One of the more exciting developments on the internet recently has been the development of new web designs and features targeted to helping churches and ministries. With more attention being directed towards the unique requirements and needs of churches, many website developers have worked diligently to re-think what church members, visitors, and prospective visitors want to do on a church website. Focusing on broader needs for all nonprofits could include anything from hospitals to political organizations, and only recently have church websites received the attention they deserve.
Churches are all about social interactions. The whole purpose and role churches in their communities fit perfectly with the current expansion of online social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The roll of church websites is expanding far beyond just a place to get information about church activities. Some of the more creative uses that are emerging for church websites today are:
- The ability to establish blogs through a church website makes it easy for members to have active input into church projects, goals, and other organizational issues within the church. Blogs on your church website are a great way to get feedback from those church members that may not otherwise participate directly on boards or committees, or take a more active role in weekly church activities.
- The ability to setup a newsletter page through your church website allows your church members to access the news, current events, and other information related to your church and the weekly messages shared by leadership, teachers, and small group leaders. Distribution of the newsletter can be expanded by email, and will serve as a gentle reminder that your church website is an active place that needs the participation of its members to be successful.
- With the new video recording abilities on the mobile phones of most church members, the capability of posting video services on church websites for your shit-ins, prospective visitors, and members that have moved out of town is possible. Many churches are reaching out to others in new ways through the church website with live and archived web fees in ways that were not possible or easy just a few years ago.
- By setting up the ability to accept donations online through their church websites, many churches are seeing a significant increase in new donations from members and supporters that may not be able to attend. Churches also have seen a significant increase from their members generosity. With online giving on a church website, members are able to setup and meet their giving commitment with recurring online tithes and offerings. This feature has allowed churches to meet their own commitments for growth and have a greater impact on their community for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Churches can benefit by adopting some of the new approaches being used on the church websites today. Church websites are becoming a lot more than just a bulletin board, like they used to be. They are becoming an active resource for church members to discuss ideas, come together to support important church initiatives, and better display for the whole community the impact of their faith.
By using these kinds of new capabilities on their church websites, churches can begin to grow in number and in faith, and better reach their local community. With many search engines taking a new focus on providing results at the local level, a church with a well-designed website is in an excellent position to reach-out and impact their community, and engage their members like never before.