Churches and local businesses in the U.S. have a lot in common. Many (if not most) churches follow the big business mentality of corporate America, with pastors functioning like CEOs and members acting like customers. People give money to help them stay “in business” and visit in response to public advertisements. There are also various boards and committees that make decisions and help things run smoothly.
But the comparison only goes so far. Unlike local businesses, local churches have other purposes and goals – goals that are not wrapped up in money and self-promotion. One of these goals is outreach.
As individual Christians and as a church, we must obey the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. He commanded us in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” This means intentionally and actively looking for ways to tell people about Christ. It also means sharing the good news of Christianity wherever there is an opportunity.
The fourth reason why church websites are worth the investment is because they create new forms of outreach. Websites can help churches be obedient to the Great Commission.
In this post, I will outline just two new forms of outreach that a church website creates.
Blogging – A New Outreach Opportunity
Churches are already proclaiming the gospel through preaching and teaching. Why not write about it? Most (if not all) website building platforms are equipped with blogs, and this is an effective way to share Christ. In fact, a blog could become the biggest part of a church website.
I’ve found this to be true for Dulin’s Grove Church.
Our church website has accumulated a lot of good stuff over the years. But nothing is quite as popular as our blog. Here are some numbers from Google Analytics:1
- Of the top 10 most viewed pages (January-March 2020), nine of them were blog posts.
- Blog posts made up 93% of the total number of pageviews from these 10 pages.
What do we put on our blog?
- Sermon recaps. (These are the most popular posts on our blog – those nine posts and 93% statistic I mentioned earlier are all sermon recaps.)
- Devotional recaps. (During COVID-19, we posted recaps for our daily livestream devotionals.)
- Biblical perspectives on hot topics.
- Thoughts on Scripture and life circumstances.
It’s been an awesome privilege for me to be part of this outreach. As a webmaster, one of the greatest things is seeing people comment to say how God has been at work through our website.
Podcasting – A New Outreach Opportunity
Another outreach opportunity that websites offer is podcasting.
Now, not every website building platform includes built-in podcasting capabilities. But at the very least, you church website would be the best place to store podcasts. Podcasting has grown really popular over the past few years.2 People like podcasts because they’re able to listen anytime, anywhere and on the device of their choosing.
For churchgoers, listening to sermon podcasts is the website feature they use the most.2
What material can a church use for a podcast? Here are some suggestions:
To wrap things up . . .
Yes, a church website can help bring in new people, attract young people and increase giving. But it’s not just some marketing gimmick or newfangled self-promotion tool – it’s a new way to share the gospel, disciple others and obey our Lord and Savior.
A church website is worth the investment because it opens the door to new forms of outreach. Blogging and podcasting are just two examples. In addition to other outreach ministries at your church, these are new ways that can help Christians obey the Great Commission and be the church.
If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to leave a comment! And subscribe to get notified when new posts are published.
- Google Analytics. (2020). Audience overview. Retrieved April 22, 2020, from Google Analytics database.
- The value of podcasts [Video file]. (2015). Retrieved April 16, 2020, from https://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=103806&xtid=93387
- Clark, J. (2012, August 1). Church website statistics. Retrieved from https://network.crcna.org/church-web/church-website-statistics