Nearly every church operates on a strict budget, making it difficult sometimes to get those little extras you really need. An example is church websites. If you have ever attempted to make one on your own then you can appreciate how difficult it is to have it remain thrifty and yet look professional.
An effective website has to look good, operate smoothly and provide all of the information anyone referring to it will need. This can be difficult. It can also be challenging to make it stand out from other sites on the Internet.
Many website developers are unable to find that comfortable line between conservative and boring. You need to be able to express the goal, feel and beliefs of your ministry and keep viewers interested without making it look to flashy or elaborate.
It is possible to create affortable church websites that can offer everything you need and have the appearance you are looking for, but it has to be done by a company that understands the special needs of religious organizations.
With these companies you will have the technical expertise all sites need along with those additional features other types of sites might never have to worry about. Be able to update sermons easily, have areas for members and others to give donations and include a calendar so the whole parish can stay updated on events.
A company like ChurchDev.com has this type of expertise. They can make your site user friendly, both for your church members and those updating the information. They can also help you to be current with trends, like having it accessible for mobile devices.
With a website of your own, every member will be able to stay in touch no matter where they travel. You can even have the ability to reach out to others who have never attended before, all over the world. Even the most affordable websites for churches created by companies like this are able to reach millions, something unheard of in the past. It can be a great way to help your parish grow even for those churches in small, rural communities.
If you have never had a website, or have one that is not giving you what you need, find out how a company that is focused on Church Website Design your needs can make a difference. Check them out for yourself to see how simple it can be to get started and create a site better than you ever thought possible.
This guide will take you through the basic steps of performing SEO on your website.
Keywords are the words that web surfers enter in search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing - with the probable intent of finding products to buy, useful information, news or things to entertain. You'll want to optimize your website for effective keywords that might bring you lots of targeted visitor traffic from the search engines.
Brainstorm broad terms that are related to your business, products and services. These words are going to build your keyword core that you will further use to create a list of keyword phrase combos to optimize your site for.
Good keyword tools:
Keyword suggestion tools
The unfortunate recent suicide of Robin Williams has caused the topic of mental illness to come into vogue. Yet I have seen very little talk of how Christians should respond when someone in the church has a mental illness. Mental illness not only affects our relationships with other people, it affects our relationship with God.
Mental illnesses, which include depression, bipolar, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia, are a part of the life of many people in our society. Yet it carries a stigma that prevents many with mental illness from reaching for out for help. This is especially so in the church, where mental illness is often seen as a condition resulting from a lack of faith or a hidden sin. I am bipolar. From personal experience I will present some ways that the church can be a caring presence to those who struggle with mental illness.
The Bible tells us to be content and to have joy in all circumstances. I have been told that if I would simply follow the Bible, I would not be depressed. Yet mental illness is not something that can be snapped out of from hearing these words from another well meaning believer. In fact, it can make the person feel even more guilty and worthless for not being able to be a good enough Christian in their despair. Mental illness is not caused by a lack of faith and a refusal to trust in God. Instead, mental illness stems from a combination of chemical imbalances and triggering life events.
Mental illness colors one’s perception of God. Depression feels like a black abyss. When I go through these dark days, I can’t get out of bed. The things I used to enjoy seem to require too much energy and seem unappealing. Simple housekeeping tasks require more effort than I can possibility exert. I cry. I sleep. I stare at the ceiling, feeling that I am not good enough and that God has left me.
Many people throughout the Bible felt that God had abandoned them as well. Even Jesus in his final days on earth asks why God has forsaken him. It is ok to feel that way- we don’t need feel guilty about it. Often in hindsight you can see where God walked with you even when you couldn’t see him at the time. It is during these times when we can’t believe in the goodness of God for ourselves, we need someone to be like the friends who lowered the paralytic through the roof so he could be healed. We need someone to believe for us.