A church needs to reach out to its congregation and provide a warm welcome to all. Before now, this could be done during church services, and any church-related events that took place, such as Bible Groups, Sunday Schools, and so on. Most churches have a regular newsletter and, perhaps, a noticeboard at the entrance to the grounds that displays service times and other important information.
Today, however, there’s a whole new way available for a church to spread the word, and that is through its very own dedicated website. Many churches have already gone down this path, and have found, through this medium, that their reach has grown.
What a Dedicated Website Can Do For Your Church:
Traditional church website
Below is an example of a well thought-out church website; it has a home page that has a slider at the left-hand side which will change the main photo to other illustrations, all of which reflect the various aspects of the work the church does, and the communities they reach out to, both local and global. The ‘about us’ page takes you to other pages, each of which have further links and icons to click into for further information. Everything you could possibly want to know about this church is available on this website.
Colorful picture icons on the right-hand side take you to other pages, all of which continue the church’s powerful message. The use of icons rather than just words makes it easy for everyone to find the page they need because they illustrate what the user can expect to find on each page; this is particularly useful to those for whom English is not their first language. Some other languages even have their own icons at the bottom of the home page, enabling visiting foreigners to access the site in their own language; this is a great idea, and one that all churches will want to include. Although churches are filled each week with their regular congregation, many people who holiday in the locality want to attend church during their vacation, so a website is the perfect way to be able to plan ahead. All the information they need is just a few clicks away.
Below, you can see another page that shows members of the community that are involved with the church. Having photos like this, not purchased from photo-stock providers, but genuine photos of people who are involved with that church, help project a friendly welcoming impression.
You’ll see across the top of the screen some text that, once clicked into, will take the reader to a drop-down menu offering other pages, with more information on them. Any church can do this with their website; it means that, from an attractive home page, the user will have access to all the information they could possibly need. Photos enhance that information, and go along way toward making someone feel that they would be warmly welcomed into the church.
Contemporary Church Website
This is a completely different type of approach from the last one, which was more traditional. For a start, it provides links on the front page inviting readers to follow it on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; this helps it to appeal to the younger more internet-savvy churchgoer, and is an inventive way of spreading the word, far from traditional. It is a very welcoming website, like the other one, but it has customized its website to attract a particular type of believer.
This church’s website has a really busy look, with brightly-colored images, a friendly welcoming message, a date display, a click-into YouTube video, poster-type links to forthcoming events and, perhaps the most important thing of all, photos of the leaders, along with their names and positions in the church, all right there on the front page; there’s a lot to look at but it is designed to give a really personal impression, and will help to draw visitors in.
Tabs along the top are clickable links to other pages, every one of which is just as busy and link-packed as the home page. One shows a map and a way to locate your nearest church, along with photos and the names of the pastors of each church; another invites donations, and one even highlights the church’s own technology department, where they explain their full use of IT to ensure that their church is current and evolving. Far from presenting a staid and stuffy image, this church offers a vibrant experience to anyone who attends. There is also a link to its international ministries which show that they minister far and wide, from East Africato the West Indies; from Canada to London, England.
There are many website builders offering a service to churches, so there is a lot of choice.
Here you will find a website builder that offers a free trial of its church website design, and here is a link to another, perhaps a more sophisticated one, that will enable your website to make full use of mobile technology.
Whichever type of website you to choose to connect your church to the rest of the world, you can be sure that it will help to expand and develop your church in such a way that its vital message will reach a wider audience.