[from personal experience and researched data]
- Churches often believe they need a website but have not really thought out what they want it to do.
- A techie does the site, but then leaves the church or becomes too busy. Site grows out-of-date.
- This often gets repeated many times as it has in our church.
- No one but the techie can change it, so soon it is not really up to date.
- It does not encourage communication between members the way Facebook and other social sites do.
- Often a professional is hired and makes a beautiful site for a BEAUTIFUL price. Seldom is it built for easy updating or communicating new info to members and the public.
- If you want it updated the pro has to do it and that costs MORE money.
- Does it really communicate what your church's purpose is to the world of cyberspace?
- Does it connect your members?
- All-in-one websites are very satisfying and accomplish many purposes.
- Informing visitors and members about what is going on currently
- Connecting people and groups within your church
- Can be updated by anyone with very little training if you can use a word processor
- Can inform members of sudden events between Sunday's such as the death of a senior member, the birth of a baby, a victory in someone's life so that all may celebrate
- Appear to the general observer looking for a church that here is a church which is up-to-date, active and alive
Hosting, informing, domains, updating, newsletters, event calendars are all contained in one place.
Each of these sites have free trials.
Advanced Ministry ranges from free to so comprehensive that you can a store so that members can have access to purchasing materials and books being studied in various groups within the church. The price range is the best I have found anywhere.
Just recently I helped a small church here in Niagara to get a website that they could maintain themselves. If you are interested see WindMill-Point-Church
This Church has a different philosophy which gives you everything available on the site but just a bit less storage space for smaller churches.
More and more churches are turning to comprehensive all-in-one websites like those at Advanced Ministry, or This Church or ChurchFlock.com [a demo site for MyFlock]
Probably the MOST important use for these sites is that ANYONE with a little instruction can update the section of the site for their small group. The church secretary can update the event info weekly or as often as needed.
No professional is needed [with apologies to web pros]. A workman IS worthy of his hire.
Any discussion about this would be welcome. Constructive disagreement is NEVER disagreeable (:-).
I have spent many hours poring over sites on the web and forums and listening to the tribulations of churches with out-of-date websites which are not a good witness to the world about your church.
I have found sites which give excellent tips for effective church sites. Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the group as you prefer if you would like individual help with this changing field.
We live in an age of connection. People are "crying out" to be noticed. If this were not true why is Facebook so successful EVEN among Christians? Why is there a Twitter? Why has GodTube changed to Tangle?
It seems that every time I do a bit of web searching I find new sites which tend toward social interaction. A few years ago Plaxo was a way to store your email addresses on the web so you could get them from anywhere. Now it too is changing into a social interaction site.
It is a phenomenon that a church which wants to minister to the current needs of society cannot ignore forever.
At the same time it solves the problem of static, out-of-date websites which do not represent your active church or which drain too much money from church coffers which could be used for the ministry that Jesus left for us.
The Great Commission16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." NIV Mathew 28: 16-20
Is there any better use for the Lord's money or your time?
Charles G. Pedley