"The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting."
- Dave Barry
People don’t always think about it, but reflecting on the history of the internet reveals just how much it has evolved the last couple of decades. As internet prevalence continues to increase, virtually every organization has decided to use a website, and the value websites have for organizations - ministries included - continues to increase. Likewise, the way websites are used continues to be the major determinant of how valuable they are. By looking at the phases the internet has gone through, it is clear that websites need to be used in a specific way to be effective.
Ministries should be able to reach goals through a well-constructed and maintained website. The question is really this, what are the most practical/valuable solutions that make sense in the real of "today's Internet?"
This is where the internet has been, and where it is going.
- Age of Information - When the internet gained popularity in the mid-nineties, websites simply featured information on a basic platform. In order to access a website, a person would need to know the URL of the site.
- Age of Searchability - Eventually, with the innovation of search engines, people could search for a site. This enabled people to visit a site based on the themes of the information on the site rather than requiring the exact URL of the site.
- Connected Age - The internet entered a new age with the creation of social media. These media made a user’s online experience increasingly ongoing and interactive.
- Age of Relevancy - The internet is now in the age of relevancy. It is no longer enough to have a website that presents information and can be found easily. Websites now need relevant and timely content. The website will only effectively connect with the users if this is the case. In addition, it is important to deconstruct the site and think of the communication goals of the website. Only after these goals are determined and a deliberate strategy is formulated can a website be properly constructed with the appropriate content.
It’s time churches maximize the benefits gained from their websites by doing what is necessary in this age of online relevancy.
There are several ways to keep a ministry website fresh and relevant, but first and foremost, it's crucial that you have a communications strategy. It's also important to understand that in life a few things are certain, and one is change. In regards to your website, it's no longer about simply having the tool, it's about being able to use it; regardless of the changing environments/ministries. As we enter this age of relevancy, we must take on a proactive approach to using our websites. It’s time for a solution that acknowledges this; a solution focused on an ongoing relationship not simply a transaction. Want to hear about ours? Click here.