When you are apart of a religious institution, you have a responsibility to reach a wide range of people. Not only the congregants who attend services or meetings but also those who are interested in attending as well as those curious about the workings and tenets of your religion. When you build your own website, you have the ability to cater to all of these needs in detail and with ease. Here are just a few ideas on what a religious institution might like to have on their website.
A mission statement for your institution. What does your institution stand for? Is your institution different from others in your sect? Are there specials standards or beliefs that your institution adheres to? This is the page to lay out what it is that your group or religion stands for, your goals, and where you are in attaining those goals.
The history of your institution. Whether your institution is brand new or it started 150 years ago, a brief history of how your group got to where it is now may interest those who are considering joining you. As values, leaders, and goals changed, so may have your institution.
The history of your religion. Some may come to your site in hopes of learning more about your religion in general. Describe the origins and build up to the changes that led your particular group to practice the way that they choose. Offer profiles of important leaders and prophets. Outline basic tenets, guidelines, or commandments that are important to the foundation of your religion. Offer links to more information or contact information should readers have questions and would like to speak to a religious leader from your group.
Schedules and directions. Whether visitors need to find your building for a wedding or other ceremony, potential members want to know where you are located, or members would like to find out when a special event will happen or times for evening services, this is the page for it on your website. You will be able to easily update and make changes through your web host if necessary and even include contact information for group leaders should anyone have questions about the content and focus of a group.
A page for each group in your institution. In addition to the schedule on your web site, you may offer links on the schedule to a page dedicated to that particular group. This group page may have meeting times and event locations as well as leader contact information, upcoming special events, themed studies, and announcements. Member birthdays or special announcements, mission of the group, and group members and contact information may also be included.
Updates. The whole of your religious institution, if not large now, is growing. It may be difficult to keep up with everyone's news. Whether it's a marriage, a birth, or a death, a page dedicated to the special events in the lives of the congregants or members will help keep your religious institution as connected as any family.
Forums. Interactive forums are easy to build through your web host. Members can easily contact one another and discuss topics relevant to the institution at large or for individual groups. This is a great place to put a call to action or describe open volunteer positions or upcoming opportunities to serve the community.
Service notes and highlights. In order to assist your members in better learning the materials offered at meetings, it may be of interest to provide study guides or notes for future meetings as well as the scripture or holy writing references so that they may read ahead.
Contact information. Whether there are corrections, suggestions, or questions, certainly your religious institution will want to be accessible to the community. Posting contact information on your site will allow members and visitors alike to have equal access to those in leadership positions and create a larger community.