Someone comes up to you on Sunday morning and says to you. "We need to have a church website!" In the back of your head you are thinking, oh brother, one more project put on my plate. Why have a church website?
Hey, I get it. As it is a pastor of a small to medium sized church has enough hats they are wearing without putting on the web technology hat. What do you know about building a website? You don't even like Facebook.
7 years ago I reluctantly put on the web technology hat and over the years have actually became quite successful at it. I own a website that receives over 1/2 million visitors a year and has had 6 articles go viral in its life. One article led to being featured on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's website and resulted in over 600 decisions for Christ. If I can do it, so can you!
Yes, I am biased now but I was reluctant when I first started out. I really had no clue what I was doing or the adventure God was setting me out on. So here are five statistics that will help you see the value of having a church website.
3 Reasons Why Having A Church Website Is A Good Idea
#1 A Church Website Is The New Front Door Of The Church
In 2009 1/3 (34%) of people stated that a church's website was an important part of choosing a church to visit. In 2012 that number rose to almost 1/2 (46%). In 2017 that number is probably over 50%.
Think about it. How relevant is the yellow pages anymore? How many people use it? Your church website is the listing in the 21st century yellow pages. If they can't find you on Google, then you don't exist in their eyes.
Not do they visit but they often stay. In 2012, 33% of those polled said that the internet was the place where they first learned about their home church.
#2 A Church Website Helps People Stay Connected
Your church website is not only your yellow pages listing, but it is the hub of your community. In this day and age, people automatically search for information via the internet. Including the latest information concerning their church.
A whopping 64% of church goers say that their church website facilitates participation in their church. The most used features of their church website were.....
- Sermons - They watch your live stream, listen to your podcast, and download the Sunday messages.
- Service Opportunities - The look for ways to help their church accomplish it's mission. If you are struggling with finding volunteers, maybe you need a website!
- Looking For Event Information - They may not remember what time the youth ministry is, or they may need reminded about the women's ministry schedule.
- Inviting Friends - They use the content on your church website or the service times page to invite friends to church via social media.
The bottom line is that your church website becomes the communication hub for your church.
#3 Your Church Website Can Serve Your Community
Many times we think of a church website as a over-sized advertisement. We limit what we want it to do by thinking that it's only purpose is to get more visitors and thus more members to our church. However that is limited thinking.
Your church website can be an extension of your mission of your church. You can facilitate things like serving the poor by connecting people with a passion for the poor with organizations that serve the poor.
You can offer classes online that will help people with real needs like parenting, divorce recovery, substance abuse ect. The list is endless.
All of these things can be done on your church website and as such, once it is set up it can become an extension of your ministry.
Why Have A Church Website?
In a nutshell..... The gospel.
In Acts 16, Paul is on his second missionary journey and he receives a vision of a man from Macedonia calling him to come to Macedonia. Paul changes his plans and goes to the town of Philippi. Once there he decides to go down to the river and wait for people to gather. It is there that he meets a woman named Lydia who becomes a believer and through her a church is planted.
Why have a church website? Because that is where people are gathering in your community. The internet is the 21st century river.
Statistical Sources: http://network.crcna.org/church-web/church-website-statistics