COLORADO SPRINGS – Aug. 7, 2013 -- The statistics tell the story – 88% of American consumers do product research online for some types of goods, even when they plan to make those purchases in person (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2012).
And many ministers believe that at least as high a percentage of people shopping for a church take the same approach, as they know most of their visitors have first checked out the church website.
But this knowledge concerns many church leaders who struggle with keeping a dynamic church website and one that’s fresh and appealing. Most church leaders understand how vital that first online look is, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to create and maintain a welcoming, up-to-date digital doorway. They worry that a lackluster website may keep seekers from ever making a visit.
But there are solutions that work.
Outreach, the nation’s experts on helping churches reach out to their communities, has just launched a new website building tool designed just for churches called OutreachWebsites.com.
“When we switched to OutreachWebsites, we were dealing with so many frustrations with keeping our website up to date,” said Loran Lichty, associate pastor of New Life Church, Renton, Washington, who reports that most people who visit New Life Church visit the church’s website first.
“We found it so easy to get it set up, and even more than that, it was simple to let all of our staff get access to their part of the website to keep it updated,” he continued.
“Having an up to date and easy to use website was critical for us and we have found some great success with them.”
OutreachWebsites.com not only greatly simplifies the process of creating a unique site, churches can try it for free. There is no set up fee, and no charge for the first 30 days so churches can try it and see what they think. Once they decide they want to continue, they pay a modest monthly fee based on the size and needs of their church.
Because OutreachWebsites.com is designed for churches, it offers the unique features churches want. Churches can easily offer online giving, a calendar, event registration, a blog page, and posting of sermon videos, graphics and outlines. In addition, it includes e-newsletter capabilities and even a Facebook app that can be used by non-Facebook users.
But even more fundamentally, it includes an easy-to-use, flexible design process to create compelling websites that uniquely represent each church by offering integrated libraries of thousands of free images and videos.
“We were pretty amazed at all it provides at such a low price,” said Hal Seed, Lead Pastor of New Song Community Church, Oceanside, California. “With a click of a button we could select a design and add text to it plus customize our site further by changing the images, and there must be thousands of them, plus videos, all free. We love how this works for New Song.”
“A welcoming website that communicates the life and personality of a congregation is one of the basics of a church reaching out effectively,” said Outreach Founder and CEO Scott Evans. “Serving the church and helping it fulfill the great commission is what we are about at Outreach, so it was a natural outgrowth for us to help churches with this potentially expensive, frustrating and confusing aspect of their communication programs.”
Founded in 1996, Outreach, Inc. has quickly grown to become the largest provider of church outreach products and services in the world. With a mission to share God’s love and empower the Church to share the message of Jesus Christ, Outreach provides cost-effective, proven methods and resources in a variety of forms, including books, media and film, postcard invitations, banners, bulletin covers, curriculum, church campaign materials, and more. Located in Colorado Springs, the company has established five divisions under the umbrella of Outreach, Inc.
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