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I was involved in the launch of a website at my church recently ( We use for the domain hosting, and an online content management system.

If you have an outside person or company design and build the site, remember to be clear about what their length of involvement will be. Do you want them just to build the site, or also continue to maintain it long afterwards? Go through the above steps before you bring that person or company on board (especially the services section), then clearly communicate it to that person, so that you end up with what you want in the final product. 

Also, GoogleAnalytics is a free way to see how many people are viewing your website and where they are located. This can help you focus your promotions, expand on what people are actually using, and not waste time on what they ignore.


SermonStudio ( is another option for placing content online. They will host audio for free or you can pay to have your video online. The church where I grew up uses this on their website:

If anyone in the congregation has a Mac, they probably have an application called GarageBand ( that can be used to record and edit audio and iMovie, which you could use to edit video.

When you published the photos online, how did the congregation feel about not having a physical product?


Sarah-I grew up singing out of a hymnal, and switched to a projector in high school. My church uses slides that have words and music, which is a great help when we are learning a new song.

If distraction is a big concern, you can start with just using it for the songs and litanies, with black slides for the inbetween times. As people adjust, if the Pastor is interested, you can add in sermon slides.

There are some things that can be rather distracting, but careful planning can help:

The slides should be checked before the service. The person who is advancing them can practice with the worship team, to make sure what they are singing matches with the slides. The person who created the slides should also give the operator and hints about timing. The worship planner at my parents' church gives them a helpful sheet of paper: there is a column with the portion of the service, and a column for what slides should be used. It's a great snapshot to reference during the service.

As Wendy's post illustrated, there must be a backup plan for when the projector fails, otherwise it is very distracting. The worship leader should not have to stop, or shout from the front. The congregation should have another source for the information. Also, there should be a person who can quietly respond to fix the problem and discreetly communicate with the Pastor if other plans need to be made--someone other than the worship leader.

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