A website is a way to share information with people quickly and is often the first place that many will go to find out information about your church.
However it may be that some content is not appropriate to be shared with the wider world.
For example you may have confidential information just for congregation members such as minutes of meetings. This is where a members area of the website can become a really useful tool in sharing information with those who are authorised to see it.
A members area can help with church communication by giving each person a username to login to the website to access information that is not publicly available.
Discussion forums are a way that can enhance community within the church throughout the week. Forums give members the ability to login to their church website and post messages that only other church members can see. A forum can be used for many reasons such as discussions, publicising items that people have to sell or sharing news. Praise reports and prayer requests are another way in which a website can help share encouragement or needs with other members.
With many forums providing notifications of new posts, it means that prayer requests can quickly be shared with other church members.
If you do have a discussion forum then we would recommend that it is not publicly available but only visible to members of your church.
Churches rely on volunteers each Sunday to take part in the Sunday service and fulfill the other jobs that often need doing. A website is a way to keep the rota’s online and in one place but you should be careful when putting peoples names on these. If the rota is just a standard webpage viewable to all then some people may not wish for their full name to be on the website. If you do have rotas then you could make these password protected so that just church members or those on that rota can see it.
If you don’t have a members area on your church website then some hosts have the option to password protect a directory on your website. Church Edit Pro has built in member features including logins, groups, forums and rota management with each church member having their own username to login to the site.
If you want to try Church Edit then you can request a username to a trial site.
We have also written an article on promoting the member features of your website.