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CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

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CP blogger Barry Bowen is the author of this blog.

Posted 12/19/13 at 5:46 PM | SHOW Times

Has Your Church Posted its Christmas and New Year's Schedule Online?

Photo: Flickr/Rory MacLeod - Creative Commons
Church members sing Christmas carols.

At this time of year many people search for Christmas-related topics at their favorite search engine. Perhaps there are people in your city or town looking for a church to visit?

If your church is hosting services on Christmas eve or Christmas day, you should include that information on your church website and Facebook page.

Visitors to your church may have questions about Christianity. Make it a priority to answer these questions. Unresolved questions about the Bible may lead to doubt and ultimately rejection of the Gospel.

Also it is a good time to start thinking about 2014. Does your church website include a calendar of next year's events? Some people in your community will set New Year's Resolutions. Your church could help people reach some of their goals. Also, don't forget that singles will be looking for friends. Highlight your singles group. FULL POST

Posted 12/13/13 at 5:48 PM | SHOW Times

New Year's Resolution: Become on Online Missionary

Photo: Flickr/DanMoyle - Creative Commons
New Year's Day - January 1, 2014

2014 is just around the corner. Have you thought about how you can spend your time sharing your faith next year?

Gordon Marcy has written 25 Reasons To Become An Online Missionary.

Global Media Outreach is looking for volunteers to share their faith via the Internet. Also, there might be opportunities for you to assist your church with its website or Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Also, consider adding Internet Evangelism Day to your calendar and promoting it to your church. It will be held June 1, 2014.

The Internet Evangelism Day website and this blog share numerous ideas for anyone interested in Internet Evangelism.

Internet Evangelism Day can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Paper.li.

Posted 12/12/13 at 7:04 PM | SHOW Times

23 Percent of Pastors Use Twitter

Barna Group conducted a survey of pastors which revealed that 23% of pastors participate on Twitter. Pastors and churches are more likely to use Facebook.

The results of the survey is posted here.

While it is good to see pastors engaging with social media, I am more interested in the laity, the people in the pews, sharing our faith online.

Share Faith has compiled a list of ten ways pastors can use Twitter. This list isn't limited to pastors. Any Christian can share a Bible verse or "be salt and light."

FULL POST

Posted 12/9/13 at 6:09 PM | SHOW Times

Adding Autocomplete to Your Church Website

Photo: Flickr/slavik_V

People dislike filling out forms online. Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, recommends websites use the new request autocomplete standard.

If you know how to add html to a website or edit WordPress templates, it should be simple to add the following code to your forms:

autocomplete="on"

W3schools has a tutorial which includes sample code along with a working demo. Google offers advice for sofware developers and website authors.

Posted 11/25/13 at 6:22 PM | SHOW Times

Does Your Church or Ministry Website Share Testimonies?

Photo: Flickr/Damian Gadal - Creative Commons

One of my favorite moments at church is hearing testimonies of how God transforms lives. Some churches are sharing testimonies on their websites and via Facebook.

The ministry I Am Second has produced more than 100 testimonials featuring famous athletes, musicians, actors and politicians talking about their faith. A person will sit on a couch in a dark room and share his or her story.

Annie Lobert tells her life story of being a prostitute rescued by the love of Jesus Christ.

First Baptist Church of Houma, Louisiana, has adopted the format popularized by I Am Second. The church's testimonies feature church members describing their life journey with Christ. FULL POST

Posted 10/30/13 at 11:58 PM | SHOW Times

Tips for Successful Blogging

If your church or ministry is considering the idea of launching a blog, please check out the following infographic.

Several tips are worth repeating:

  • "Create a content calendar"
  • "The headline must grab attention or nobody will read it."
  • "Be consistent and be patient in waiting for results."

That last tip is significant. It could take awhile for your blog to develop an audience. If you post regularly, then your readers are more likely to return for new articles.

However, the real key to being a successful blogger is being an effective communicator. Think carefully about what you wish to write ... and then express it creatively.

FULL POST

Posted 10/25/13 at 11:02 PM | SHOW Times

Does Your Church or Ministry Website Reveal God's Love?

Graphic: iStockphoto

Below is an interesting infographic recommending 10 methods to increase interaction on Facebook. Let's focus on one of the tips. Love Your Followers:

"Use photos and posts to show your fans how much you love them. Make sure you don't take your community for granted. Show a little LOVE!"

Does your church or ministry website reveal God's love and your love for your community? If not, then consider making changes. Include the Gospel message that Jesus, as an act of sacrificial love, died to redeem us from our sins. Welcome hurting people in your community. Offer support to couples facing possible divorce, addicts struggling drugs and unemployed that have failed to find a job.

FULL POST

Posted 10/23/13 at 9:38 PM | SHOW Times

Using Teamwork to Operate a Church or Ministry Website

Photo: Flickr/Justin Brockie - Creative Commons

Too often churches fail to operate as the body of Christ. Instead of functioning like a team, the church works in isolation. This isolation extends to church websites.

Small churches usually rely on one or two people to update their websites while megachurches often have media departments publishing their sites. In both examples there may be people in these congregations with unique talents and willing to share them, but have never been asked to contribute to the church website.

Be on the lookout for church members that are talented writers, photographers and filmmakers. God could use their talents on your website. Also, don't ignore the amateurs in your midst. They may also contribute unique ideas.

There might be church members attending college and taking classes on how to develop a website. Perhaps they could perform an internship by designing your church or ministry website. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/13 at 11:55 PM | SHOW Times

Church Website Advice: Maintain a Calendar of Special Events

Photo: Flickr/Dafne Cholet - Creative Commons

Has your church or ministry started drafting its 2014 calendar?

Church calendars reveal the priorities of the church. With that thought in mind, what priorities does your church calendar reveal?

Does it list any evangelistic or outreach events? Does it include community events that your church might participate in?

It is easy for churches to withdraw into a comfort zone. Perhaps your church could plan something different for 2014. Here are a couple of ideas:

  1. Ask your church members to share their testimonies online and pray for all their Facebook friends on Internet Evangelism Day.
  2. Show a Christian film or documentary about religious persection during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
  3. Many church youth groups no longer participate in See You at the Pole and True Love Waits. Try networking with other churches in your area via these events to unite and encourage Christian teenagers.

Your church or ministry calendar can be very simple - just a list of important dates or it can be very sophisticated. There are calendar plugins for WordPress as well as stand-alone calendaring apps. Some of these apps will enable your church members to send invites to family members and friends for your events. FULL POST

Posted 10/8/13 at 11:55 PM | SHOW Times

How to Accept Prayer Requests on Your Church Website

If your church or ministry website uses WordPress, there are free and commercially supported plugins available that you can use to manage prayer requests.

List of Free Prayer Request Plugins

Commercial Prayer Request Plugins

Blazing Torch, the software developer responsible for PrayerBox, also offers the advanced version PrayerBox+ which costs $35 and a working demo can be viewed here.

The Prayer Engine is another commercial prayer request plugin for WordPress. According to the developer's website, "The Prayer Engine was built for simplicity. One click updates your Prayer Wall, RSS Feed, Twitter Prayer Chain and your Mobile Web App. No grunt work required."

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