Managing a Spiritualist Center

Building Church Community Through an Interactive Church Website
By:Eddie Gifford

Building a sense of community among church members is valuable to church leaders. Networking through interactive social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are popular tools that people useóincluding church peopleóto stay in touch. An interactive church website provides an opportunity for both. Such a site can be customized to support the unique ministries of an individual church.

Hereís why you may want to consider an interactive website for your church:

An interactive website combines a church picture directory with social media

Picture directories acquaint church members with one another by helping them connect names to faces. Social networking media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn include that feature along with the capability of interactive communication. Combining these features in an interactive church website creates an environment that improves recognition and encourages personal interaction among members that helps build healthy relationships.

An interactive website improves organizational communication

Along with encouraging interpersonal communication, an interactive church website also enhances the communication of organizational information. Telephone and e-mail lists are easily generated and announcements can be quickly sent to all members or targeted to special groups and committees.

The site can include other helpful communication tools as well, like online calendars, department information pages and customized pages that promote opportunities and serve particular church ministries.

An interactive website is easy to administrate & update

An interactive church website de-centralizes data entry by allowing members to enter and update their own pictures and personal information. This removes the burden from administrative staff who are normally responsible for assembling picture directories (that are quickly outdated), and managing information through client-server applications, spreadsheets and other database programs.

The information itself, however, is centralized and easy to access (based on security clearance) from anywhere. The interactive website can also be updated in real time so pictures and contact information are current and relevant.

An interactive website increases security

The Internet is full of spammers and other predators. Itís hard to be sure the person youíre communicating with is who they claim to be. An interactive church website controls the environment in order to maintain propriety and insure personal integrity.

It also secures information. The common practice of e-mailing Excel Spreadsheets can expose sensitive and personal information that puts a memberís identity at risk. A password protected, interactive website secures information and makes sure the right people have access to it.

An interactive website assists in enlisting volunteers

Enlisting and maintaining volunteers is a challenging and time consuming task. Often, filling the position with a person takes priority over finding the right person. An interactive website will help by allowing you to conduct searches based on pre-defined criteria.

You can search by hobbies, professions, volunteer experience and other search criteria to identify talents and abilities. Youíll more effectively match the right person to the right job, which will increase volunteer longevity and overall ministry effectiveness.

An interactive church website is only a tool.

But itís an interactive tool that promotes and improves the communication that is essential to building church community.

About The Author

Eddie Gifford is the president of Bryte Software Design. His company specializes in the custom design, development, and modification of websites, computer software and database applications for both profit and non-profit organizations. Bryte Software Design has also created ClassMembers.org, a communication and social media site for churches. To learn more visit: http://www.ClassMembers.org or http://www.bryte.com.