Dear Pastor and/or Church Communicator:
“If you build it they will come…”
Eastern PA Conference Communications will partner with United Methodist Communications (UMCom) to offer a 6-hour basic workshop in building church websites in WordPress on Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6.
We will offer this training twice, if we can draw enough registrants, on Friday and again on Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 3 PM.
We can only accommodate up to 30 people for each intensive session; so space is limited. All who are interested should REGISTER ONLINE as soon as possible.
We have extended the deadline to register to Tuesday, April 4. Sorry, but we cannot accept registrants after that date, due to advance preparations needed for the training event.
The cost is only $30 per person, which must be paid in advance. That amount pays for lunch and other event costs. (UMCom is not charging for the training, thanks to our World Service apportionments. We apologize for incorrectly stating earlier that the training would be offered for free.)
This workshop is for lay and clergy individuals, and preferably for teams, who have the important responsibility or desire to build and manage their church websites, including those who want to create new and improved church websites.
A congregation with a quality website can reach beyond its front door to inform its community and the world about its life and faith, ministries and concerns. It can also inspire others to come visit and get involved. Indeed, your church’s website is its virtual front door, allowing you to invite people from near and far to peek inside and then come get a closer look.
A mere Facebook page is just not enough. A well-organized, attractive, informative church website with strategic content is far superior and more effective in attracting visitors. Most visitors now check out a church’s website before deciding to visit. Members also rely on church websites to learn important information and enjoy other benefits.
Craig Catlett, a Training and Development Specialist at UMCom, will come to Eastern PA to teach church staff and volunteers how to build quality WordPress church websites and begin planning a full-fledged web ministry with other, integrated components, like social media, recorded sermons, videos and online giving.
Craig says (in fact, he insists!) that your church will get the most out of this training if each participant first takes the online web ministry course Your Church Website: Rethinking Your New Front Door before coming to the workshop. It is a helpful online preview of what he will teach, and it covers the basics of creating both your church website and a strategic web ministry that helps people connect with your church in a new way.
The course may take you several hours or a day, depending on your current level of knowledge. But—and here’s the really good news—the usual cost for this online course is $39.99. But UMCom is offering it for free for people who register in time for the May workshop.
Not only that, but UMCom wants smart churches to also take the online course Church Marketing: How to Effectively Reach Your Community. In fact, they want that so much and feel it is so crucially important, that they’re offering a 25% discount on the $29.99 cost, resulting in a cost of only $22.50 for persons participating in the May workshop.
“In my experience,” Craig writes, “coupling the two topics (Web Ministry and Church Marketing) has shown great value because the marketing aspect really helps churches hone their identity and learn how to effectively reach audiences. Their identity manifests throughout the church website.”
If you don’t have time to take these online courses before the May workshop, you can take them afterward. But you’ll learn a lot more and learn much faster if you take them beforehand.
But wait—there’s more…much more!
United Methodist Communications offers churches low-cost website hosting and other benefits of its relationship with WordPress. But UMCom is also offering Website Development Grants ($$$) to UM churches and church entities, especially those who participate in this training, who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site.
Through these new grants, UMCom will offer the following:
- Free website hosting and free online support for one year.
- Free domain-name registration for one year.
- Free WordPress online training through UMCom.
- Free pre-designed templates for easy development of your new website
So, if your church wants to build a new or improved website—one that effectively invites whosoever will to come experience the message and ministries that you have to offer—then don’t delay. REGISTER for this workshop today before it fills up with eager learners.
And then, be sure to take those helpful online courses in web ministry and church marketing. You will begin to see the fruits of your learning and of your website that much sooner, as the world beats a path to your front door.
Craig Catlett is the Training and Development Specialist at United Methodist Communications. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and a Master’s Degree in Communication. Before coming to work for UMCom, Craig taught interpersonal communication, public speaking, and business and professional communication for Western Kentucky University. Craig has a background in ministry and online learning and now combines his past experiences to serve The United Methodist Church.
What are our next steps?
Once you’ve identified your Web Ministry person or team, register them for the workshop. By April 5 all participating churches will receive a web training Application/Contract, which must be signed and returned to UMCom by April 10.
UMCom will send each participant a code that allows them to take the online class “Your Church Website: Rethinking Your New Front Door” at no cost. This preparatory class—free for trainees—will explain how to create or transfer a domain name (URL) and create a WordPress website.
Creating a new website domain name typically takes about 2 days, but transferring one can take up to 10 days. Participants should not delay, but take the online class and create or transfer their church’s website domain-name/ URL promptly. All churches must create or transfer their church’s domain-name/URL by April 28 to participate in the training.