United Methodist Communications
Saturday, August 15, 2020

Why Have A Site?


A NEW DAY

"With over 60% of Americans now having Internet access and 40% of Americans having been online for more than three years, the Internet has become a mainstream information tool." 

So begins a report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In the past 5 years, the Internet has so penetrated the American conscience it is almost unthinkable anyone would open for business without opening a digital front door as well. Our culture has come to expect information to be found online. The Pew study found that fifty-eight percent of Americans, when asked where they will go for basic information about government services, would first go online. Sixty-nine percent of all Americans expect to find up to the minute news on line. Sixty-three percent of Americans expect businesses to have a Web site.

A radical shift has occurred in our society. “Terms such as electronic commerce, e-health, telemedicine, and e-government were novel ten years ago. Today, major newspapers and magazines routinely have special sections on these topics.” We live in an information driven society. We assume information can be garnered about any topic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


MEETING EXPECTATIONS

This shift makes it imperative that local churches and ministries have a Web site, but not just any web site. Today’s Internet users have matured in their expectations. They expect information to be accurate and up to date. They expect timely news and information to be added to the site regularly. As Web savvy has grown, users have come to expect excellence in graphic design and information layout as well.

Churches can no longer afford to put up a Web site which is lacking in any of these areas, if they intend to effectively open there digital front door. More and more, potential visitors are navigating first to your church's Web site. What they find there will significantly influence their decision to visit your church.


BEING CHURCH

More important than any of these considerations, of course, is the commission Christ left with us at his ascension. God has called us to expand his kingdom by going into the entire world preaching the Good News, making disciples, and teaching them to obey all of Christ’s commandments. Because of the Internet, the ability to carry out this mission has never been more possible. Whether we make our proclamation to the far reaches of the world, or to our neighbor next door, the information superhighway has given us a powerful tool to rapidly spread Jesus’ kingdom message.


THE SOLUTION

The question is how we create a Web site which can be an effective ministry tool, without spending thousands of dollars on graphic design, hardware, software, and training. The answer is E-zekiel. Thousands of churches have come to realize the importance of jumping technology hurdles so that they can get on to the more important work of ministry. E-zekiel’s easy to use system allows anyone who can use an Internet browser and a word processor to create a beautiful site and keep it updated with ease.Churches both large and small can quickly create a site to which the whole ministry will be proud of and visitors will be drawn.