the website to connect parishioners with the pastor and staff
through special messages or sermons/homilies. Tie the messages
into holidays, parish issues, etc. This
can be an easy way for church members to get to know their pastor
or deacon or religious educuator and learn of their views on ethical
and timely issues. Don't be afraid to tackle even the most disturbing
topics; if the people are talking about it, the leadership needs
to address it.
Give each parish office and ministry their section of the website
as a place to distribute their resources, post notices of events,
and answer any questions that people would normally phone the
office or ministry about. Make a separate "folder" (directory)
for each office and ministry, for example:
Post the church directory and update it continually as a source
of accurate, dependable information.
Keep an up-to-date calendar of parish events online. Use photos
and other graphics to add eye-appeal.
List special events taking place outside the parish, such as conferences,
retreats, concerts, Pro-Life marches, etc., with hyper-links to
the websites of the sponsors of the events. Your webpages could
include biographical information on the speakers, directions to
the event, registration information, etc.
Promote all fundraisers with excitement and make it interesting
enough so that parishioners will want to look at it.
People don't like being asked to donate more money, so they won't
look at webpages on fundraisers unless they perceive there will
be some benefit for themselves. Put a Treasure Hunt or Contest
or some other enticement on these pages.
Include the parish Mission Statement, the history of the parish,
and related photos.
Make sure the website is helpful to individuals as well as parish
ministries. What do people on both sides of the church office
door want more information about? Offer the information that website
Make the site interactive to give visitors a greater
interest level as well as reasons to repeatedly return to this
site. Give them something to do other than look up information.
Make all webpages user-friendly and easy to navigate. Limit the
quick-loading. Avoid features that require website visitors to
have the latest and "greatest" downloaded software,
because most people are using computers that have not caught up
with everything that is now available. Many are afraid or unwilling
to download a program just to make your site work.
Turn the website into a resource where the non-church members
can go to find accurate and helpful information about your faith,
the parish, and the Church's stand on ethical and timely issues.
Provide articles, scriptures, original photos and artwork, questions
and answers about the faith, and other material for the sake of
inspiring the website visitors and encouraging spiritual growth.
This can also become a resource for the leaders of ministries
to use in their evangelization efforts.
this tutorial as a printable Word Document.
are inexpensive enough to warrant a church or ministry getting
its own URL. You shouldn't need to spend more than $20 per month.
Great Christian-owned Web hosting services can be found on
choosing a URL for a new website, imagine a parishioner has forgotten
the address and is guessing what it is. What would he try? Keep
it simple and easy to guess.
space on the home page for an eye-grabbing announcement that changes
often, promoting whatever page on the website is most important
at that time, be it an upcoming parish picnic, or a legislative
alert that you want people to call their Senators about, or the
newest addition to the website.
that the primary reason to have a website is for ministry. How
does the church or organization typically minister to people?
Do it on the website, too!
a survey to put online and in the church bulletin to find out
what the people would consider interesting and what needs they
have that they want the website to meet. Post the survey results
online for everyone to see and advertise this.
a free post card service for your website, and create cards using
pictures of your church or special events. Every recipient of
a card becomes a potential new visitor!