Church websites are after all these years, finally getting better. But I wonder are you making the most of this resource?
If you are like most churches you have the basics on your website, such as events, schedule of services, directions, pictures of your staff, your vision statement, core beliefs, links to your podcast, and social media. However, a website can be more than a tool to inform people about your church. It can also be used to train and empower people for life and ministry. Here are some ideas to consider:
A List of Local Recommended Ministries Outside of Your Church
Your church might not have an abortion prevention ministry, but that might be a resource that’s needed. You might not have a ministry to help people get free from porn, but you know somebody struggles with it. Where could you point them? Chances are there’s a ministry in your city that can help.
Be sure to include something about how to help the poor. When asked for money, church members want to help, but giving directly to a homeless person may feel like enabling. Having a place to care for the homeless helps provide real world solutions. In Chattanooga, where I pastored, there are soup kitchens, free medical clinics, thrift shops, homeless shelters, food pantries, houses for people who lost a home in a fire, and much more. The average church member won’t know about that if that wasn’t on the church’s website.
Ministries You Love
If you are a leader worth following then people want to know what you read and listen to, so that they can learn to think like you. What are your top ten books? Podcasts? Who are the church leaders that influence you? Make backlinks to their stuff.
What commentaries and systematic theology books do you recommend? What about leadership? Finances? Parenting?
A List of Recommended Counselors
When a marriage is in crisis or a person is deeply depressed they might not want their church leaders to know about it. If you post links to counselors you trust they will be more likely to seek help. Secondly, posting counseling on your site communicates that your church values inner healing.
Bible Training Tools
Seminaries are starting to place classes on iTunes U. Many have their systematic theology and Old and New Testament classes up. You can get a 30k education for free. Find a seminary you like, and add links.
Apologetics Resources and Referrals
At some point someone in your church is going to start doubting their faith. They will have questions you can’t answer. So point them to an apologetics resource – these are ministries that focus on questions about the evidence for God, the trustworthiness of the Bible, philosophy and science. I love Reasonablefaith.com. Another great resource focused on Science and Faith is Reasons.org.
Yes, online donations are charged 3-4%, but you can set up PayPal so that automatic monthly withdrawals are available for donors. This provides a convenient solution for all involved, plus donors are less likely to forget about their tithe, or stop when money is tight.