At his well-read blog, Ed Stetzer shares news of a new LifeWay study on the expanding use of the web by churches. He quotes from a Christian Post article based on the research: “Though most churches have a website, there is a divide between congregations that use their sites only for one-way communication and those that maximize their online presence with interactive technology. That is the finding of a new LifeWay Research study sponsored by Axletree Media, one of LifeWay’s partners in the Digital Church initiative.

“The survey of 1,003 Protestant churches found that while 78 percent have a website, less than half of those congregations use their sites for interactive purposes [such as] obtaining and distributing prayer requests (43%), registering people for events and activities (39%) and automating more church processes (30%).

“A majority of congregations with a website use it for one-way communication, the survey revealed. A full 91 percent provide information to potential visitors online and 79 percent provide information to the congregation. Fifty-seven percent encourage increased attendance and involvement among the congregation and 52 percent solicit interest in ministry or volunteer opportunities.

“Many churches are using their websites [similar to] Yellow Pages’ ads characterized by basic information and infrequent updates,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “This is in sharp contrast with churches that use their websites [as] a bustling church receptionist registering people for upcoming events, collecting prayer requests and obtaining volunteers.

“There is nothing wrong with using a church website to give directions to the church or state the church’s beliefs,” McConnell added. “However, we must realize…people expect to be able to interact online without having to drive or make a phone call to the church.” (Click here to read the full article.)

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