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
Web Content

12 AWESOME Student Ministry Websites for Your Inspiration

My last post about youth ministry websites contains a roundup of expert advice to help youth pastors think through whether or not creating a website to serve their student ministry is right for their church. In this follow up, I’ve gathered together 12 of the best student ministry websites I could find.

Finding student ministry websites that presented an engaging, interactive, informative hub for teens and parents was both challenging and insightful. I saw a lot of beautiful, dead websites—websites that looked great, but offered no value because they were no longer being maintained.

Being a WordPress fan, I was pleased to see several built on the platform using quality, premium themes like Steven Gliebe’s Resurrect. (By the way, Steve just rolled out another great looking theme he calls Exodus. I love the simple wide, flat design. Check it out!)

My criteria for selection

I see a lot of “best of” articles that round up great looking websites. Without question, a beautiful design is essential to creating an excellent first impression of a church or ministry. But while great looking design is important, it’s also subjective.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A design that I think is incredible, might leave you yawning. So my idea of great design wasn’t the only criteria I used for choosing these websites.

Great ministry websites don’t just look good, they DO good. At a basic level, they reward their visitors with up-to-date event details, an easy-to-navigate structure, and lots of white space to make viewing easy on the eyes.

So, the websites in my roundup passed the test for these essential features:

  • Great looking, contemporary design
  • Uncluttered layout
  • Easy to navigate and find stuff
  • Up-to-date events and details (this one disqualified a ton of great looking websites)

Since I don’t know what goals were made for these websites, I’m hesitant to judge them on the basis of including interactive, disciple-making content (e.g. sermon media, bible studies or devotionals, blog, etc.).

Although, some do offer such content. That was awesome to see. I also enjoyed seeing a few sites go the extra mile in providing tools and resources to help parents do the equipping.

Do your reasons for building a student ministry website include discipleship and/or outreach?

Is an objective of your mission to help young people meet and know Jesus, and grow in their faith?

Then you would do well to include website content that actively supports that mission.

So, without further adieu, here’s inspiration. Enjoy!

12 Student Ministry Websites for Your Inspiration

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Now, it’s your turn

Does your church have a student ministry website that would meet my criteria? In your online travels, have you seen any that do?

Add a little inspiration by sharing a link or two in the Comments below.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee | 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