Does your church need a website?
As the internet has grown, a church website has become more and more important. There was a time when people used the yellow pages to find your church, but that time has long passed. A church website acts as the virtual front door of your church. It’s likely the first place a guest will visit when seeking information about your church.
I can assist establishing a bare-minimal church website, which includes:
Home page consisting of the following information:
Church Email address
Google/MapQuest plugin to assist people in locating the church
Picture of the church
Link to church Facebook page (if the church has such)
Information about youth services and nursery
Church history page – Share a little history about your church.
Statement of faith/Doctrinal statement – Let people know what you believe!
Staff information page – Includes picture of staff members and a short bio regarding your staff. This will definitely include the pastor, but may also include the assistant pastor, church secretary and Deacons.
Ministry page – Information about your church ministries (youth group, seasons saints, Celebrate recovery, nursing home outreach and such could be included here).
Sermon page – A sampling of 2-3 audio sermons (pick them wisely, as you never know who you may impact!) for people to listen to so they can get an idea of what to expect on a Sunday morning (In some instances, there may be someone in the church who can manage to keep current sermons online)
The above will essentially create an Internet “billboard” for your church on the information “super-highway”. Any website I design is with the intention of eventually turning control over to someone in your church to manage. I use WordPress when I setup a website. WordPress sites are pretty easy to maintain and hand over for someone else to manage once they are setup. At this point it is pretty easy for someone to set up a blog page, online church calendar, even online giving!
Does a website make a difference?
Let me share my persoanl experiences with websites, then you decide. My wife and I had been attending the church she had grown up in. This church was located in another town several miles away. Because of the distance, we did not attending very often (Christmas and Easter for the most part). We also had no true zeal for the Lord. We attended the church we did simply because it was familiar. I had no strong loyalty to that church (and looking back on it, that was reflected in my walk with the Lord). When our kids were old enough, we started going a little more often, and when they started to show an interest in church youth activities, the distance involved became an even bigger factor. Many times we were unable to get the kids to these events (especially if they were after school events). It was at this time my wife and I started looking for a local church to attend. We visited several churches, but none “felt” right for both of us.
Meanwhile, I started looking online. I found several churches to avoid, but eventually came across Morningside Baptist Church. At the time the pastor was Al McClaren. Morningside was the type of church I wanted to attend! The Doctrinal statement was solid, and I easily listened to dozens of online archived sermons by pastor McClaren. Although this church was hundreds of miles away, it impacted my life! I probably grew more as a Christian listening to Pastor McClaren’s online sermons than I had in the previous 10 years. This website helped me get an idea as to what to look for in a church.
I prayed for the Lord to lead me to a local church with the same passion for serving the Lord. Seeing how much Morningside had impacted me, I also asked the Lord to lead me to a church that could use my skills in designing websites. I wanted to help a church to be able to do for others what Morningside had done for me.
God answered that prayer. By God’s grace we found such a church. It was less than a 10 minute drive away. And they had virtually no website. My family joined that Church, and I became their webmaster for almost 12 years (until I stepped down to become a bi-vocational pastor for another church).
I share all this because I have experienced how a website can both impact people seeking a church and seeking the Lord. I also saw how much a website impacts a church. During one conversation with the pastor, I was informed that almost 70% of the first time visitor cards (a card that the visitors would complete) listed they had found the church by looking on the internet.
Over the last 15 years, I have designed multiple church and missionary websites. If you are a small church (around 50 members or less) and don’t have a website, prayerful consider letting me help you get an online presence.