It’s no secret that the church is made up of people. This includes attendees, ministry leaders, board members, and staff members. They all play an important role in the life of the church. And if your church website is really going to function as a digital representation of your local church, it should have the ability to represent these individuals.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT
Let’s start by thinking about a staff page on your website. It’s easy for most of us to see why a church might need one. In fact, that’s often one of the most visited pages on a church website. If you put yourselves in the shoes of a new person, it’s easy to see why. You’re visiting a new church for the first time. You see multiple people step up on the platform, with no idea who any of them are, and you begin to feel a connection with those people. But it’s really hard to pull them aside to introduce yourself. You want to get to know them, though, so it’s nice to be able to have a bit of a head start. You go to the church website to see who they are and read a little bit about them. This scenario plays out week after week in thousands of churches.
Staff isn’t quite a broad enough designation, though. Often times, we have lay people serving in leadership roles. This could be as a board member, a ministry director, or even a classroom teacher. So rather than only having staff available on the site, I would encourage you to add everyone in a leadership position to your church website.
In response to that need, we developed a feature we called “Team Members”. Many of you have been using that feature for a while now, especially when it comes to assigning a speaker for a sermon.
But as I’ve personally dreamt about what the Digital Church Platform could become–about how it could help churches to thrive online–I realized that we needed to broaden the scope of “Team Members” to include any “People” in the church. This would allow us to do much more than we are currently able to do.
What kind of features can we develop on top of Digital Church People?
For starters, you might want to add a member directory to your website. Perhaps people with user accounts would have the capability to sign in to their website and view a directory of their fellow church members. Maybe they could even send them a message of encouragement or express their prayers for that person. Or maybe, just maybe, we could encourage people to complete a profile that includes some basic information on their own spiritual journey.
This is where things get interesting.
What if you had a database of people for your church that included important information like: Who has accepted Jesus? Who has been baptized? Who is serving on a team? Who regularly attends a small group? Who has submitted a prayer request?
As a church leader, that should give you some incredibly useful data to be able to know how to lead your church.
As we develop this new tool for churches, we will include the ability to define spiritual growth markers like salvation, baptism, prayer, etc. And as your church engages in spiritual development over time, we’ll display relevant data to those of you in leadership so you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how you are leading your church.
Privacy is important as well, so we will be moving forward with great caution. We want people to be able to track their own spiritual growth markers privately if they would like, while still presenting anonymized data for the church leadership, but also to allow some of that data to be shared in detail if the individual decides to share it.
Out of this vision, we’re opening a Digital Church People Beta Program today. It’s very simple right now, and really isn’t much different than our Team Member feature was, but it’s laying groundwork for amazing growth of our platform, and in turn giving you some tools that you will be able to use to lead your church into growth.
If you would like to join the Digital Church People Beta Program, you can fill out an application and our team will get you set up. We’re looking forward to receiving feedback directly from you as we shape the future of this essential tool for churches.