Key Functions Of A Church Website

Attending church on Sunday gives members a chance to connect with others, hear the Word and get spiritually prepared for the week that follows. But, you don’t have to go the entire week without communication with your church if they have a church website.

Churches can come into the 21st century with ease. Even if they aren’t technologically savvy, they can create a website, particularly in WordPress, that can serve several functions for their members as well as the community at large. The Internet is a fantastic way to spread the gospel not only to those in the immediate area of your church but also the world at large.

So, what now that we have established that a website is a good thing for any and every church, what functions does it need to serve? Below are some of the key purposes for having a website that represents your congregation.

Key functions for your church website

Visibility

Your members know that you exist but what about others in the community? Anyone looking for a church home or just a place to examine the Word of God can view your website as that destination. Anyone who wants to find out what you believe and how you go about sharing that message can view this information on your website.

Catching members up on current events

If any member misses a Sunday at church, they can see what they missed on your website. From sermon notes, to audio of the sermon to video, the impact that is felt by those in the pews can be shared by these members at anytime during the week.

Inform

For many, your website will serve as their “first impression” of you and your congregation. It needs to tell them your story in the simplest terms: your vision statement, your mission statement, your staff members as well as your location and contact details. You can also give them a sense of who you are and how you interact by posting pictures of the ministerial staff.

Expand Your Reach

Get people interested in what you are interested in – Spreading the gospel to as many as need to hear it. It is your chance to spread the word in a lively and engaging way. Discuss what your church is doing in the community to help those who God terms “the least of these.” Your message can be heard throughout the world with the use of the internet.

Provide spiritual resources

Your website can be used to share valuable information about the Bible. You can include content on various topics in the Bible besides just sharing sermon notes. Include links to online bibles and other resources that people can bookmark for later use.

Your church website is not just for the members but anyone who wants to learn more about how you serve God.

Connect With Younger Church Members Through WordPress Plugins

The lifeblood of any church is their youngest members. These will be the people who will carry on after the elders have passed on. They will continue to carry the torch for the church and its ministry. Did you know you can use your church website to connect with them?

A church website serves many purposes. It is an extension of your church ministry and the smaller ministries that flourish as well within its doors. Here, you can express to others what that ministry is all about and bring them in.

When it comes to younger members, they are going to be more technologically savvy than some of the older ones. They will also embrace technology more easily. You can use that by adding WordPress plugins to your church website.

What are plugins?

They are features that people have created for WordPress to make it capable of helping you do more things. Keep reading to find out ways that you can reach and stay in touch with younger parishioners with them.

WordPress plugins for connecting with younger church members

Social media plugins

Just about every young person is a part of at least one social media community. Install social media plugins for all the popular social media sites so younger members can just click on them to share relevant information about church activities with their network of friends.

Embedding plugins

Embedding allows you to hide different things within your website. You can embed videos here that young people can click on and view. In today’s “instant” society it is a way to keep young people current without boring them. They can receive what you want them to see with ease. Example: TGN Embed Everything

Twitter tools

Use Twitter plugins to help keep the youth in your church up-to-date on new happenings. Most kids use Twitter anyway and now they can communicate with their church in the same way that they communicate with their friends.

Speed plugins

One such plugin is W3 Total Cache. It allows visitors to process pages faster. This is often an issue when there are a lot of visitors to your site. As a ministry, you want to increase the traffic to your church website. Just in case your server is slow, you can get things moving and that is what young people want – speed of information.

Filtering plugin

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam is a plugin for your WordPress blog that filters out spam comments. A blog attached to your church website is a good idea especially with young people who you want to get involved. Now, they can do so without unwanted spamming.

Widgets

You can add and change these out in the sidebar. Make sure your theme is able to accept widgets. Include social bookmarking widgets, categories for content and pages, RSS feeds and a search bar for your website.

What Next?

To connect with younger members in your church, bring the church to them through WordPress plugins and more on your church website.

How to Generate More Traffic to Your Church Website

Church Website TrafficIf your church is a great place to be then let others know about it. Advertising can be pricey especially if you have a small congregation. You can still get the word out though by driving traffic to your website.

Think about online businesses. Traffic represents potential visitors to your website. You want them to come on in for a visit and see what you have to offer. But, how do you get them there? Here are some ideas to help your church maximize the number of unique visitors to their website.

Generating Traffic for little money

One thing that churches have to consider is their budget. You want to be thought of as good stewards of God’s money and use it in an intelligent way. With generating traffic, there is several free or low cost or ways out there to help.

Social media

There is nothing wrong with churches becoming involved in social media. You want to go where the members and potential members already are. Create a church page on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Provide members with several avenues to reach out to the community as well as other members of the congregation. Tweet what is going on during the youth trip; create pages on Facebook for different organizations within the church (youth, singles, seniors); network with other pastors in the area on MySpace.

YouTube

This is a social media site but for videos. Upload videos of sermons, church programs (Easter Passion play, Christmas pageant, etc.), and footage of members participating in community outreach projects. Give others a sense of who you are as a church body.

Keyword content

Content is always going to keep people coming back to your site. Keep it fresh and relevant with targeted keywords. What are the big topics out there for your target market these days? If you want to reach younger generations, think of creating content using keywords pertaining to the issues that affect them today. This makes your church website searchable. Also place fresh posts on your blog. Search engines love blog posts.

Guest post on other ministry blogs

When you gain visibility as a minister, you can also gain visibility for your church. Use your expertise as a man or woman of God to highlight what is going on in your own congregation.

Use your signature line

Don’t let an opportunity pass where you are not mentioning your church. When you send letters to other congregations, send church emails and the like, make use of your signature. Include the website address for your church and your tagline if you have one. All official church correspondence needs to include this information as well on its letterhead.

People can’t worship with you if they don’t know that you exist. Spread the word about your church website.

Using Your Website to Build Your Congregation

You have to start somewhere with congregation building. All churches start small at first. If you are looking to build your membership, use your church website to do it.

God can use small. He often used small things and people to make great strides for Him in the world. You can do the same for Him with your website and efforts to build up your congregation. When there are more people in the seats, there are more laborers to harvest for His glory. This is not about competition with other churches but building a physical and financial base for God’s people in this world.

A church home gives you a place to plant your spiritual roots. You can give your children and grandchildren a place to connect with God and His people. So, how can you use your website to add to your numbers?

Build your congregation through your website

What do people look for in a church?
Think about it.

Your answers will determine how you can use your website to draw people to your congregation.

Events Calendar

People have different needs when it comes to a church home. Some like a smaller congregation and some like a larger one. An events calendar tells others what activities your church is participating in on a weekly and monthly basis. Learn when the church is serving at a soup kitchen, collecting clothing for a drive, having a bible study and also different church group meetings.

Create an “About Us” or “What we believe” page

This is the first place that people will look. They want to know where your church’s heart lies. What are your beliefs and how do you plan on implementing them? This is the part of your website that spells out the basis of your stand in the church community. What is your denomination? What version of the bible do you use? Do you serve communion? What about feet washing and prayer meetings?

Clear and helpful content

People are looking for answers these days. You can provide them through content that speaks to the heart of the matters that are on people’s minds. Create content that will teach using the Word of God as the basis for what you say.

Blog community

Here, not only church members but others can join in the conversation about a host of topics. You can post questions for others to answer. Open an honest dialogue can bring visitors to your blog to the door of your church. It can also be a place to offer prayer to those who need it.

Church member interaction

Post pictures, blurbs and descriptions of activities that your church participates in. Create a page for each church group that they can update with content and photos. Visitors can get a sense of how your congregation interacts together.

One way to build a congregation (and inexpensively) is to use a church website.

Two Important Types of WordPress Plugins for Your Church Website

WordPress PLuginIf you have a WordPress church website, you can make it even better by employing plugins. Plugins can give your website and its message new life.

You already know that you need a church website. It can give a big boost to your ministry. First, it lets others know that you exist and have something to offer them. Second, it allows you to open up your gospel message to a wider audience of people – the entire world. Third, it helps your congregation to keep updated and connected even when they can’t physically attend church. Basically, it is an extension of who you are as a church body.

So, what can you do to enhance what you have already done by creating a WordPress church website? You’ve already proven that even technology novices can manage a website successfully and professionally. Now, make it more functional for users of all ages.

There are thousands of plugins that you can checkout at WordPress.org. With so many choices, which ones will work best for your requirements? Here are 2 that we think that every church website needs to have.

2 Important Types of WordPress Plugins

Calendar

Every church website needs a calendar for all members to view. It can list all of the events that your church is planning including times of various services, bible studies, different ministry events, trips, community projects and more. Then, you can have upcoming events showcased in the sidebar so people can see what is going on right now and in the near future at a glance. Try Events Made Easy or Events Manager.

Contact form

Want to know who is visiting your site and wants to know more? You can use analytics to see the number of unique visitors and how your keywords are driving traffic. But a contact form gives you a list of names and information you can use to keep in touch with those who may want to become a part of your ministry. It makes it easier to run email campaigns and run bible studies online on your website. Try Gravity Forms or Formidable.

Turn your website into a useful tool for your ministry with these plugins.

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