I love my youth website. I spent hours making it just right and after seeing my site stats, I know more than just my students and their parents are checking it out. However, I know a lot of people who don’t need a youth website. If you are considering getting a youth website please consider the following:
1. It’s hard to keep up-to-date.
It is far better to have no website than an outdated website. When people go to your youth site they want to see what is going on and get an idea of what your ministry is about. If it is outdated with old events you never took down or a blog that hasn’t been updated since 2010, it will actually deter people from going to your ministry. If you are not willing to spend sometime each week keeping it fresh with new photos, new content, and new posts, don’t get a website.
2. It’ll be a hit to your budget.
One thing I know youth pastors love is free. Free resources and free game ideas are literally the most searched things on any youth ministry website. I will keep it honest with you. If you are looking to make a website for free, don’t get a website (I can hear the people who like using Wix preparing a comment now). There are free options out there. WordPress.com offers a free blog format but you are limited on themes unless you purchase one. You can make something on Tumblr but I wouldn’t recommend it. And yes there is Wix. However, I am not a fan of advertisements on ministry websites.
- Domains will run you typically $10 a year.
- Cheap hosting can be as low as $10 a month (there could be cheaper but I would be scared of their servers). Quality hosting will be around $15 -$20 a month.
- WordPress Templates cost anywhere from $35 – $65
- Then there is the time equity of knowing how to install, create, and keep up with a WordPress site.
This doesn’t include hiring someone to make a site for you. If you aren’t willing to spend the money, don’t get a site.
3. Know your audience
Knowing your audience will always save you time and money. If your kids don’t use social media that much (I know it is rare but they do exist) you don’t need a website. If your kids are younger (Middle School age) you probably don’t need a website. If your youth group is small, you don’t need a website. I know small is subjective and I know small youth groups with great websites. However, small youth groups in rural areas perhaps don’t need a youth website because they same goals can be accomplished with handouts or emails.
4. It might be unnecessary
Youth Ministry websites are a recent thing. The intent behind them are good. Get info to the kids and they can have access to it 24/7. It can also be a free way to market the ministry to the students in your city. However, Youth ministry has long survived without a website and some of the strongest ministries I know only have a single page on their churches main site. Sign-ups can still be done manually in youth group. Pictures can still be seen on Facebook. Announcements can still be done from the pulpit or if it must be online, Twitter and Instagram. Your ministry will see far more growth from students inviting their friends than the odd chance of a student googling “Youth Ministries in my city.”
This isn’t to say their aren’t some legit reasons to have a youth ministry website. I address 4 reasons why you should have a Youth Ministry website in a post coming tomorrow.