In my recent post 10 church trends for 2006 I included church websites as one of the points:
9. Lovely websites
Churches will discover that having a lovely website is a good idea. There will be a dramatic rise in up to date service information available online, up from 0.2% of churches to 0.4% of churches.
It does mildly frustrate me when I want to find out about a church and can’t do it via the internet as:
- I know that some hardworking volunteer has probably typed up all the information for church leaflets, magazines and newsletters already.
- Making an easily updatable website (sometimes referred to as a blog) is now really quite easy.
- Supplying this information to the general public who now often use a search engine to get the information they are requiring would be a great boost to the ‘visibility’ of most churches in their local areas.
As Doc Searls says in a recent piece on ‘The Chronological Web‘:
This helps, for example, when we talk to civilians who are new to the Web and want to “put up a website”. Very often what they really need is a blog. Especially if what they’re doing is timely. Think of schools, churches, civic organizations. Updating a “site” is a chore. Worse, it usually turns into an art (architecture, design, construction…) project that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars and can’t be altered or updated by the very organization that it’s created for. Blogs are written, not constructed. Updating them can be as easy as writing an email. Yet there’s nothing about a blog that excludes static pages. You can still have an “about” page, or any number of other pages that are permanent fixtures.
So, churches: try and think about getting yourselves online if you aren’t already. People who know how to set up a blog: why not think about offering to help your local church or non-profit group on the virtual map?