Churches are finally beginning to recognize the power of the Internet for their ministries. What was once just a way to engage with the community and invite people to a church event has been completely revolutionized. Churches now do online marketing, digital evangelism, and discipleship and connect regularly with people through email, social media, and blogs.
If you are not new to church technology, this is no surprise.
The issue now is: Do churches use this technology well?
One of the most difficult aspects of church technology is
not how to maintain what you already have; the hard part is
coming up with new things for your church to implement and
getting everyone on board. Here are some things you can do
to help your church have a bigger online impact.
YOUR CHURCH’S WEB SITE
The church Web site should include information a member or visitor might need: forms for church activities, sign-up sheets for church events, a blog to communicate your church’s heart, and an online archive for video sermons.
YOUR OWN CHURCH APP
While a responsive Web site
is an important part of every
church’s programming, an
app is the perfect tool for
your ministry. Not only do
people always carry their
phones with them (thus
eliminating the need for print
bulletins), apps are a great
way to direct people to your
Web site, give them access
to small-group information
and prayer-group times,
provide sermons to watch or
listen to later—all of these
things can be done within the
YOUR OWN WAY TO ONLINE GIVING
Numerous statistics say that a church that invests in online
giving will see an increase in tithing and year-end revenue.
Think about it: a family goes out of town but can still give.
A college student does not carry cash but has a trusty debit
card. An online donation page is the perfect way for your
congregation to give.
YOUR OWN GREAT WEB SITE DESIGN
A terrible Web site is definitely awful to look at, but that’s
not the worst part. Terrible navigation can drive people away
from your site. Not having Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
features means that you are actually hidden from search
engines. Unstructured content can make people feel confused
and frustrated. A non-responsive Web site design makes your
Web site look bad on mobile devices. A great Web site design
can fix all of these problems and more. A good Web site can help
your church have a more
effective ministry and become
more visible in the
YOUR OWN NEWSLETTER
Too many churches are still
creating print newsletters
and mailing them to the
congregation. Often, the
mailing list is out of date,
and mailing recipients may
be annoyed by the process.
A great online newsletter is
Chip Dizárd is part of the media
ministry team at New Hope Adventist
Church in Fulton, Maryland.
This article first appeared in Best
Practice, April 13, 2014. It has been
lightly edited for Elder’s Digest.