Enhancing Church Communication through Creation of Church Website

 

Enhancing Church Communication through Creation of Church Website

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary. 4

2.0 The Need for Churches to Embrace New Technology. 5

3.0 Creating a website to enhance Church Communication. 7

4.0 Conclusion. 10

Reference. 12

Religion Insight,  (2013). “Churches using the Internet to their advantage” Available on. 12

http://www.religioninsights.org/churches-using-internet-their-advantage. 12

 

1.0 Executive Summary

Communication is what people do on a daily basis. In the perspective of the church, communication is essential in preaching the word of God, connecting and relating with the members of that church, disciple the believers, evangelizing and so on.  These are all forms that are used in the church for communicating with one another.   There are many churches which have effective communication strategy and as such, they have no problem communicating with one another. However, there are many other churches that lack a cohesive and comprehensive strategy to enhance communication among the congregation (Cox, 2011).

No one could recommend another to sit in a one or two legged stool; rather it should be a three legged that is stable and properly placed. This is similar to church communication. In this perspective, there are three crucial prongs of a church communication strategy that need to be balanced effectively and to be held in tension.  These typically include: communication among the leadership, communication from the pulpit to the congregation, communication from the church and the community.

Communication between the church staff and the lay leaders in that church is paramount for the daily activities in that particular church. The ability of these workers in meeting the requirements of these people necessitates the acquisition of the right information from and to the right people at the right time. There is also a necessity of sorting the big signals from the smaller issues.  This communication begins with the lead pastor who practically does much of the talking. Other leaders catch the church vision through staff meetings, sermons, emails and other types of communication.  An effective church leadership makes sure that communication between and among the leaders is clear and transparent. This is supposed to be a similar case between the leadership and the church congregation

The church also has to communicate to its communities. In essence, this is a communication layer that obtains all the attention. Journals, magazines and books concerning the outreach oriented communication are prepared.  Conferences and seminars are also arranged on how to communicate to the present culture. It was just ten years ago when the mail factor emerged, but presently, social media, text messaging and technology in general has gone to another notch. There has never been a time when numerous opportunities among the people to communicate with one another were extant than today.  This communication layer has become equally important aspect in church communication.  If there is no effective, clear and transparent communication in the church, i.e. among the leaders, church workers and the faithful, then the outreach communication may not be effective.  In addition, the church structure may not be in a position of handling responses that come from public communication. Therefore, churches that have not yet embraced the value of the emergent technology have a challenge of reevaluating the efficiency of their communication strategy at each level in the organization.

2.0 The Need for Churches to Embrace New Technology

Many church members in today’s perspective have paralleled the global trends in embracing technology.  The rate is even higher for those pastors who utilize the internet   according to some studies.  Church organizations that are out to lure people with no church background typical use the benefit of the latest communication gadgets (Religion Insight, 2013). For instance one online only church established some years back in U.S draws more than 750 people to its online messages every week.

All in all, technology has greatly assisted churches in realizing the goal of reaching the unreached for Christ’s sake.   While the congregation may be eager to create cyber church spinoffs, modern technology have provided novel avenues for communication among individuals who may be already dedicated members to the church but saddled with the hectic programs and many demands on their time.  In bigger churches, where the faithful miss churches much more often or they may not have time of relating with others, pastors are known for posting sermons on the internet.  They are also taking advantage of the blog to keep the faithful connected with one another and as well as the church leader.

In accordance to a report by “FACTs on Growth”, establishing a church website is one of the most efficient ways of triggering church expansion. The report further indicates that   although it is not just a website that drives church expansion, but the one which is active and regularly supported by its community.  New church members are particularly attracted to those churches that present a modern, outward looking and non traditional future oriented image.  Embracing the new technology in church communication has been considered beneficial especially in this time when the church audience has become extremely busy.  Hence, the way to technologically enhanced faith will typically transform church life. Moreover, church websites presents a potential of exposing the church image to the outside world. It also enables visitors to establish a first impression of the church before visiting it in the first place or attending. Studies have indicated that the faithful are even faster in using technology than many church leaders.

These factors make sense that embracing the new technology will bring expansion to the church. The churches that are willing to change and adopt the new lifestyle will ultimately expand in comparison to a conservative one.  Technology is part and parcel of modern world culture. It offers flexibility and responsiveness to personal desires and needs.

 

 3.0 Creating a website to enhance Church Communication

Congregations and other church organizations all over the world are consistently finding out that websites could be efficiently utilized in supporting their members and also to reach out to other people in the communities and around the globe.  When individuals ask for assistance in devising   and maintaining their own websites, they are normally advised on being specific concerning their objectives with the sites they intent to create.  Whether the church is small or big, the website can bring various benefits to the church organization as a whole.

The church website is a crucial area that could be used in sharing information among the church community as well as breaking down into different categories of members within the church organization. For instance, in this website, different pages can be directed to youths, others to parents or seniors with regular updates of scripture to enlighten them on regular basis. Other secure pages could be established for an individual data to be shared among the members only for instance, anniversaries, birthdays and prayer lines.

Alongside offering tools such as   photo galleries, videos, prayer requests, event registration, the church website will also assist in answering queries from new or existing members and also people who are looking for the church information. Such queries may include: bible study days, sermon times, pastor’s office hours and faith based querries may be tackled through the website.  The church could use the website to inform their visitors on what they could expect by visiting the church. It will also offer podcasts of past sermons.  This proves to be an effective way of introducing people to the church and its pastor.  Events and church information could be shared through the website. The church happenings and events that are mentioned in the course of the service may also be placed on the church website to target people who did not attend the service. Information is posted on the website could be found at time.

The church could as well establish an online community through   its website.  The church website enables the communities’ feelings to go on even during week days.  Though it is not a replacement  to the face to face interactions  of  the community,  its  is acknowledged  as being the starting point  for new visitors,  involving  existing members  and attracting the  Christians attention  especially those  who recently moved to the church community.

Presently, very few people in USA for instance use the yellow pages in locating churches in their places; they also rarely glance at the church advertisements in local newspapers or magazines.  Moreover, many of them still don’t go around looking for the most appealing churches they can enter. Rather potential guests simply search the internet for the available churches in their locality by checking various church websites.  If they find particular website as being outdated, ugly, amateurish or neglected, the church shoppers are likely to pass by   and find other churches.

In accordance to Warnock, (1999)  church  websites  serve  three roles:  They offer information to members  of the congregation  for instance, the hours for  a blood drive, the sermon and scripture title for the Sunday service, how to sign in  for Lenten group  and so on.  They also connect members who may not be in a position of attending church.  Sick people, those in far places, shut-ins may listen or read sermons online and be kept updated on church information.  As we also mentioned earlier, the website is like a portal for persons who want to find a church are looking for means of spreading the Gospel of Christ.  The website will assist in answering questions from potential church visitors such as where do you attend church? Where is the church location? , How can I get to the church?  What is your style of worship? What is the church message? The assumption that church websites makes the information to be accessed easily is widely acknowledges.

Martus (2013) opines that the church website is a very crucial element in advancing the church in many various ways.  Some of these ways include: seekers are able to easily find the address, phone number, map and a contact us form. These seekers  will also be able  find the bios and photos of team members in  the ministry, as well as access to information on the church’s  core beliefs,  church history, sermons, available resources such as ministries, child care, special programs and so on.  Such a website also need to portray  contemporary elements such as  updated calendar,  calendar of the music  ministry,  church calendar, church directory, general information, events sign up, online giving, listen to  and forward  sermons, video testimonials,  photos of recent events, church store and so on.

Though at one time websites were difficult to establish and maintain, they are nowadays, simple and less costly than even designing and printing mass mailers so as to get out the word.  Organizations or individuals that create church websites make numerous designs that are informative and appealing by employing themes that match a particular area.  Many more services could be worked out using the church website.  These works may help in saving huge sum of money of the church budget that may have otherwise been wasted unnecessarily.  Printing forms and pamphlets, preparing bulky emailers, establishment of asocial network for people who are eager for the word of God, and also planning for functions to increase the number of faithful are some of the works that could be done through the website.

 

4.0 Conclusion

The internet technology has offered a highway of information that once took along time in manual search to obtain.  Communication with numerous people has been made easy through organizations and clubs that have established websites.  This fact makes it logical that churches ought to make an advantage of such a tool so as to enhance the communication among its community.

Majority of the churches   may intend their websites to serve the extant members of their congregation as well as perspective members. Hence they may be trying to reach all people through the website.  I will propose that when creating a church website, the home page, which is the most significant page of any website should be designed in such away that it focuses more on communicating to new website visitors such as the person that is interested in searching and thinking about the Sunday events.  Therefore, the homepage in the church website should be designed in such away that it actually sets the tone of the church. Designers should consider that many visitors have limited time and may not be in a position to dig deep in order to obtain more information. Therefore, wasting the precious time on making the visitor dig deeper to get the required information is a recipe to loosing many of them.

Many churches may opt to utilize all of the features and characteristics in their ministry right away in their website.  Churches that have more than 10,000 faithful must have regular personnel responsible for updating the church website. On the other hand, those churches that have attendees who are less than 100 may devise different communication mechanisms compared to the one with less than 10000 employees.  Updating a website regularly requires time and dedication.  I would also suggest that when these churches design their websites, they should recognize what is significant to communicate to their existing members as well as visitors. They should also ensure that they have enough time to do it through logical techniques.  For a church of a congregation of less than 100 members,   it would not be logical to communicate   the same way with an organization of more than 10000 members. The churches should create astrategy that best works for them.

With many technical experts and church marketing programs   on the rise, churches have been mandated to include and accept blogs in their websites.  Most people who read these blogs consistently are those who are savvy, have initiative and passion and seek another level in involvement. Therefore, there is every reason on why the church would need to connect with such individuals.  New updates create a reason on why people should come back to the same website.  Blogs on the other hand, encourages comments and interactions between the visitors and hosts.

 

 

Reference

Cox, B (2011) “Church communication” Available on

http://resonateordie.com/2011/01/17/three-layers-of-a-total-church-communication-strategy

Martus, S (2013).   “Why a church needs a website” available on

http://martussolutions.com/Websites/martustest/Images/PDFs/Why_a_church_needs_a_website.pdf

Religion Insight, (2013). “Churches using the Internet to their advantage” Available on

            http://www.religioninsights.org/churches-using-internet-their-advantage