in any way you can and by any reasonable means to do so. We see this in music, whether it’s traditional Christian Music, Gospel…even Gospel Rap. If His Word is not intended “to return to him void” then use all mediums to do so as well. A website can also provide you with a wonderful opportunity to let others know what your church is all about, what you are up to in your community and what others can gain from attending your services.
3rd Championing the Cause ~ If there is a particular area of focus for your church, let’s say in eradicating homelessness or missionary work in other countries, a website is a great way to let the world know and solicit assistance. Many large organizations (World Vision comes to mind) utilize their website to bring a greater awareness to the causes they champion, offer ways to support or even collect donations online to assist those efforts.
4th The Lost Sheep and Those in Need ~ If one of primary purposes of the church is to help people, then a website is one of the best tools in the box to help on a more global scale. There are many people who may be at a point in their lives where they need encouragement and may be in desperate straits. What a great testimony to kingdom work, by extending yourself beyond your physical address to someone who may just end up on your www for a solution they may have been “steered” your way for. Additionally, if someone does not live in your geographic region, they can access great information, messages, videos, music and other helpful products. Example: I was watching Joyce Meyers’ program this morning via TV because her church is in Fenton, MO. But due to promotion of her materials at the end of her program and through her website, I was able to order a great teaching tool for a friend. And not from a store or calling her headquarters, but from my couch in Connecticut via my laptop.
5th Meant to be unique ~ Just like we are all created different, not all websites are built and/or look the same either. Although there may be some concern about joining the secular world in these efforts, you should now that you can be truly “set apart” even with the business of the church businesss. Website companies now provide many templates, design layouts and stock photography/imagery to make your church’s website look professional whether you have a congregation of 100 or 1,000. WordPress has really capitalized on creating templates for many professions and they have many designs specifically for churches and religious organizations with various layouts, colors and features. It can be minimalistic or one with more capabilities such as flash media, video archiving, online stores and so much more!
The Laborers in the Vineyard ~ If you don’t have a church website already but are now convinced you need one, here are a few key starting point considerations:
Find a design company that you feel understands your church and gives comprehensible answers to your questions.
Make sure they can convey your hearts desires and message to the world with your vision in mind while using their talents to accomplish it.
On the business end, be aware that there will be costs for creation, annual hosting, website email linkage and updating.
At Design Theory, I have had the wonderful opportunity to assist in creating some dynamic websites for churches of various sizes and budgets. (Check out some of our clientele at www.firstchurchclg.org or www.agapefellowshipct.org) But most rewarding, is that I have heard and seen the impact of these efforts locally and beyond as well as how it has grown their ministries.
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Thanks for the comment Joshua-a lot of churches feel/think that way. But when you recognize that the bulletin is just not enough anymore and the vision is to move ahead, a website is definitely the next phase of growth. When the goal is to promote the Gospel, we have to think outside our own backyards and a website is a wonderful and essential way to do just that. If you are in need of a team that understands this goal on a professional and personal level, then I believe Design Theory can help. We have several packages for various size ministries and we love our church clients. Take a look around on our site http://www.jpdesigntheory.com and if you are interested to see some of our most recent church clients, check out our handiwork at http://www.firstchurchclg.org and http://www.agapefellowshipct.org.
Really glad to see an article targeted to this audience! Yes, it’s critical for churches to have websites with relevant, useful content. I would add that it’s equally essential to understanding the churches brand and have a thorough communication plan in place. The brand feeds the communication plan which is the umbrella for all other communications, including a website and social media sites. Thanks for the article.
Thank you for your comment Gayle. Many churches struggle when it comes to acknowledging themselves as a “brand”…I think it denotes a secular principle that is difficult to embrace. But once they get it, they start to see the great manifestations from those efforts. I recently created a website for a church client and after having the “brand” conversation, they asked me to create new brochures, business cards, letterhead, envelopes…the works! I am glad to report that not only are they very pleased, but their congregation, sister-churches, and business associates have been been commenting on the new products. They now feel complete and that is great to see and have assisted in.