Your church website is an investment, not a cost

When it comes to discussing websites with churches – one of the biggest considerations is always cost.

This has been brought into focus by the survey on church websites we’ve been running recently. (If you haven’t already filled it out – we’d appreciate your opinion). One thing that has come out of the results so far is that most churches want a website with high levels of functionality. However when it comes to the budget available for a website – churches either have none, or have a very small amount (less than $1000).

This is quite understandable in one sense. Money is always tight in a Church’s budget – and a website is often viewed merely as an additional expense.

Well I’d like to challenge that notion!

An Investment, not a cost

If your church’s website is seen as just another cost, then you aren’t looking hard enough at all they ways a website can benefit you – both in an administrative sense and in ministry.

When you start to view the expense of your church’s website in terms of an investment to help your church operate more effectively – your whole perspective changes. So your website should be seen as an investment – but in investment in what?

 

An Investment in time saving

From a purely administrative perspective – a church website can save you time when it comes to providing answers to common queries that people have.

How much of your ministry or administrative team’s time is taken up on the phone or replying to emails – fielding queries about when the kids club meets, who is serving this week, or when and where to come along? Is that time they could spend better on other things?

A well designed website that clearly presents those types of information could drastically reduce the amount of time that has to be spent responding to queries. Freeing time up for much more important things.

How much is that worth?

 

An Investment in welcoming people to your church

When someone new comes along to your church – do they know what to expect?

Do they know when (or where to come)? Do they know what to expect from the service? Do they know what sort of people are going to be there, or what they should wear? This can be quite an uncomfortable experience – perhaps even scary.

Your website is an opportunity to give people that kind of information up front. Clear instructions about location and times, a rundown of what happens during a service, and photos of actual members of the congregation can present a much more welcoming face of your church. And people can feel much more comfortable about coming along for the first time and feeling welcomed.

How much is that worth?

 

An Investment in organised events.

Whether you’re running an outreach/community focussed event, or something for your existing members – you obviously want as many people as possible to come along.

There can be a lot of work involved in promoting the event, sending out flyers, reponding to questions, collecting registrations & organising them. All these activities take away from the time you have to actually put together an amazing event on the day.

A website with event management capabilities could be the central place you send people (with all the information they need) to find out about the event and take their registrations online. You could even have them pay for the event through the website. Think of how much time that would free up to put on the best event ever.

How much is that worth?

 

An Investment in promoting giving

Here we are talking about money again. It’s no secret that encouraging giving within the congregation can often be difficult.

Irregular attendance, forgetfulness and little things (like having no cash in your wallet) can make it easy for giving to sporadic and highly variable.

Online Giving facilities on a website can not only make it convenient and easy for you members to give, but can also set up recurring payments – so you don’t have to rely on them to remember.

How much is that worth?

 

An Investment in the Kingdom

What is it worth to see people from your community visit your church and hear the Gospel – maybe for the first time?

What is it worth to have someone stumble across your website and find Jesus through the words of the most recent sermon?

What is it worth to have someone be discipled through the articles on your website?

The ways in which a website can help you reach people and share the Gospel are many. It can be another tool in the way you reach the community around you, and throughout the world.

How much is that worth?

 

A worthwhile investment

When you stop thinking of your church’s website as an additional cost, and start thinking of it as an investment in ministry – the expense involved is seen from a whole new perspective.

I challenge you to think about the ways your church website could work better for you (in organisation and in ministry) and to let that impact they way you think about spending money on it.

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