Yesterday, I wrote about why you shouldn’t have a youth ministry website. It sounds a bit hypocritical of me, because I have my own youth ministry website and I create youth websites for other youth pastors. So here are some reasons why you should get a youth ministry website.
1. Because they are awesome
One page on a church website doesn’t convey all that is your youth ministry. Youth Ministry is complex and dynamic. It has layers and purpose. To only get one page on a big website is to only get a snippet of what is your youth ministry. You can showcase who your leaders are, talk about future events, the purpose and goals of the ministry, post messages from your youth talks, show pictures, give resources to parents, and resources for students. What you can do is almost endless.
2. Sign ups
This is literally the best reason for a site. Online Sign ups. I use Wufoo but there are tons of good sites that create forms that you can embed on your site. Students can sign up when they are home or their parents can do it for them. They can also pay with a credit card online which is sometimes difficult to do at church. What I love the most is the organized excel spreadsheets I can get after the sign ups. I don’t have to try to read kids messy handwriting. It is clearly typed in Helvetica online.
3. It can be extremely affordable
I shared in the last post that if you can’t fork over some cash, don’t get a website. Relatively speaking, websites are super affordable and super simple to use. In some cases with Hosting, Domain, and a WordPress theme, you are looking at about $200 that first year. The price is almost cut in half by the subsequent years. Also, if you are willing to spend some time equity on YouTube, you can create a website yourself to save a little cash from getting a designer. There is a little learning curve to over come, but it is worth it if you want a legit website.
4. It can help your ugly church website
It is a proven fact that Elders are not comfortable with the youth website looking better than the churches main website. I am sure The Barna Group has done a survey showing that to be true. I have made websites for youth pastors who told me that they hope the youth website will convince the church at large to change their website. It usually works. When they see how simple and quickly it is to get a super legit looking website, most find the money in the budget to make the switch.
Be wise with the money God has given you. If I can give you one encouragement, don’t settle for an ugly and sloppy website. If you are going for it, Go for it! Get help. Ask for the opinions of others (preferably those outside of your ministry). Like I said in the last post. An ugly or unkept website will do more harm to your ministry than no website at all.
Many know about our fantastic Facebook community for Youth Pastors, but we also have one just for church design and technology. If you have a website you want feedback on, our community would love to help out!