3 Reasons Why Your Church Needs an Online Presence

3 Reasons Why Your Church Needs an Online Presence

Is it okay if I step up on my soapbox for a moment? This is a subject that I am very passionate about. In fact, one of the main reasons I freelance as a web designer is because I want to help churches develop their own online presence and ministries. I believe it is important for three reasons. Let me tell you why.

1. People will ask Google before they ask you.

If we have a question about something we know nothing about, what is they first thing we do? We pull out our smart devices, open our browsers and search for the answer. We trust Google with everything nowadays. Where’s the closest library? Is there a swimming pool nearby? Where can I find a Thai restaurant in Atlanta? And about 90% of the time, we find exactly what we are looking for. So, if someone in your neighborhood searches for “churches near me,” you want to make sure your church is listed. Not only that, your church needs to have a good looking, winsome website. In today’s world, your website is essentially your church’s first impression. It tells people everything they need to know about your congregation before you go. Your church could have the best music, best preacher, and the sweetest people in the world; if your website looks sloppy, people will not want to visit. It is as simple as that.

2. Believers are spending more and more time on their phones.

According to the Barna Group’s “State of the Bible 2018” study:

More than half of [Bible] users now search for Bible content on the internet (57%) or a smartphone (55%), and another 42 percent use a Bible app on their phones.

We live in a day when people don’t have to wait until Sunday or Wednesday night to hear a sermon. We have 24/7 access to Bible teaching via the internet. I have heard from several pastors that they are working on developing blogs and podcasts to keep up with the growing need for biblical resources online. Your church’s online presence isn’t just for nonbelievers; it is also for your members. Your church’s website and social media pages should serve as a tool for helping your congregation grow in spiritual maturity. With a website you can upload sermon audio, post your church’s statement of faith, explain the Gospel in a video, etc. And your members can access these things at any time. Don’t waste this opportunity to edify and strengthen your brothers and sisters in Christ.

3. The Gospel is in everyone’s pocket. They just need to be notified.

Let’s just admit it. We all love seeing that we have notifications on social media. There is something about that little red bell that makes us feel like others care about us. Most of our notifications are simply likes on our selfies and comments on the funny meme we shared. Church, we are missing so many opportunities here. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat we have a direct connection to our friends’ lives. We have been given a digital soapbox to share the Gospel with them wherever they are. Someone’s eternity could change with one post, message, or share.

This has huge implications for missions as well. In fact, I know of many people here in Thailand who live in very remote areas in the mountains. They may not have cars or fancy homes, but they have Facebook and email. I should note that nothing will ever take the place of face-to-face witnessing and evangelism. But, God is doing some incredible things through Internet evangelism ministries like GlobalRize (who are always in need of volunteers, by the way).  We would be foolish to neglect this incredible opportunity in the history of world missions.


I hope this has helped you understand how important an online presence is for the local church. If you are interested in learning about how to develop one for your local church, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to talk with you. In the meantime, feel free to check out my web design portfolio for some examples of websites I have designed in the past. May the Lord bless you as you seek to make Him know all over the world [wide web].

black and white typewriter

Oh, Be Careful Little Fingers What You Type

This morning I woke up with a million different things I wanted to write about. But, soon a problem emerged. I didn’t need a million ideas, I just needed one. I started drafting a post for today, but half-way through I felt like God was saying “no.” And as I read through what I had written, I realized what He meant. It is a subject that one day I want to talk about, but at this point it is not ready. In fact, in its current draft it would likely not accomplish its intended goal at all. It needs time to developed and thought out.

God does not call us to do things with indifference. Instead, everything we do should be done as unto the Lord. Colossians 3:17 says,

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Brothers and sisters, one day we will all have to give an account for everything we have done, thought, and spoken (2 Corinthians 5:10). This includes every Facebook post, every email, every text, every Google search, and every blog post. Deleting a post or clearing one’s browser history does not hide it from God. So, be extremely careful with what you write and share online.

Also, take time to develop your ideas. Maybe they are not ready now, but they will be in the future. It could be that God is protecting both you and your audience from unnecessary pain. I still regret some things I have written in the past. Because of my pride, arrogance, and hastiness I decided to share them publicly before I had taken the time to pray about them and develop them properly. The results always ended poorly. It can also be wise to run your ideas by a trusted friend and/or mentor who will give you honest feedback.

Moving forward, I pray that we would all be quicker to hear and slower to speak (James 1:19). We must learn to listen to God’s voice before we decide to amplify our own. We should be like megaphones in the hands of God, simply tools for proclaiming His Word. Ultimately, the world doesn’t need my blog or yours, but it does need Jesus.

3 Apps to Help You Grow Closer to God

3 Apps to Help You Grow Closer to God

Today I present you with three IOS apps that I use almost daily in my quiet times, in-depth Bible study, and sermon preparation. I have tried a lot of different Bible and prayer apps over the years, but most of them I end up deleting at some point. These three have stood the test of time (so far).

Blue Letter Bible

blue letter bible app

This is hands down my favorite Bible app for several reasons. First, the app is free to download. Second, it has wonderful study tools built-in to help you dig deeper into the Word of God. I particularly like the interlinear/concordance feature, especially when I am doing a word study. Also, with a WiFi connection you have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of sermons, commentary, and teaching about any verse you click on. Finally, the developers have even included several different Bible reading plans for you to use. You can easily keep track of what you have read by checking each chapter off as you go. Whether you are a new Christian or a Bible scholar, the Blue Letter Bible App will bless you as you seek to study and know God’s Word.

Prayer Prompter

prayer prompter app

This next prayer app was really an answered prayer within itself. Before I discovered it, I had been praying that God would help me become more consistent in my prayer life and that I would become more committed to praying for others. Shortly after, I came across this incredible app. Let me preface this by saying that this app is not intended to be flashy, so don’t let the aesthetics turn you off from it. The developers describe the app as a two drawer filing cabinet. The top drawer is for “Meditation and Prayer” of God’s Word. Each day the app will generate a list of Bible verses and quotes from great theologians to help you fix the position of your heart towards God. The bottom drawer is labeled “Petition/Intercession” for praying about specific needs and/or people. This is where you can jot down prayer requests as you hear them. Like the top drawer, the app will generate a “mix” of prayer requests and concerns each day. It is also allows you to set you frequently you would like to pray for a specific topic. Needless to say, the Prayer Prompter App is a tremendous resource and tool that will help anyone develop a stronger prayer life.

NavsTMS

navs scripture memory app

Many of you have probably heard of the Navigators Topical Memory System for memorizing Scripture, but did you know that they have an app? Recently, some of my family decided we would all work on memorizing more of God’s Word this year, so we all downloaded this app. Unlike the other two apps, this one is not free; however, I definitely a good investment if you are serious about memorizing Scripture. For those of you who are not familiar with the Topical Memory System, basically every verse that you memorize is linked to a specific topic. The idea is that in the future when someone asks you about obedience to Christ, for example, you have specific verses to point to. The Navigators Topical Memory System is a tried and true system that has helped so many Christians grow in their relationship with the Lord over the years.

 

Well, there you have folks, 3 Apps to Help You Grow Closer to God. I hope they bless you the way they have blessed me. What apps do you like to use? I would love to hear what has aided you in your pursuit of knowing God and His Word better.