You may be wondering why Church websites are not effective. When I say this, I'm not referring to a Spiritual or doctrinal issue for Churches, but rather a wise use of resources and how a Church chooses to present itself to its community and the world. Church websites have gone a long way the past few years, but they still have a long way to go. A website shouldn't be a determining factor on whether a Church is a good Church to attend or not, but it is sometimes looked at in this way. Therefore, it's the Church's responsibility to make sure its website is a good quality.
Have you ever seen something that looks like this?
This is called a QR Code. If you have a smartphone, you can you a QR Code Scanner app and essentially take a picture of it with the app. It will open up a website once you "scan" it into your phone. It's easy to set them up, and you probably see them all over advertisements, especially at restaurants, airports, and possibly cinemas. You can put one on the back of your church bulletin, in your church newsletter, or other places that you wish to place them.
You can go to a website, such as www.the-qrcode-generator.com, to create one for your church. You put in the website that you want (for instance, if you want to put a link to a page on your church's website about your church's Resurrection Sunday service, you can put that link if you create one - e.g. www.yourchurchnamehere.org/resurrectionsundayservice), or even a link to your church's social media page, and then you can download the QR code onto your computer as an image. If you choose it to be a static QR code, you can only use that QR code for that one website, but if you make it a dynamic QR code, you can change the website every now and then and just use the same QR code for other opportunities as well (however, you will have to then register for the website to be able to change it in the future).
When you save the QR code onto your computer, it may make it a zip file; if so, then you'll need to first extract (or unzip) the file before you can use it. You'll either want a .png or .jpeg/.jpg file if possible. You can test out the QR code above. It leads to the website of my upcoming book, Using Technology for Your Church: A Guide for Pastors and Church Leaders. Be creative in how you use the QR code for your church, and be sure to list above or below the QR code that it is a QR code and that they need to scan it into an app (especially if your church is small). An example sentence is: Scan the above (or below) QR code into your smartphone's QR Scanner app to find more info about _______.
This is a bonus lesson on technology for your church which is not found in my upcoming book Using Technology for Your Church: A Guide for Pastors and Church Leaders. Be sure to get the book when it comes out soon. Check out www.helpingchurchesgrow.org/churchtechbook for more information. If you purchase the book, you will also get a link to get bonus materials. Also, check out this new endorsement for the book:
While a Facebook page is free for your church (and can be a great asset), a website is invaluable for your church. It is also essential that you get a domain name for the church. GoDaddy is the best place to go for this. Weebly is a suggestion for developing your website, though there are many other options available online.
Make sure to have these on the website:
Be sure to regularly update your church website, as you don't want people to have outdated information that they see. If possible, assign a person on your church staff to regularly update the church's website (or do it yourself).
The title of this blog is also a very popular test for computer programs. It is the first program some programmers create when they use a new programming language. It also is an introduction to this blog for pastors who wish to grow their church.
I created this website to give inspiration to pastors and church leaders on ways they can grow their church. I started this site as a response to needing a website for my new book Using Technology for Your Church: A Guide for Pastors and Church Leaders. As with most of my other books, I wanted to create a website for it, but when talking with a marketer a few days ago, I realized that, while a book website is great, it would be even better to create a website that has content, such as a blog, that can be updated as necessary.
So, with this first blog post, I will get into the church growth information. The website may eventually include more techniques other than technology that can be used to aid church growth, but for now this is the main topic of the website.
The first advice I must give is that, for a church to grow, the church needs a website. However, I won't talk about websites in this post. I want you to get started on something much simpler. A website, while it can be easy and quick to create, generally will take a while. Something quicker and easier is creating a Facebook page. Assuming that you already have a Facebook account for yourself (which is free), you can create a Facebook page (also free) for your church. On the Facebook homepage, click "Pages" under the "Explore" section on the left side of the screen. Once on the "Pages" screen, click "Create Page" on the right side. Select "Company, Organization, or Institution." Follow the on-screen instructions from there to create your page. Once you have created the page, you can invite Facebook friends to "like" the page (it doesn't have to just be people who attend the church. Be sure to announce to your church about the new Facebook page, and even put the URL (what you see at https:// at the top of the screen when you're on the main page of your Facebook page) in the church bulletin. Be sure to post occasionally on the Facebook page. Also make sure you have added the church's address, phone number, email address, and church hours on the Facebook page.
Be sure to come back and visit this website regularly for more ways to grow your church.
Jeremy G. Woods is co-founder of FaithVenture Media and co-founder/President of Potter's House Ministries in Romania. With FaithVenture Media, one of his goals is to get Churches a custom Church website within their budget. He wrote Using Technology for Your Church: A Guide for Pastors and Church Leaders to help Churches grow without sacrificing their Christian values.