Over the past decade, a new form of church identity has emerged. This identity doesn’t take the form of a building, a sign, a newspaper ad, a phone book listing, or anything tangible. It’s packaged in bytes, transmitted through the Internet, and viewable by anyone with web access. This new form of church identity is the church website.
What Is a Church Website?
Understanding what a church website is should be a foundational consideration for understanding church websites, evaluating church websites, and designing your own ministry website. A church website fulfills several crucial functions for any ministry. Here are four considerations, and four takeaways regarding the function of a church website.
Functions of a Church Website
- The church website advertises the church. Whether or not “church marketing” is a term you prefer, the church website is a form of church marketing or church advertising. Think about it. Besides personal testimony or word of mouth, which are obviously the best forms of advertising, the church engages in other forms of ‘marketing.’ Most churches have a church sign. That’s marketing. Some churches advertise in the local newspaper. Also marketing. Other churches obtain a listing in the phone book. When most potential churchgoers look for a church, however, they don’t first thumb through the Yellow Pages or flip open the classifieds. They head straight for a Google search on the Internet. Ideally, your church will be present on the Internet. A church website is basically an advertisement for the church.
- The church website provides church members with resources. The church website is more than an electronic billboard to invite people to your church. A church website is also a place where churchgoers can listen to the sermon, contribute financially to the ministry, look up the number for a friend through a secure online member directory, find out meeting times for small group Bible study, or see pictures from a recent fall outing. Good church websites provide church members with a virtual connection to the life of the church. As an integral part of their daily lives, church members value a way to connect with the church on the Internet. A church website is the perfect way to do so.
- The church website furnishes others with information about your church. Top church websites are information value centers. Beyond the resources that are available for church members, a good church website furnishes other website visitors with a wide variety of information. Most church websites list the doctrinal beliefs of the church, the church’s affiliation with other ministries or denominations, a list of service times, what to expect from the ministry of the church, a map or directions to the church, and sometimes even the constitution, bylaws, or covenant of the church. A church website can be an information-rich presence on the web for your church’s many needs.
- The church website testifies about the church. Beyond just the raw information that a ministry website offers, there is an intangible element of church testimony that the website provides. Everything about a church website reflects upon the ministry in some way. Like it or not, people form their impressions about a church, simply by looking at the church website. The design of a church website says something about the church. The ease of navigation on the church website, any downtime that a church website experiences, the last time a church website was updated, and the whole feel of the website is a testimony to the church itself. Although these intangible elements may seem unimportant, they actually form an important part of the church’s testimony.
Takeaways Regarding Church Websites
- Since church websites are a valuable advertising source, your ministry should have a web presence.
- Church websites should provide church members with the resources that they need.
- Church websites should furnish web visitors with any information about the church that may be important or valuable to them.
Church websites should utilize the best church website design in order to present the best possible testimony. Toward the end of April, Sharefaith will be releasing it’s revolutionary new product—church websites. Soon, Sharefaith users will have a total website solution for their church, enabling them to launch a stunning, powerful, and easy-to-use church website. Except for the paltry monthly sum for hosting, these websites are totally free with a Sharefaith subscription. There is no better time to be a Sharefaith member.
If there was ever a time to remain or become a Sharefaith member, it is now!