By Rev. Marty Levesque
I have said it many times: a professionally designed and developed website is no longer an option for the church. It is a communication tool that is often overlooked, simply forgotten, or the old website from 2002 is left un-updated.
But with only two in ten Millenials attending church, while over 66% of Millenials still believe in God, we need to ask ourselves how to reach them with the radical love of God and invite them to join us on the transformational journey of faith.
The answer is, just as it was for St. Paul, is to be where they are, and that is the web and social, our Agora.
Now, we may not all be comfortable with a powerful web design tool like WordPress that powers over 60 million websites worldwide, nor do we have someone in the congregation able to build us a website that inspires and attracts. Luckily, there are many tools to help the novice build out an attractive, informative site as the new front door of the church.
Squarespace.com, Weebly.com, Sitebuilder.com and Wix.com are all simple tools to help any novice and social media user to build an attractive welcoming site. The professionally designed templates allow the user to simply input their content and quickly publish a world-class site.
The only downside to these tools are that much like Facebook and Twitter, you do not own your content. If you stop paying our cancel the service you will lose all your data, pictures and history, just as if you deleted your Facebook account. So back everything up.
If your church decides to go the way of a web builders’ service this is something to always keep in mind. Yet, it does make it an ideal solution for the small local church who doesn’t have the resources or volunteers to build and maintain a robust website.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.