Churches MUST have a sign to help visitors find them.
Today, that sign is on the Internet. Every church should have a website.
In the past, some church leaders either did not see the need for learning what the Internet is all about or they felt that it was too technically involved for them to learn. Fortunately, many of those folks now use email and browse the websites that they feel are both safe and valuable. But some still do not have a website for their church.
It is a fact that the church cannot retain a 20th century mindset and expect to be effective in the 21st century. People of this generation are more familiar (and comfortable) with Facebook than with a hymn book. It is not enough for a church to just “be there” — in brick and mortar — and expect new people to come and fill it up. Old school outreach techniques like bus ministry and tent meetings have lost favor with the current generation. For most younger people today, if it doesn’t work on their iPhone or Blackberry, then it probably isn’t relevant.
Even though they might desire to reach the younger generation, they may feel unable to do so. Added to the lack of technical ability, some smaller churches feel that the financial cost of maintaining a web presence is too much for their already strained budgets.
It is my desire to help ALL Christian churches to overcome some of these obstacles. I have two projects that are designed to do just that:
- The FREE Online Christian Community, “Beyond The Limits Of Church” is open for business at http://btloc.com. This community is very similar to Facebook and offers most of the same capabilities. One difference is that rather than seeing unending notices of someone’s Farmville “accomplishments” (or other game reports), the BTLOC will have true notes between Christian friends. Another difference is that most users will qualify for a FREE website hosted on the system.
- The second project is the Church Locator at http://churchloc.com. This site is a place where anyone in the world can search for a church or Christian business. Christians are welcome to submit their website for inclusion (free). Having a site included on the Church Locator will not only increase the number of visitors but also help develop a better ranking on the various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).
Give these two projects a look. I trust that they will help you overcome some of the roadblocks to 21st century ministry!