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Perspectives

Who Cares About Your Church Website?

Who cares what you’re doing? Seriously. Who cares about the work you do maintaining your church website?

Not long ago, I spent some devotional time looking at passages where Paul speaks of the need for believers to “build up” one another.

I started thinking about the impact of my service to my local church.

For sure, the skills and abilities I’ve been given provide practical benefit. I’ve seen that. But I wanted to know how people are being refreshed and encouraged by the work I do.

In other words, does my web work spiritually build up the body at my local assembly and beyond? And, if it does, how?

Maybe you’ve wondered that, too. I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel that way.

Though the product of our work is laid bare before a global audience, web work is still very much a “behind the scenes” ministry.

Church web workers work their magic while going largely unnoticed and unknown. And, truth be told, we kinda like it like that.

But, we’re still as encouraged as anyone else when we learn that our work has made a real impact in someone’s life.

I see the trees

When my pastor walked with me during the year I wanted to read the entire Bible for the first time, he did a practical thing sending me an “accountability” email every week.

Instead of asking me a simple “yes or no” question, he took it a step further by having me explain what insights God revealed during my daily readings.

The obvious, practical benefit was that, with his help, I was able to reach my goal.

But, the kindness and patience and sacrifice he made also built me up spiritually. During that year, I grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, learned more about God than I ever imagined, and matured in my faith as I did what I heard (James 1:22).

So, it’s easy for me to know how, even now, I benefit spiritually from his work.

But from my perspective, I can’t see how others likewise benefit from my work. That “behind the scenes” nature of the work makes it easy for me to get all caught up in the technical and creative aspects of it. So, I have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

Add to that the ever-shifting environment of the Web. Staying on top of the changes and their effect on what I do is a real challenge. That tension makes it tempting to focus on the temporal aspects of the work.

It’s a daily fight. And, that’s what prompted me to ask my pastor for help.

I asked him to help me see how what I do is up-building to him and to the body. Though I was energized by his response, it took several days for me to realize that I still could only see the “trees.”

Oh, there’s the forest!

At first glance, his list reveals that practical needs are being met. That’s certainly encouraging!

But, the more I thought about it, it still didn’t seem particularly “spiritual.” I still couldn’t see what “eternal value” my efforts produce.

If he’d told me people were growing in their faith (or, even being saved) as a direct result of visiting our website, I’d be counting that for sure!

But, what eternal value is there to updating plugins, taking down outdated content, or compressing images and PDF files?

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this article that it hit me: the body is built up through practical means, and in practical ways.

[slogan size=”small” color=”#88200ee”]”[…] even a cup of cold water, given with the right spirit, brings its own reward.”  –Warren Wiersbe[/slogan]

Working in the name of Jesus to make our websites safe for people to visit, easy to navigate, convenient to use, and useful for learning and getting things done, means as much to Him as handing someone a glass of water (Matthew 10:42).

And, giving a thirsty person a drink of water is about as practical as it gets!

So, who cares what I’m doing?

What does it matter? Well…

  • It mattered to the man in Detroit, Michigan, the woman in Moshi Tanzania, and that other guy in Albuquerque, New Mexico who were able to get answers to their questions about spiritual matters.
  • It matters to my pastor because he has access to a knowledgeable source for answers to all kinds of technical questions, and help to accomplish ministry goals online.
  • My work also matters to him because he wants his teaching ministry/efforts to be strengthened and enlarged as his voice (speaking God’s truth) is carried across the globe.
  • My work matters to people all over the globe, especially those who want to learn more about God, and are able to do so, as they hear the Word and insights my pastor shares.
  • My work matters to brothers and sisters in our assembly who want to be able listen to sermons and otherwise stay connected and “in the loop” when they’re away due to travel , illness, etc.
  • My work mattered to visitors to our area who wanted to locate and fellowship with like-minded believers while they were away from their own home church on a short-term work assignment.
  • My work mattered to a young Marine newly-stationed at a nearby installation who, before he arrived, wanted to locate a body of like-minded believers to assemble with.

The campus where my small church assembles is one mile off the main road in a rural, heavily-wooded area. During the Summer of 2014, we lost the lease on a patch of land on the main road where our sign had been pitched for more than 25 years.

Since then, we’ve made our plans, but we’re still waiting for God to provide land and signage replacements.

And yet, He’s shown me that my work matters to Him. Even as we wait on Him, He guides weary souls down that narrow road to our church each week, and many times He’s used our website to do it.

During the last 10 months we’ve welcomed 61 guests, 23 of whom found us online and came after visiting our website.

Who cares what you’re doing?

So, what care do you take with your church’s website? Who are you thinking about or caring about as you perform your work to maintain it?

Is your attitude and motivation God-honoring or self-serving?

Do you think anyone cares about what you’re doing?

If you think no one cares about the work you do, you also might be tempted to not care about it. That attitude will most certainly be reflected in what people find when they visit your church website.

The web is littered with dead or dying church websites that no one cares about.

I hope you won’t let your website be counted among them.

Find out who your church website matters to

If you want to know what impact your work is making, start asking questions.

Who greets new visitors to your church? Do they ask your guests how they heard about the church? Ask them to share that with you.

Do you use guest cards to gather contact information and track new visitors attending your church? Do you ask “How Did You Learn About Us” or include a similar question on the card? If not, take steps to get it added in.

Our guest card didn’t include that question. So, I asked our Office Manager to add it. Now we’re all encouraged when visitors arrive on our doorstep as a result of finding and spending time on our website!

Talk to your pastor, your Office Manager, or anyone who’s on the “front lines” at your church. Ask them to share what they’ve heard people say about it.

Of course, on this side of eternity, none of us can truly know the full extent to which God is using our work. But you can be sure your work matters to Him.

Our duty is to remain faithful in our service to Him.

Remember, God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for Him in the help you gave and are still giving to other Christians. (Hebrews 6:10 GNT)

Categories
Web Design

Best Church Website Ideas of 2014

It’s year-end, goal setting time! If you’ve been brainstorming simple ways to make your website a more effective ministry tool during 2015, here are seven of the best church website ideas CWI offered during 2014.

Use them to jump-start your efforts in the new year!

Seven Best Church Website Ideas of 2014

Increase Spiritual Fruit Online

How to Increase Spiritual Fruit in a Digital World

What makes an effective church website is much more than developing strategies, choosing eye-popping visual elements, and applying best practices to content creation.

The real truth is, if the time and effort we spend building and using our websites fails to make disciples and produce spiritual fruit, all of our work is going to one day go up in smoke (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

Make a User-Friendly Website

7 Simple Web Design Tips for a User-Friendly Church Website

Creating a satisfying and fruitful experience for your website’s visitors leaves a good impression of your church, and makes your website a joy to use.

To accomplish that, and make the very best church website you can, smart Web workers know that improvements never stop.

That may make the task seem overwhelming. But, building a website that people enjoy using is easier than you think.

Build Profitable Online Giving Pages

14 Ideas For Building Profitable Church Donation Page Content

Offering the convenience of online giving is a practical way to use your church website to care for God’s family (Galatians 6:10).

But, offering convenience isn’t what’s most important. Making the most of every opportunity to foster spiritual maturity in the Christian life is God’s priority (Ephesians 4:11-13; Colossians 1:28-29).

Wise, discerning Web workers make that their priority too. So, they learn to produce the best church website content for fostering spiritually profitable giving.

Work Smarter and Get Stuff Done

Outsourcing: How to Work Smarter and Get Things Done

Think a lack of time, expertise, money, or human resources is keeping you from having a great church website? Think again.

Here’s a smart option for delegating the work you need done.

Create Inspiring Ministry Page Descriptions

The Secret to Creating Inspiring Ministry Descriptions

Believers visiting your church for the first time want to know how your ministries will help them grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

This post reveals the “secret sauce” for helping you describe the benefits people receive by connecting within your local church body.

Decode “Christianese” on Your Website

How to “Decode” Your Church Website Content (Part 1)
The Church Lingo Page is Your Website’s “Secret Decoder Ring” (Part 2)

The “insider language” your local body uses to communicate with one another may be off-putting to people new to your ministry. But replacing words like sin, salvation, and faith, with less “churchy” expressions, as some have suggested, won’t inspire understanding.

This idea is much more hospitable, and serves people better.

Stay on Top of “Church Website” Topics

Church Website Ideas Is a Flipboard Magazine

Wading through the myriad “church tech” blogs out there to find honest, value-added, rock solid guidance on “church website” stuff is both difficult and time-consuming.

That’s why I’m curating this resource for you!

Enjoy a Safe and Happy New Year!

I’m so looking forward to serving you in 2015!

Image Credit: Jan Mennens | Flickr cc

Categories
Website Ideas

Youth Ministry Ideas: How To Create A Magnetic Youth Ministry Website (Link Roundup)

These days, using the web to organize and share your youth ministry ideas and content with teens (and their parents) is a no-brainer. After all, results from a survey conducted by Pew Research indicate that, as of September 2012, 95% of all U.S. teens ages 12-17 are now online.

Further, a 2018 Pew Research survey finds that 95% of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are, in turn, fueling more-persistent online activities. Forty-five percent (45%) of teens say they are online on a near-constant basis.

That’s why it makes sense that youth pastors looking for ways to connect with teens (and their parents) would do well to use the Internet to foster communication and build community.

One way to accomplish that is by building a youth ministry website or adding an unique Web page to your church website.

I looked at a lot of youth ministry pages as part of my research for this article. Most of the church websites I reviewed have included a page that generally describes their youth ministry. Page content was often limited to a mission statement, summary description, and meeting times.

Fact is, these pages are more “push.” Their purpose is to provide (or push) information out about the church’s youth ministry. This isn’t the kind of Web page I’m talking about creating here.

Youth Ministry Ideas: Create A Web Page With “Pull”

The kind of Web page or website I’m referring to should be an efficient, user-friendly option for assembling and sharing your incredible youth ministry ideas and content.

It should be an engaging, interactive, informative hub for teens and parents alike. And, it should “pull” people in by being an exciting, active, virtual tour and experience—a taste—of the life of your youth ministry.

Now, that might sound like a tall order. On the contrary. Achieving it can be easier than you think.

To help get you started, here is a roundup of articles focused on the “why and what” of youth ministry websites.

These should help you think through whether or not creating a website to assemble and share your youth ministry ideas is right for your church.

You’ll also learn why using Facebook alone is a bad option. And, finally, you’ll discover ideas for creating content your site visitors are hungry for.

Why build a Youth Ministry Website? What goes in it?

Should you, shouldn’t you, and what about Facebook?

Four Reasons Why Your Youth Ministry Doesn’t Need a Youth Website
by Frank Gill at YouthMin.org

Four Reasons You Should Have a Youth Ministry Website
by Frank Gill at YouthMin.org

Why Facebook Should Not Be Your Youth Ministry Website
by Jeremy Smith at Churchmag

4 Unique Ways of Using Facebook in Youth Ministry
by Jeremy Smith at Churchmag

Youth Ministry content ideas for your website

Six Sizzling Ideas for Your Website
by Steve Miller at Legacy Youth Ministry Resources

Everything Your Youth Ministry Website Needs
by Jeremy Smith at YouthMin.org

Developing a Youth Group Website
Josh McDowell’s Youth Ministry Handbook: Making the Connection (Chapter 24)

Now, it’s your turn

Is your church using a website with “pull” to assemble and share your youth ministry ideas and content with the world?

Inspire the rest of us! Share a link to it in the Comments below. When you do, enjoy a little SEO link juice on me!

Image Credit: NDO_4532 | Flickr cc

 

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2018 @ 7:51 pm

Categories
Web Design

Church Website Inspiration: Irving Bible Church

I found this website this week and thought it was a great example of a focused church website. Irving Bible Church’s website features a large rotating hero image, good for featured information, and important links. The content is very well organized, and all the church ministry web pages match the rest of the design (For example, no crazy fonts or design for the Children’s page).

Make sure to check this one out! Another great church website! www.irvingbible.org

Categories
Web Design

4 New Church Sites for 2010

I am always on the look out for great church websites. We have highlighted some of our favorites on our Top Church Websites of 2010 post. Today I wanted to share with you four more websites that have made it to our list. What makes these sites stand out are their great use of typography, creative user interface, and use of texture. Enjoy!

Categories
Web Design

20 of the Best Church Website Designs

Churches have always have a hard time fighting the persona of being slow to adopt new trends.  In web design churches have made up a lot of ground. I am very happy to see that a lot of churches are putting emphasis on their church websites! To kick off the new year we wanted to share with you 20 of the best church websites we could find. We tried to avoid the churches that always make these lists, but some still made the list, simply because their websites stand out. Enjoy, and if you have a website you enjoy, please link to it in the comments.

Categories
Web Design

22 Church Website Design Inspiration Galleries

We all need a little inspiration from time to time. Today I share with you 22 websites you can use that will inspire your next designs. Each of these sites are online galleries that showcase the best website designs. I hope these will help inspire your next creations!