Southern Baptists can now access important information and resources online more easily than ever.
SBC.net has a new design, updated features, and simpler navigation. The new look to the website provides an "easier way to find those dependable resources Baptists need and use most," said D. August Boto, executive vice president and general counsel of the SBC Executive Committee.
Executive Committee President Frank S. Page unveiled the redesigned website at the Executive Committee meeting on February 18.
SBC.net was designed to be "a portal for all things Southern Baptist," said Chris Chapman, director of information systems for the Executive Committee. "Visitors should be able to easily find information and links to most anything that has to do directly with the SBC, and that is the driving force behind this latest redesign. Our mission for SBC.net is 'One People, One Purpose, One Click.'"
The site includes a wealth of information about the history, character, and heart of Southern Baptists. Features include:
- Basic Southern Baptist beliefs
- Frequently asked questions about the SBC
- Information about SBC entities
- Full text of the SBC's legal documents—Charter, Constitution, Bylaws, Business and Financial Plan, and Organization Manual
- Archive of SBC Annuals
- Archive of resolutions passed by the Convention, searchable by year, keyword, or topic
- Full text of The Baptist Faith and Message in multiple languages
- A side-by-side comparison of the 1925, 1963, and 2000 BF&M revisions
- A searchable map of state conventions and local associations
- Downloadable PDF files of EC brochures Meet Southern Baptists and The Southern Baptist Convention: A Closer Look
"At SBC.net, both pastors and churchgoers will find all aspects of the Southern Baptist Convention information easily accessible," Chapman said. SBC.net is full of resources and tools to assist churches in their ministry, he said.
Two of the most frequently used features on the website are ChurchSearch and JobSearch. Both of these features have updated search tools and are easily accessible from the home page or navigational menu.
ChurchSearch is a directory of Southern Baptist churches in a flexible search format. Visitors to SBC.net can search for churches by city, zip code, church name, or proximity to their address.
ChurchSearch profiles are an easy way to boost a church's online presence and are available to all Southern Baptist churches at no cost. Churches can update their profiles with a welcome message, contact information, ministries and programs, staff names and positions, service times, and images to help potential churchgoers learn more about the church. The home page of SBC.net also displays a "Featured Church" profile to show off the wide variety of churches that cooperate with the Convention.
Job postings are searchable by keyword or by state. The most recent postings are also listed by date on the home page of SBC.net.
Other sections of the website include a number of tools and resources.
- Cooperative Program—This section includes information about the Cooperative Program, the SBC CP Allocation Budget, downloadable resources, and promotional materials. Online ministry reports from CP-receiving entities are also available for the first time (to read about the ministry reports, click here).
- Missions information—This section provides information about the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Woman's Missionary Union, and Missionary Moments—short stories, updated weekly, about what God is doing through IMB and NAMB missionaries.
- Devotions—Read a daily devotion right on the home page of SBC.net. Visitors can also create an account to add personal study notes, access devotion archives, and keep track of Bible-reading progress.
- Good News—Visitors who do not know Christ can visit this section to read the Gospel message, learn how to become a Christian, and get connected to a local church. Believers can also use this section as a resource for sharing their faith.
- Baptist Press—The latest headlines and breaking news from Baptist Press are featured prominently on the home page.
- Resources—Find resources for church administration, education, stewardship, estate planning, and other topics of interest to churches.
- Search—Use the SBC search engine to search across all SBC-related websites at once.
"From the moment you click on SBC.net, you will see and feel a difference," Chapman said. All the popular features of SBC.net have been redesigned and retooled for maximum speed and functionality. Each of those features is available within a few clicks in a clean, easy-to-navigate interface. The site design is also responsive and will scale to fit all screen sizes, including smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, he said.
The previous version of SBC.net had been online since 2004, Chapman said. "Website design technology and the way the Internet is used have changed significantly. The Internet is no longer a novelty; it has become a necessary tool in life, an important resource for information, communication, and entertainment.
"We are excited about this new design, and we believe SBC.net will continue to be an excellent resource and inspiration to Southern Baptists for many years."
Rebecca Wolford is communications specialist for the SBC Executive Committee and is a member of Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tennessee.