According to a survey of protestant churches conducted by Lifeway Research in September 2010 (1), only 78% of Protestant churches have a website and nearly half of those churches are not using their website effectively.
The second stat doesn’t surprise me as much as the first. When you visit a few random church websites it becomes clear that most churches are using their web presence for nothing more than an online brochure. But it’s hard to believe that 22% of churches in 2012 still have no website. I can’t think of a single valid reason for any church not to have a website in this day and age. Website hosting is affordable for any church budget. Creating a basic website is easy. When used effectively, a church website gives the church an invaluable tool for communicating with members, reaching out to prospective members, and reaching the lost.
Is Your Church Website Just a Fancy Billboard?
What about the roughly 40% that aren’t taking advantage of their church’s web presence? In most cases, their church website is just an internet version of a billboard. They provide basic information about the church, a statement of faith, church staff bios, service times and directions. Granted, this is important information and should be included on every church website but, this is like having a book with a title, copyright page, introduction, author bio… but no content.
In a nutshell, if your church doesn’t have a website, GET ONE! You are neglecting one of the most economical, effective, and wide reaching ministry tools in the history of the church! Can you imagine what the Disciples would have thought about such a powerful communication tool and how they may have used it to accomplish the Great Commission? God didn’t see fit to provide them with such a means of communication but, He has given it to us.
Consider this verse for a minute:
When this verse was written it wasn’t possible to proclaim the gospel throughout the whole world. In fact, it wasn’t until the twentieth century with the invention of the radio, television, and finally the internet that the fulfillment of this prophecy became possible. Unlike radio and television, the internet makes it possible to interact with people all over the world!
Out of 6.9 billion people in the world, 2.7 billion of them have access to the internet. That includes 78% in North America, 67% in Australia, 61% in Europe, 40% in South America, 36% in the Middle East, 26% in Asia, and 14% in Africa(2). The whole world is now a mission field for any church that is willing to use the internet to it’s fullest potential.
Are we going to neglect it and allow it to only be used by Satan, or will we use it to reach the masses and build up God’s church?
Building a Dynamic Church Website
In this series of articles we’ll discuss the ins and outs of creating an effective church website and making the most of social media such as Facebook, Google+ and more. Yes, I said discuss. I want your feedback so please feel free to share info or comment at the bottom of any article.
Here’s the outline of what I’ll be covering over the next few weeks and months:
- Choosing a Hosting Company for Your Church Website
- Which Content Management System Should I Use?
- Website Templates Can Make or Break a Church Website
- The Basics That Every Church Website MUST Have
- Beyond the Basics – Building a Dynamic Church Website
- Using Social Media to Effectively in the Church
- More to come…