We have a new website. Here is a little bit on how it is designed to serve our church and our mission. The slides: The slides on the home page allow us to present ministries an events powerfully and clearly. These slides can be changed easily. They are linked to pages with further information. Our web developer is a graphic artist and graciously donated time to handcraft three of these slides to us to make our launch even more attractive.
The menus: We chose a simple menu system. The About tab has basic information about us, including pictures of our current officers. Worship, Connect (Fellowship) and Service are the tabs that do a lot of the heavy lifting on the site. These headings correspond to the three basic changes that the gospel effects in the life of the Christian. We don't do anything in the church simply to do it, we do what we do because we are changed by the gospel.
Notice that our Missionaries are listed under the serve column. The idea there is simple: don't just read about 'em but pray for 'em and support their ministries. They are serving in mission, and we are serving them as we support them. I especially like the serve form. This form gives a point of action to draw folks into the service of the church. We can generate forms in the site for sign ups and registrations whenever we need to do so.
The Family tab makes a statement that we are committed to the biblical value of the family. God has ordained the family as the basic unit of human society. We have made a serious investment in ministering to our own families and reaching families in our community. The family tab gives a first point of contact for families who come to the church.
The Resources Tab: Our resources page has links to organizations whose mission is to compile excellent resources. These entities are well known by many in our congregation already (Ligonier, Monergism, The Alliance, The Gospel Coallition, ByFaith, CE&P and Westminster Bookstore, and Redeemer City to City). These organizations are dedicated to the compilation of material from an Evangelical and Reformed perspective. Redeemer City to City is an influential force in our denomination for global church planting. It is a site on strategic church planting. The Asian Cresent Partnership, Monterrey, and Saltillo are all associated with this network.
The Events Tab: Our website has a powerful calendar function. Events can be entered into the calendar, categorized and then displayed in category specific calendars (Children, Women, Featured Events, etc.). If you are involved in a specific ministry then you can go to that ministry's page and click the calendar associated with the ministry. This allows you to get a quick overview of the events in the ministry that you are most concerned with at the time. You can also send the link via email and to give someone a quick overview of what is happening in that ministry. Finally, the events can be described in detail, have sign up forms attached to them, maps, directions and pictures.
Audio: Sermons will be on iTunes for podcasting as well as direct streaming online. Notes and study guides can be attached right to the sermon online. The sermons can be easily filtered, allowing us to compile a large amount of material in an organized and useful manner.
Video: Pastor Knott has an outstanding video describing the youth group. We will put more videos up in the future. They can be easily filmed, edited and embedded.
Blog and Twitter: You can follow the church on Twitter @epcnewark. There is a Twitter feed on the home page for quick updates. The blog also feeds to the home page. The blog and twitter accounts allow the site to have a continuous fresh stream of information.
This site will serve us well. I am thankful for our web developer, Leaf9. Working with a local Christian developer was a great blessing. This design captures our church authentically while sharpening our presentation to our community.