What’s Next for Oak Hills? (Part 4)
July 19, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Part of thriving as a church is to be reminded of and united around the mission God calls us to. It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get distracted. Oak Hills longs to know and make known the astonishing grace of God. I’ve been seeking to refresh our minds and energy around this mission God has called us to.
This mission means, first and foremost, that we will treasure Christ. We constantly need to recalibrate our hearts toward this mission through repentance, prayer, and availing ourselves of the ordinary means of grace.
In addition to the unchanging longing to treasure Christ, we have identified four other areas in which we can grow in order to be more faithful to our mission. I’m highlighting these four areas over these few weeks. Last week I wrote about cultivating a culture of invitation. The second area is an offshoot of the first.
Number 2: Improve our Web Presence.
How do people find us? Perhaps this is one area the slogan “change or die” may apply. The method people have used to find a church has changed. Long ago churches built steeples on their sanctuaries so that they would have the highest peak in town for all to see where the church is. We don’t look for steeples to find a church now. We don’t use phone books either. Most don’t use newspapers, mailers, or even the radio either.
How do people find a church nowadays? The most effective and valuable way for our church to be found is…. you. Yes, word of mouth and personal invitation is the most effective way for others to find our church. That’s what I was touching on last week under “cultivating a culture of invitation.” If we long to make known God’s astonishing grace, we would invite others to join us in knowing God’s grace through church.
Tools are helpful, though, for inviting friends to consider our church. And tools change over time. I believe it is safe to say that the internet is the most effective and primary way for people to find us. When I ask visitors how they found us, nearly everyone says the internet.
The internet is more than a tool to find out that we exist, that we hold services on Sundays, and that we meet in Shawnee. Potential visitors use the internet to evaluate us as a church. Are we active? Are we friendly and welcoming? What do we emphasize? What’s our heartbeat? What kind of people attend?
Over the last few years we have been making progress with our web presence. We’ve been actively updating our website with fresh content each week. We’ve been posting events, sermons, and pictures on Facebook. Many have pitched in to help these efforts. More can be done, though. Perhaps you can help in one of these ways:
- Video. We don’t have video on our website or Facebook. There are all kinds of options for incorporating video. What would you like to see? What would your friends like to see? If you have some ideas or ability for weaving video into our internet presence, let’s do it!
- Fresh pictures for our website. We have some pictures, but most are dated. Refreshing pictures and adding more would be welcome. Could you help us with this?
- Traffic. More page visits and interaction with posts draw attention to our church and activities. Thank you for engaging this last year, one of our best. What can we do to improve? What kinds of posts do you want to see that will encourage more traffic?
- What am I missing? I’m no expert. I’m dependent on others to help provide vision and ideas. Would you like to join the team?
Paul marvels at the Thessalonian believers that their “faith in God has gone forth everywhere.” I pray that our faith, as we treasure Christ, would go forth everywhere, even the internet, so that God would be pleased to draw others to himself.