Many churches have wanted to take full advantage of Internet capabilities for communications and evangelism, but significant costs, perceived hassle of ongoing maintenance, or lack of qualified personnel to manage a Web site has kept Internet use from getting past churches' planning meetings and into reality.
LifeWayLINK, a new service by LifeWay Christian Resources' eBusiness Group, is changing that. High quality, free Web sites are available for SBC churches. The service is user-friendly, eliminates the typical online barriers faced by ministries, and is available at no cost. Now any church with a computer can promote the gospel online, interact with potential and existing members, access resources around the globe, and take advantage of seemingly endless online capabilities.
"LifeWayLINK is the newest component of our growing eBusiness portfolio of Internet products and services," said Ted Warren, LifeWay chief operating officer. "Churches and other ministries can depend on LifeWay for safe, filtered Internet service, quality Web site design and hosting, online ordering of materials, as well as other Internet related offerings."
Churches are able to choose from among five templates, or site designs, for their Web resource. Included in the complementary package are four pages to present information about the church, its services, ministries and events, and contact listings for staff.
LifeWay designed the service to be easily customized, understanding that ministries will have different online needs. LifeWayLINK can be upgraded to allow churches to expand or enhance the site's capabilities for a monthly fee. Examples include adding audio files for sermons or performances, online video, in-depth usage reports, more than 150 design templates, additional content pages, and others for fees ranging from $24.95 to $59.95 per month.
Rick Ousley, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., already has seen the benefits of this technology. "We not only have our main Web site, but we also have acquired seventy-five basic sites for use by our ministries and Bible study classes. By putting this resource in the hands of leaders in these classes and ministries, we have given them the tools for keeping fresh, high-quality, relevant sites."
"The service is not just for churches that currently do not have a Web site," said Tim Vineyard, LifeWay's eBusiness Group director. "We are finding many ministries that have an online presence, but it's not effective, they believe they are paying too much for it, or perhaps are challenged to keep the site current. LifeWayLINK takes care of each of those concerns.
"LifeWayLINK gives churches the opportunity to easily scale and customize their Web presence to best meet their ministry needs," he added. "The Internet can be an incredibly powerful tool for evangelism and communications. We just want to ensure churches have the resources they need to support these efforts."
LifeWayLINK was developed in cooperation with Details Communications, a leading provider of Christian communications products and services.
For more information on LifeWayLINK, including examples of church sites using the technology, visit www.lifeway.com/lifewaylink. Or call 1-888-408-5580.
How will they know where to find my church's Web site?
Church Search at www.SBC.Net gives "site" to the blind. You may not have known, but every Southern Baptist church is already listed on the Internet.
Church Search at www.SBC.Net is the comprehensive listing of all Southern Baptist churches in a flexible search format. Every SBC church has a free information page listing the church's address, phone number, service times, and the pastor's name. With this excellent tool people can locate every Southern Baptist church near any given location just by entering an address, city, and state, or by entering a zip code. A church can also be located by entering its partial name and state. Potential visitors even have the option of downloading a map with door-to-door directions from their home to the church!
You can access your church listing at Church Search at www.SBC.Net and verify that the information is current and complete. Once your Web site is completed, or if you already have a Web page, we can arrange for a link to it from Church Search at www.SBC.Net. Just have your SBC ID number on hand and follow the instructions at the bottom of your church's information page. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.