I thought this was a great question from listener Mark, and I’m posting this as bait for my friend, Jeb, who does an excellent job managing his parish’s site:
I loved your show today and I wanted to show you what I am doing to reach out to our small parish. Like many rural churches we have never had a website. I have been bugging them to create one for years and they finally told me to go ahead and show them what I had in mind. I found a company that allows a “free look” period and showed our priest a template I was building. Now he can’t get it fast enough. If you have a few minutes please take a quick look at the site. It is still under construction so parts of it still need reorganized but I would like to have it up in two weeks. I want it to be a strong apologetics site so I will be giving resources for Daily Mass readings, the Catholic Channel and Lighthouse Catholic Media. Father Jay Finelli paid our Capuchin Sisters us a visit recently so he is giving me some materials as well. Could you please take a quick look. I am open to suggestions for content.
The hosting company is very happy with what I am doing and they have very few Catholic customers so they have asked me to create a few templates for them and reach out to Catholic churches as well. Once I am done with ours I will probably make this a ministry for myself.
Thanks, and I love your show. My wife is a Presbyterian and your show is the one program on the Catholic Channel she really enjoys.
So what should go on a parish’s website? What makes it truly useful and brings people back again and again?
I would recommend the approach that Bob, another listener, is doing with his parish. Bob wrote last week and said:
I just wanted to drop you an e-mail, and let you see what we are doing in our local Parish; because in a way you were the motivation! As a long time listener, I had been pondering how our local community could do something in terms of technology that would make a difference, bring people together.
A friend at church agreed, and fortunately we have a Priest who was very supportive. The feedback from the community has been awesome. It’s a bi-weekly video e-mail, that focuses on our Lenten journeys and things going on. The e-mail links them to a semi-private You Tube video that we created.
We have to laugh, because it’s such a new concept to some; that they don’t really understand how bad it is!! J
Anyways, just wanted to show you. Without your continued dialogue about Catholic Media and how we all need to incorporate it into our parishes, I am not sure we would have done this. It’s just been awesome, and just confirmed the Bishop of the diocese has agreed to do a special Holy Week video for us!
Just wanted you to know, that you both make a huge difference!
CLICK HERE for link to the list of video’s. I highly suggest you go to this Tuesdays video – It’s our best to date!!!
I love the fact that a parish is making their own creative videos. What else would you suggest?
I am curious to read people’s experiences with this. I keep wanting to bring up the possibility of starting a parish website with our priest but I don’t have the knowledge to build one (and considering he just recently learned what “wikipedia” is, I’m not sure he sees the need for a parish website). We do live in a more rural area but have a good mix of older and younger parishioners and I think a website could be a good start to helping build our community.