Here are this week’s top deals, brought to you by Faithlife Ebooks. For more deals, visit our sale page or get our Free Book of the Month. Some of these deals are only good for a few days, so act fast to get these books at the sale price! (more…)
New crises strike the world every day, from massive migrant shifts across Africa and Europe to poverty, war, and strife. As Christians, we must engage, but too often we don’t know how to think about crises and what action to take.
Churches across the country are trying to encourage younger generations to tithe, but they often leave out a huge part of the equation: relationships.
Givers are more than donors, they’re partners. [Read more…]
You’ve heard the skeptics: “We can’t trust the biblical manuscripts.” And sadly, many people believe them without actually knowing the facts.
So what do the experts really say?
The new Faithlife original film Fragments of Truth tackles skeptics’ claims head-on, providing a powerful resource for defending your faith. This feature-length documentary takes you around the globe with renowned scholar Dr. Craig Evans. Join him as he investigates ancient manuscripts, deciphers historical mysteries, and interviews leading experts on the reliability of the New Testament.
Not only is Fragments of Truth now available for home viewing, you can also get a group license and watch this edifying film with your whole church or study group. Viewers will come away better able to separate sober scholarship from sensationalism when explaining the firm foundation of the Gospels.
Plus, you can immediately download a free discussion guide to help facilitate conversations with your church, small group, or family.
Whether you’re building a church website for the first time or updating it for the tenth time, you might feel in over your head.
Indeed, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to building a truly great church website.
But for now, just focus on three big rules, and you’ll be much closer to a church website that’s welcoming to visitors, helpful for members, and true to your church.
1. Have a main point
It’s as true for term papers as it is for church websites: you need a thesis.
What is the one message you want to stand out? After one minute on your church website, what’s the main impression you want a potential visitor to have? “This church is ________.”
Write to that.
It may take some time to figure out what that one thing is, so write liberally. Get your staff around a whiteboard. Throw sticky notes up on the wall. Freewrite until you arrive at the main message you want to stand out.
Ask questions like:
- What one impression do we want to visitors to leave with?
- What is the one thing our church exists to do?
- What sets our church apart from others?
Follow those threads until you arrive at the main point, then make it the North Star of your website.
You may be tempted to just start writing—to explain at length the history of your church, your beliefs, your mission and vision, the different ministries you have, etc.
You should explain those things, but all in relation to your main point.
That main point will determine not only the words you use but your website artwork as well.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church is a great example. Their main idea is, “Life, together in the orchard,” which is similar to other churches except for the orchard idea. The site comes around that. Their imagery, color pallet, and language give an earthy vibe, and the video (which you’ll likely watch, given its prominent placement) reinforces that with folksy music, mention of their church’s physical land (“orchard”), and unedited clips of people in the congregation (“life together”).
2. Make key information visible
The best church websites make key information easy to find without overloading a visitor with too much too soon.
It’s all about balance—and menus.
There’s no one way to organize a church website menu, but generally, you’ll see pages like:
- About Us (including Leadership, Contact, What We Believe, and Mission and Values pages)
- Visit (including details about service times, locations, and expectations)
- Getting Involved
- Resources (including sermons)
- Giving (including a link or form for online giving)
The Commons San Diego does a great job with its menus. Icons on the left of the page indicate a menu, and hovering over it reveals text that describes each menu option:
Menus are essential because they make it easy to browse or find specific information.
When visitors peruse a church website, they’ll be asking specific questions, and they’ll be looking for menus to find answers to: [Read more…]
This is a guest post by Paul Tripp, author and founder of the Parenting conference. It has been adapted from a blogpost and has been edited for readability.
It was 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, exhausted and overwhelmed. After putting our four children to bed much later than we wanted to, my wife Luella discovered we didn’t have anything in the house to pack for the kids’ lunches the next day. So, with an attitude that couldn’t be described as joyful, I got in the car and did a late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change, it hit me. It seemed as if my mission was impossible: I was called to be the father of four children. [Read more…]
When you walk into church this weekend, consider what it would be like without an administrator making sure everything works behind the scenes.
Who would make sure coffee was ready? Would the church building be clean? Would the bulletins be accurate?
Your church needs people gifted in administration, yet their work is easy to overlook. With that in mind, here are a few simple ways to encourage church admins as they faithfully serve the church: [Read more…]