Perhaps one of the most important aspects of your ministry is your ability to communicate with your audience. Unfortunately far too many ministries still operate from the antiquated position of communicating with their audience strictly from across the pulpit and / or weekly bulletins. This is a mistake. The main reason why this is such a big mistake is because it doesn’t take into account that times have drastically changed in the 21st Century.
Like it or not you must embrace the concept that your entire congregation will not all be at church at one time. People’s lives have become busier and more complicated than ever and the Church must find new ways of communicating that works for their audience. To fight against this is futile. Your ministry simply will not thrive if you don’t embrace technology and utilize it properly as it relates to communicating with your audience.
Your website gives you the Power of Communication with your audience like no other medium at your disposal. In fact I argue that the website is the BEST medium for communication that a church has. Why? Well look at it like this. Only your website is able to present your message consistently, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. What other method of communication do you have that comes close to that?
For this reason your website should be the Central Hub of Communications for your ministry. This means that ALL ministry information should flow through the website FIRST. Of course you can and should still use other methods of communication, but none will give you the consistency of your website.
So I want to challenge you to begin thinking about your ministry differently. Instead of thinking about your ministry one dimensionally, begin thinking about it from the vantage point of running everything through your website. What would happen if everything relative to the ministry was driven through and communicated with your website? Imagine the level of efficiency that you would have. The website can be used to process the internal systems of the ministry, facilitate communications and requests from members, disseminate ministry resources, give warm greetings to visitors and handle all the other systems and communications of the ministry. But in order to do that you must begin thinking about the ministry differently.
So let’s examine just three ways out of many, that you can leverage the power of your website.
EVENTS. Every ministry wants their events to be successful and well attended. One of the fundamental ways of getting the word out to your entire audience is to post well designed, graphic banner advertisements on your home page for all your events. These banners should ideally rotate like electronic billboards allowing your audience to see all your major events within a few minutes of landing on your home page.
MEMBER SERVICE CENTER. There are certain routine services that churches provide for their members, such as hospital visitation, wedding ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, baptisms, etc. Ideally your website should have forms that the member can fill out and submit to request these services. Once submitted these forms can be automatically sent to the staff person who would need to handle each individual request. With a system like this in place the ministry becomes more automated and systematic as it relates to these routine requests.
MINISTRY TO SMALLER GROUPS. As the pastor, on Sunday mornings you must focus on connecting with and communicating with your entire audience. This means that you can’t focus on a smaller group (i.e., women, men, married couples, singles, etc.). But through your website you have the ability to speak to the smaller groups within your church. For example, lets say that you want to work on building strong marriages. You could, from the comfort of your kitchen table or desk, record a series of candid, digital videos designed to encourage, strengthen and build strong marriages. Then you could send an email to all the married couples with a link inviting them to view the video. Once they click on it they will be transported to your website where they will receive the latest installment of the marriage building material that you are sending them. Wow! What a way to add value to people. Do you think the married couples will be blessed by it? You better believe it. And we have many other ideas along this line that we’d love to share with you, to help you maximize this technology and get the most out of it.
These are just a few examples of ways to leverage your website to get the most out of it. Ideally the 21st Century ministry should run as many of its international operations through the website as possible. Your website can help you become more systematic in your approach to routine things allowing you to focus more energies and resources on “ministry”.
But in order to make your website the Central Hub of your ministry you must first make the mental shift and begin to see your website for the valuable communication tool that it really is. It’s not just a good thing to have so you are not behind the times. Your website is an essential tool and the face of your ministry on the Internet.
Remember God is the originator of technology. Website technology comes from him. It was created FOR the Church. As a wise and profitable steward of the Kingdom you MUST embrace this technology and maximize it.