Research study on outsider-friendly church websites

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Ceri Longville, a student at Redcliffe Bible College in Gloucester UK, has just published her college dissertation on church websites.

Having been involved in church web development, Ceri saw the clear need for research. Her Reaching the Community with Church Websites is a valuable insight into the potential for making church sites truly ‘outsider friendly’. She says, “While working as web developer of a church website, I could see the potential for it to be used as a tool to make the church more accessible and relevant to the non-Christian/unchurched folk in the local community.”

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15 comments to Research study on outsider-friendly church websites

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  • Thanks to Ceri for the report, which I’ve skimmed through but will explore more fully. One or two minor points I don’t agree with but isn’t that always the way.

    I’m enouraged that others at looking into this important subject and encourage every church to get involved.

    I agree with Ceri’s closing words: “It is my prayer that church leaders will grasp the vision, begin to read books and websites written by the experts in web evangelism, attend conferences and start to look around their own church, praying and considering who can take on responsible roles within a web ministry team.”

    There is a great deal to learn about online evangelism but unless we get stuck in we will miss the opportunities.

    A large percentage of those who are thinking about Christianity are using the Internet to find information. What will they see? – try Google and find out.

  • I won’t pretend to have digested the whole report but did look through the first section in detail. I think it is great that someone is researching the internet as a cultural mission field and that they are encouraging pastors and local church members to get involved with this. Perhaps it is outside the scope of this report but I would have been interested to see a section on how para-church organisations might also use the internet for evangelism and apologetics and how they could co-operate with the local church in doing so. This is a practical reality that I am thinking about at the moment. Many seekers on the internet may perceive themselves as more interested in spirituality than “religion”, “christianity”, or “god”. Again I believe this is an area that parachurch websites could target.

  • Jeff Ross

    I am grateful for the resource and have passed it along to several of our church staff and lay leaders as we consider the need to revamp our church web site. Thanks for making it available.

  • […] Her ‘Reaching the Community with Church Websites’ is a valuable insight into the potential for making church sites truly ‘outsider friendly’. Very little research has been published recently on church sites, as far as we know. Download this free 95-page PDF e-book, and also add your comments when you have read it: http://www.internetevangelismday.com/blog/archives/945 […]

  • matthew

    I thank God for you.

  • Looks like a nice effort. Certainly, I share similar concern for reaching the lost. I won’t pretend to have read it. Just a quick scan leads me to say only that we should practice what we preach.

  • This is truly a valuable resource, not to “preach” at people but to quietly and privately answer some of life’s tough questions and help people get a feel for what your church is really like long before they darken the door.

    I have made ours a community resource and a “destination” site rather than a brochure so that we are not only reaching out the the community with the Good News of eternal life in Christ but we also provide a valuable community service.

    Good work

    Doug Greenfield

  • Steven Carr

    ‘It is vital not to use Christian jargon on a church website. We become so used to using and hearing certain words in Christian circles (such as ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’,) that it is easy to forget they are totally meaningless to the majority of society.’

    Is ‘the majority of society’ the 71% of people who say they are Christians in the official census?

  • good paper but hard to read in a double space format.. recommend it be reformatted to single space
    David Austin
    exec director bible.org
    see our NETBible on line at http://netbible.org and over 6000 articles at http://www.bible.org

  • admin

    Hi Anne

    Must have been a temporary blip, it seems fine now. Let me know if you still have problems.

    blessings

    Tony

  • Ceri Longville

    I just wanted to say how much I’m appreciating your feedback to my research. It is a huge subject of which, in many ways I feel I’ve only just managed to scratch the surface. I’m hoping though it encourages other people to look at their own church websites and carry out a bit of further research by doing usability studies. Feel free to use/adapt my usability study questionnaire found in the appendices. I would be really interested read more findings.

    Please let me know how the ‘revamp’ goes, Jeff.
    David, I take your point about the double line spacing, it is the college specifications. However I will reformat it when time allows, many thanks for pointing that out.

    Ceri

  • Rev.Dr.B.J.J.Rom

    Dear honorable beloved god’s chosen servant.

    Greetings to you in the name of our great lord JESUS CHRIST.

    I am a Pastor from INDIA.I am doing god’s work from 10 years. I left my job and I completely dedicated myself to god. I am doing his work with gods help. I am in his work in the way I can do and passed through many ups and down’s and rejected many opportunities to develop my career from this world for god.

    I am organizing gospel meetings ( fair of Jesus glorias festival)in cal of telugu(yesu mahima agni vuchavalu) to spread god’s word to every nook and corner. We organize 4 to 5 meetings in a month in different places especially where the people who doesn’t know the god and small villages where there is no transportation. For this we have to face many hurdles. We are waiting for support form the God chosen people and Gods loveds people like you through prayers to continue our work by organizing more meetings in a month and to spread the god’s word we are distrybueting free monthly magazi minimum 1000 copes and free stickrs monthly (5000 )distrybueting we are distrybueting freely holy comuenian sets for poor pastors in the villegs we giving by faith
    Rev.Dr B.J.J.Rom;
    foundar and director
    Lightning Star ministries
    102A block, Greenview Apartments
    Shankeswrabazar, Saidabad
    Andhra Pradesh State
    India
    Email: lsm_rom@yahoo.co.in

  • thanks for the report and access to it

    I’ve summarised it into a 10 tips post here http://bit.ly/W3Oct4

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