This list is from Tony Morgan and it’s geared toward churches in general. All the principles apply to a sports ministry though.
- A church website brings people to your church. If someone wants to find a church in your area, how are they going to find it? If your first answer is, “check the Yellow Pages” you’re wrong. Most people go straight to Google.
- A church website connects people. Fellowship takes place even when people aren’t physically together. Church websites give members a way to interact and fellowship throughout the week. This kind of interaction helps build unity.
- A church website organizes church events. Church websites help people stay up to date with your church’s events—from softball games to Sunday services.
- A church website answers questions about the church. People have all kinds of questions about churches. Music? Nursery? Denomination? Bible version? How can you answer all these questions? Two words: church website.
- A church website is the church’s testimony. Within seconds of accessing your church website, a person forms opinions about your church—for better or worse. A good website is a great way to communicate a good testimony.
- A church website broadcasts your message globally. Instantly—without buying a ticket, experiencing jet lag, or eating airline food, your church can reach as far as Europe, Asia, or Africa. Regardless of its size, your church can spread its message worldwide.
- A church website saves you money on advertising. Any pastor wants the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to church marketing. Church websites are way more visible and far less expensive than any other form of church advertising.
- A church website stores your media. A church website gives you a digital media library. Storing sermon recordings online is a great way to increase the longevity and reach of sermons.
- A church website increases your church’s income. People pay their bills online, invest their money online, and read their bank statements online. Can they also give to their church online? With a church website, yes.
- A church website gives your church the relevance necessary to communicate today. This generation has witnessed the launch of the digital age. Creating a church website is the primary means of jumping on the information superhighway and reaching our generation for Christ.
To clarify, we think a church’s sports ministry needs a separate website for the following reasons:
- Sports ministries have lots of regular revisions to information to be dispersed. Between unforeseen game and practice schedules changes, weather cancellations or delays, standings or stats updates, there is a lot of new information that needs to be added or revised on your website. This need for lots of revisions is different than many other ministries in the church.
- Sports ministries need a timely and easy way to update website information. Many of these revisions, by their nature, need to be made quickly. Most sports ministries that we talk with, whose website is under the umbrella of the church, struggle with this issue. They usually have to submit the requested changes to someone else in the church, either directly or indirectly overseeing the website, and then wait, sometimes long after the information needed to be updated.
- Sports ministries often have a different audience and purpose for their website than the church. The typical audience for a church website are the regular or possible attenders to their church. Form most churches, these people are already Christians. If the sports ministry is geared for outreach (and our suggestion is to shoot for 50% of participants to be non-believers), then the audience is mixed. To communicate effectively and build bridges with people, the language and content on the site needs to model respectful communication that doesn’t assume you know the “language of the club.”
Having a separate website doesn’t mean:
- This has to cost a lot of money – we know of sports ministries who have put up quality websites for under $1000. Click here for an example. Contact us if you would like to get connected with someone who can help.)
- The sports ministry’s website isn’t connected with the church’s website. We strongly encourage links from the church’s website to be placed strategically on the sports website and vice versa.
More and more, your website is the way people first connect with your sports ministry. In the light of this reality, it is important to spend the time on this vital tool. One way towards that end is developing your own website.