Church Website Advice

These days Jackie and I are enjoying visiting lots of different churches.  Every week or two we are in a different place and ready to join some congregation in worship.  Being Nazarenes our first choice is one of our own tribe although I am quick to add that we’ve enjoyed fellowship in a variety of groups.

Sometimes we’ve driven past a church nearby and have stopped to check out any church sign for information, but most of the time we head for the internet.  The results are a real mixed bag.  I’ve seen church websites that looked terrific and I’ve hunted for church information only to come up empty.  I’ve found lots of good, current information and I’ve found some nice looking websites that are horribly out of date.

So here are a few words of advice concerning your church web site:

  1. If you don’t have a web site get one!  Listen, whether or not you are interested in the Internet, most people are.  Not having a website today is equal to not being in the phone book 10 years ago.  You NEED a website.
  2. If you post current events keep them current.  Listing last year’s Christmas party as current says bad things about your church.  Compare it to not having the grass mowed at the church – it speaks of not caring, not being organized, and of neglect.
  3. If you aren’t going to keep the site current then DON’T post any current events.  Turn the website into a billboard for the church with only static information including some of the things I’m about to list.
  4. Post your service times and make them easy to find.
  5. Post your church address and include directions.  It’s amazing how many church websites never bother to name their state.  Put complete directions, and make them easy to find.
  6. If you want to do more, a really nice thing to do is include some photos, especially of the church in worship.  My wife often wonders what the ladies wear to church.  She knows that we will be welcome even if we don’t quite meet the local dress code, but she wants to fit in.  Photos of people in a regular worship service help a lot.

Remember, people DO look you up on the Internet.  Don’t just have a Facebook page – not everyone can see it.  DON’T let someone’s nephew who is a whizbang at doing fancy webpages do yours.  It needs to look on purpose and grown up.  Simple with relevant information is better than impressive and out of date because no one who actually cares about the church’s image has a clue as to how to update the page and the nephew is long gone.  You can have a reasonable, easy to maintain, easy to Google website for very little money.  Really, trust me, you NEED a website that meets at least certain minimum standards.

 

Bible toten’ gun slingers

Some time back I did a post I called “Why I don’t believe in hell.”  In the very first sentence I confess that the title is just an attention grabber and that I’m actually posting to highlight the absolute importance of placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ to be saved.  We aren’t saved by believing all the right things (including believing (as I do) that there is a hell) – but are, instead, saved by placing our faith in the right Person!

That post has received a lot of nice comments.  A few folks had a hard time getting past the subject line and wanted to be sure that I was on “their side” in the “hell debate” (even though I quoted directly from our church Manual) but by and large the exchanges have been positive and friendly.  I’ve accepted all those to be published as comments on the post.

However, every month or so I get a response intended to prove to me that hell exists or which accuses me of abandoning the faith.  Obviously, that person either didn’t read the article or didn’t understand what they read.  Those comments never see the light of day.

Simply stated, that’s not how Christians interact with one another.  We don’t ignore what people say so we can score points for Jesus.  We don’t accuse people of things without taking time to hear them out.

The Lord doesn’t commission Bible toten’ gun slingers to ride the range gunning down outlaws.  Now, I know that some nice people simply lack the tools to think through some issues and I know that others operate so far beyond me that they see flaws in my opinions that have escaped me.  The best I am able I want to be charitable to the first group.  At the same time, I hope the second group will do the same for me.

My suggestion to some who scan the Internet for people who need to be “gunned down” is that you at least take time to read what is said before you commence firing.