1 March 2021 was a special night for the Norwich Seventh-day Adventist church as they launched their new website out into the world. We had special guest speakers (Pastor Sam Davies, SEC Communication Director; Pastor Richard Daly, BUC Communication Director) highlighting the importance of this event, a virtual guided tour of the website (through Zoom), and two fantastic special musical items from Pastor Steve Hulbert and family to celebrate the moment.
Some might be inclined to think, "ok…what's so special about yet another website being put on the world wide web? Don't we have enough of these already? Why make a big deal of it?" In a world that is primarily existing and functioning online these days, we need an online presence. The thinking around having an official launch was to highlight how technology can impact our lives and be a blessing when we seek to do it with both excellence and intentionality. Pastor Davies gave an example of this when he pointed out how our world is fraught with loneliness and isolation, and how we can essentially try and be a beacon of light in the darkness through things like our webpages.
Indeed, a church webpage can be likened to the very front door of the church itself, which it essentially is in the online world. The is the first impression many people will receive about your church. Thus, we should all be asking ourselves "What are they seeing? What kind of impression is it making upon them? Are they finding that which they came for? Is it readily accessible? Is it attractive? Does it convey warmth and the love of Christ? Is there excellence and care evident in its construction?" All these things speak to visitors and may encourage repeat visits to the website (and even future visits to the church itself!).
Our goal is to see greater opportunities created through this webpage for interaction with our community, by highlighting not only the times of worship, Bible study, and prayer that we have, but also in the ways that we look to bless others practically. An example of this is that we soon plan to offer an online form that people can fill out should they wish to be visited or receive a phone call (for those who are lonely or isolated), perhaps even sharing a word of Scripture and a prayer with them. We are also hoping to make it a place where people find spiritual inspiration through the sermon archives and other e-resources that are highlighted and shared therein.
Through it all, may God be glorified!