Conduct Bible Studies On Your Website

Life is busy these days. We have all the best intentions to make it to Tuesday night bible study but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. What if you could attend a virtual bible study? Then, you could work it into your busy schedule.

Why is bible study important?

Bible study is like eating. When you are hungry you eat food. It nourishes the physical body so you can carry on with your daily activities. The Bible is food for the soul. When you read it, you gain spiritual nourishment so you can carry on with your daily activities with God to guide you.

Just like food, it is important to get the right kind of bible study to stay nourished. By this we mean the correct interpretation of the Word. It is easy to go astray when we study alone without any guidance from a church leader or others who are trained in biblical texts.

Conducting your own bible study on your church website

There are several print and online resources available to conduct bible studies. You can incorporate one of those or use material of your own. Either way you can set things up to work as an online bible study.

Choose your material

Above we gave you a couple of choices for the material source. Whatever the source, be sure that there is an online version that can be purchased and then uploaded to your website for use by those who want to participate in the bible study. If you create your own material, save the file in a format that is easily uploaded to the website.

Decide on a system of accountability

While the bible study is free, you might want to create a registration form to see who is participating. It will help you to capture demographic information especially for those who are not members of your church. You can see how far-reaching your study is.

Create a forum

This will be where you and your class will discuss the material of the lesson. If you want something a bit less complicated, you can create a bible study members only area on your website. When each person signs up, they get a password to enter the area for the bible study class.

Create weekly lessons

Each week, post the lesson to be read. You can even create questions for the class to answer. In the forum or members only area, discussion can take place on bible study day. Also, if anyone has any question before class they can post them here for the leader to answer and provide clarification.

Teleconference option

Another option to consider is conducting the discussion over the phone. You can reserve a teleconference room with an access number so people can dial in and join the bible study from anywhere they happen to be at the time. This could be used for the first class so everyone can introduce themselves. This could also be done over a Google hangout or a webinar.

Want to increase your effectiveness as a church? Conduct bible studies on your website. Bible study can be conducted anywhere with a church website. Use your site to share biblical knowledge with people everywhere.

Top 5 Ways to Customize your Church Website

Your church website is the first thing that many people will see of you when they find you on the Internet. You want to convey to them the same warmth of spirit and energy that they will encounter when they step through the doors of your church. You can help communicate this picture by customizing your website.

You have created a website. Now what?

If you have created a WordPress website, then there is much more to come. You don’t have to decide on just one theme or look for your site to represent it forever. WordPress is versatile and it offers you the ability to be versatile as well.

So, how can you customize your church website? Here are some ideas.

5 Ways to customize your church website

Choose a versatile template

These templates are affordable for churches. Depending on your needs, choose one that includes the widgets, color schemes and features that you will need to bring your church to life in cyberspace. For example, some templates feature certain widgets, maybe even a scripture finder for those using the site. Also, if you want to option of embedding videos and other items in your site, choose a template that allows you to do that. Make it social media friendly – Members can easily share information like video links and even podcast links with others on social websites when you make it available on your site for them to do so.

Create a new look for each page

Your church is a large entity with several small entities inside of it, i.e. your distinct ministries. Use different page templates to create a unique look for the youth ministry page, the outreach ministry page, the bible study page and others. Allow each ministry to express itself in the way that seems best to them.

Automate your content turnover

You can upload new content and then have it publish to your site (“go live”) on a preset schedule. Encourage members to write pieces for the website for different categories and then upload, edit and schedule them to show up when you want them to. Do it all at one time so you don’t have to tend to it every day.

Add interactive content

This could be anything from questionnaires that show certain responses based on visitor input to biblical games for youth and teens. This gives visitors and members something to do and not just to read. These interactive games can be used in Sunday school classes.

Lots of churches have websites but none of them has the same look as yours. In order to stand out, customize your church website to reflect your congregation and its needs.

Turn Your Best Sermons Into Winning Content For Your Website

That sermon from last Sunday stays in your head all week long. It was just so powerful that you find it guiding you through several situations. Give others that experience as well when you turn your sermons into great website content.

When you listen to a sermon in the church, there is one way (maybe two ways to receive it) – hearing and seeing. Mainly you are hearing the words that have been given to the pastor for God’s flock. If you are in the audience and even the overflow (if there are big televisions available) then you can see on the face of the pastor, how God is using him.

Why not give this precious message to the world? You can if you take the time to turn your sermons into content for your church website. Keep reading to find out the many ways that you can do this to the glory of God.

Turning Sermons into Website Content

Record your sermon

First, a recording of the sermon is needed. You can then transcribe it into article form for posting on your church website in a Sermon section. If there is a lot of information to include, divide the sermon into pages for easier loading to the site and also easier reading. Another option is to break a long sermon up into shorter articles and them posting them over several days for a new spiritual nugget to discover all week.

Create a podcast

You can create audio files of the sermon or just of the insights that the pastor wants to share about the sermon to go along with the content on the website. Podcasts can be downloaded to smartphones for listening on the go at any time you want.

Create a video

Make a video of the sermon. Those who view it on your website can get the full experience of both hearing and seeing in real time what others saw in the audience on Sunday. This can be a great way for others to get a sense of the pastor’s style of preaching.

Create online products

One sermon can be turned into a bible study for the church, workbooks to be purchased for bible studies at other churches or in the homes, and content that can be shared on other sites. You can create church PLR (Private Label Rights) article packs to help others to create an interesting church or spiritual website. This is one way to bring a little revenue to your church (especially if you are small) as you spread the Word.

Post videos on YouTube

You can use searchable keyword tags so others can find your church. Include links and also your church information at the end of the video.

The influence of your sermon doesn’t have to stop on Sunday. Increase your reach by turning those words from God into website content.

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.

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