In today’s fast paced world, having a website is a necessity. The days of letting your fingers walk through the yellow pages are fading, and the days of pulling out your smartphone or tablet to access data is ever increasing. As a church ministry whose desire is to engage the culture for Jesus Christ, we need to make vital and timely information accessible to our congregations, especially concerning issues that directly affect our faith and impact our lives.
Statistics show that there are over 2.9 billion internet users in the world, which make up about 40% of the population. And the numbers grow every year. We should not be afraid of the advancement of technology, but we should use it as an important tool to aid in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
For an example of a church ministry website, you can visit Real Impact`s website. This website is designed to serve the congregation of this church, but people from across the country visit the website and subscribe to the ministry’s email updates. The goal is to get news, event announcements, and action alerts into the hands of the congregation (website visitors, or subscribers) quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.
So how do you go about starting up a website? The easiest way is to set up a WordPress blog. A blog is essentially on online journal, but you can use WordPress in such a way that it acts as a website. The benefit of using WordPress (or other similar blog sites) is that it is free to use, unless you need upgraded features, such as more storage space to upload audio files, or a way to directly upload video files that can be viewed on your site.
Go to WordPress.com and follow the directions. You will need to come up with a name, so make sure it is one that distinctly identifies your church or ministry. You will notice that your site name will have “.wordpress.com” behind it. This is because it is a blog and therefore it is attached to the WordPress domain. There is a way to remove this tag ending so that it just shows your name (such as MyChurchMinistry.com instead of MyChurchMinistry.wordpress.com), but there is an annual charge to do this. Go to the support page and click on “Add a Domain” for more information if you’d prefer this option. If you need help with the set up process, there are a lot of online videos available to view. You may also have a computer geek in your church body who would be willing to help out.
The beauty of using WordPress is that you can have different “pages” of information. You can set each page for distinct purposes such as: news, projects, resources, and call-to-action. As with all blogs, the latest entry is always stacked on the top of the page. But you can make “static” pages for those topics that will not change, such as your ministry’s statement of faith.
You may prefer to use a web host, which is a business that provides the web space for your site. Web hosts charge a monthly fee for their services, but there are some like Bluehost.com and Hostmonster.com that offer a great package for a very low price. The advantages of a web host are that it provides a more secure site, can give you unlimited bandwidths to allow for more visitors, and can provide filters that can block profanity from your posts and comments. You also get technical support, and some will offer free templates to help get your website up and running.
To help you understand your rights as a church or a pastor as to what you can and cannot say on a blog or website, visit Alliance Defending Freedom’s Speak Up site for some great information and resources.
Staying informed in this technologically advanced world is a must, especially when we want to change our culture for Christ. A website is not only a great idea, but an essential tool if we want to keep our congregations informed and ready for action.
The Importance of a Ministry Website