Your church should invest in a website. Why? Because it can help bring in new people, attract young people, increase giving, create new forms of outreach and expand the scope of outreach. Today, I’m going to be looking at the next point: a church website mobilizes Christians for ministry service.
Changing the Approach to Church Websites
I think the typical approach that churches have toward creating a website should be reconsidered. Oftentimes a website is simply the pastor’s pilot project – it’s something he or she started and they’re the only one to maintain it. Either that or the church hires a professional to create and manage the website.
I’m not necessarily saying that these approaches are wrong or bad – every church is unique with its own unique situation. But are these the best approaches?
Managing a website can be a lot of work (believe me, I know). On top of visitations, counseling, board meetings, preparation for teaching, caring for a family, etc., should a pastor really be solely in charge of a website? And what happens when the pastor retires or moves to a different ministry? It leaves a gaping hole in an important piece of a local church.
Yes, a professional web developer can be paid to manage your church website. But this can create several problems:
- It disconnects your website from your church, making it “their” thing instead of “your” thing.
- It raises conflict. For instance, “Why should we pay them to do that if we don’t even pay the nursery worker who’s been serving faithfully for the past 20 years?”
- It robs your church of ways to be the church.
That final point brings me to the crux of the matter.
A Church Website Helps Christians Minister
The Bible asserts that every Christian is equipped with gifts from the Holy Spirit to be used “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7) to build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:5, 12). Scripture also states that pastors and other church leaders have such positions in order to equip those in their church for ministry work and for building up the church (Ephesians 4:12). Simply put, every Christian is a minister.
This has so many implications. But for our purpose right now, it means that everything a Christian does is a ministry. Preaching from the pulpit is a ministry. Leading the youth group is a ministry. Running the soundboard in the back is a ministry. Sending “get well soon” cards is a ministry. Taking out the trash is a ministry.
If you see things this way, you’ll see what I’ve seen:
A website can help the people in church use their spiritual gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
- Gifted teachers can use podcasts on the website to reach a global audience. With so many false teachers being prevalent online, it’s important for churches to broadcast the truth in ways that effectively connect with people.
- Those gifted with wisdom can write blog posts from a biblical perspective on topics that are controversial and difficult to discuss.
- Christians gifted with hospitality can contribute to a website by ensuring that church information is relevant and clear for visitors, and that the church’s first impression is a good one.
- Those who are talented at designing graphics and signage can be responsible for the aesthetic layout of the church website.
- People with technological know-how can make sure the website is updated, maintained and fully functioning.
Some final thoughts . . .
I’ve been maintaining this church website for nearly three years now, and seeing this job as a ministry has helped immensely. Serving the Lord and having Him work through me to make an eternal difference never grows old.
Now, it may be difficult to find multiple people to run a church website or one person with the time, energy and skill set to do it all. At least, though, find someone in your church (besides the pastor) who is willing to take responsibility for maintaining it. If you’re starting from scratch, it may be a good idea to hire someone who can set the website up initially and work with people in your church to take it from there.
Your church website can be an important place for people to use their spiritual gifts. Don’t assume that such a ministry is all up to you. You can involve all kinds of people, and (as we’ll see next) especially young people.