Finding God Online

Churches tap into the Internet to reach congregants

supposed to be right up to date,” says Harshaw.

“For the average church, the process is not very efficient,” says Brink, who developed Church websites America to service the core church community, which needs functionality without the flash. “If the volunteer leaves the church or is unable to manage the website any longer, then [someone] who is usually not familiar with HTML is left to run it,” explains Brink. He and a partner designed an easy Website template for churches to use. Costs range from $39.99 to $49.99 per month. Churches can try it free for 60 days at www.church-websites-america.com.

Some congregations demand a little more sophistication. When The Potter’s House is preparing for a major conference, like MegaFest, the church’s IT director, Lance Goudy, can boast 300,000 hits a day from various Websites, www.thepotters house.org, www.tdjakes.org, and thepotterstouch.com. “Our Potter’s House 24-hour Webcast is the strongest feature right now,” says Goudy. “Our online bookstore gets quite a few hits and then the schedule of events would be the next high traffic area.” To service this type of volume, The Potter’s House has an IT staff of six.

Churches are beginning to realize that their congregations still prefer simplicity. Goudy is in the process of redesigning The Potter’s House Website to make it more user friendly.

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