It is amazing how our life has changed during the last 50 years. Now, we can barely imagine our everyday routine without Internet or any gadgets. Everything has changed: hospitals, schools, colleges, offices, even a farmer market gave up to online shopping. This is the reason why many churches decided to adopt technology as well and create an online place for their community.
One of the most cited verses of the Bible is Mark 16 verse 15 where the Bible reports that Jesus Christ said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” However, it is easy for many Christians to ask themselves whether there are any other ways through which they can preach the gospel to many nations without necessarily having to stand at the corner of a street. Actually, there is: build a church website. However, this could be easier said than done.
This article gives you some ideas about how you can go about this.
When the internet was introduced, only those with special skills had the ability to create websites. However, in modern times, this has changed. Nowadays, anyone who has the most basic knowledge of how to use a computer can build a website using readymade templates. Hence, your first task when building a church website will be to select your platforms. There is a broad range of platforms you can use: some are free and others charge. The most important thing to consider is whether the service you want to use is suitable for your objectives. Some platforms even offer ready-to-use templates for many niches, including religious communities, and that significantly ease the whole website building process.
If you want to build a website that will be visited by many people, you will need to think carefully as you select your domain. The domain is the name that people will know your church website by. Hence, it is important to ensure that it is as close to the name of your church as possible. This will ensure that people searching for your church by its name will be directed to your site. Also, ensure that it is short enough so that people can remember it with ease.
With your website, you can reach several goals: unite your community, let them opportunity to communicate online, announce events and any updates, and invite new people to both your site and your church. That is why you should decide whether you want to make your website public, closed, or semi-closed (i.e. let some content be open to everyone while provide with access to certain information only chosen members).
Optionally, you can divide the content of your online church for different groups: one for your parish, another for prospective church members; one for young generation, another for older one, etc. This will tell you what tone to use when you write and the kind of resources to use when conveying your message. For instance, you would address a young audience in a different manner from that which you would use when addressing older congregants. You may also decide to have a section of the site desiccated to the young and another dedicated to those who are older.
The structure of the website
Now that you have taken time to deal with the most important foundation elements for your church website, it’s time to decide how you will structure it. For a website belonging to an organization like a church, it is important to have the following elements:
- “About Us” page that will clarify the mission and vision of your church
- “Calendar” or “Events” page that show people visiting the site important dates and plans for your community
- “Contacts” section including a contact form for new visitors
- A section introducing the key members of the church
Connecting to social media
If you want to attract people to your church site on the Internet, there is no way you can ignore social media. This means that you should also consider setting up social media accounts that you will connect to your website. You can set things up in a way that those who land on your website can be directed to your social pages and vice versa.
All in all, creating a website for your community may be difficult or easy depending on the platform you choose in the very beginning. Most of the platforms can provide you with a technical support to show you how to make your community website the way you want it. And if you are still not sure how your church website should look like, simply google the websites of other churches, get inspired and make notes of what you want to see on your own online church site.