Churches today are faced with both an opportunity and a challenge that we’ve never seen before. The online world has shifted the way we communicate, consume information, and the way first impressions are made.
First impressions are no longer made in person or when someone steps through your door. They’re made online.
But more than that, never before has there been such an opportunity to connect with people and provide them with resources and tools that can equip them throughout their daily lives.
The problem is that most churches continue to only use their website and social media accounts as an info board – a loud speaker that only talks about upcoming events or what’s happening at church. While this might be somewhat useful for people who attend your church, this kind of information is completely irrelevant to anyone else who doesn’t attend your church.
This is why the future of church websites is to treat your website like its own virtual location.
Your church may have one location, or perhaps it has five. The point is, your church’s website is an opportunity to increase your church real estate by one more location.
Now, your mind may immediately assume that I’m talking about live streaming your messages or something along those lines. But I’m not.
Live streaming is good and has its place but in my opinion, what goes even further than that, is to provide tools and content that will help people throughout their entire week.
For example, I attend and lead the Digital Team for a church that is currently running a 14-day Prayer Challenge through the website. Each day a new topic is posted, with a few prayer points and a sample prayer. The goal of the prayer challenge is to help people pray and establish the habit of prayer in their daily lives.
Another thing we’ve done is Bible Reading Month. Each day for an entire month, a scripture passage is posted online as a mini-devotional. Church members are encouraged to take part and to share what they received from the reading of the day by leaving comments and engaging in discussion. Not only is this beneficial in encouraging people to engage in daily scripture reading habits, it serves as a method of connecting the church community and gives individuals an opportunity to feel a part of the family.
These are just a couple examples, but there’s surely so many more. Whether it’s a weekly devotional written by your pastor or blog posts by various leaders, there’s many ways that we can set work the work of the ministry through our own virtual platforms.