Communication Workshop held on March 20, 2004

"Tell 'em Who You Are!"




Many NJA Churches have Websites, including Christ Church in Summit


Websites can serve churches by helping to facilitate communication in a number of ways – among church members, with the surrounding community, and with the rest of the world!

Christ Church in Summit acquired a website ( about five years ago. Although fairly simple in structure, it is attractive in design and rich in content -- since virtually all sermons from the past 5 years are posted there. Members find it very useful as a source of information to augment the weekly Bulletin, but also as a repository for meeting minutes, by-laws, a Directory of Members including email addresses, etc (in a password-restricted area). More importantly for todays "Tell 'em Who You Are" workshop, we find that people outside our church visit the website. We have had at least a half-dozen new families join the church in the past couple of years who found our church initially by browsing the web, and that seems to be an increasing trend. Google searching has effectively replaced the Yellow Pages as a way for people to find businesses and churches! And the church's website affords a way to pay a quick visit to the church to see if the chemistry seems right. One woman living in Staten Island found us this way, and has now joined and commutes weekly to Summit NJ (more than once a week, I might add, since she has joined the choir as well as a committee or two!)

An unanticipated result of our website is that we now receive a constant trickle of emails from people around the world who find some particular sermon (presumably by Google search, etc) and are so inspired that they want to write a note of thanks.  (Of course we get the occasional email from someone who doesn’t like what they find...!)

A website has been created to serve the NJ Association – and today's "Tell 'em Who You Are" workshop.  Its web address is: and you’ll find a link there to a “Tell ‘em Who You Are” page that has most of the handout materials from the workshop plus other resources for browsing and downloading.  There is also a link to the website of the NJ Association Office.  Plans are to integrate to the two at some point.

As of this writing, about thirty of the 55 NJ Association Churches already have websites [ list ], and the feedback we’ve received from NJA Churches suggests that many of the rest are looking for a way to get one.   One of the major projects of the Communications Assessment and Strategy Committee (CASC – sponsors of today’s event) is to provide information and support to help them achieve their goal.  We’re planning to (1) have a corner of the NJA website for webmasters where resources for website creation and maintenance can be made available, (2) create an online forum for NJA webmasters to share ideas, best practices, and the like,  and (3) offer a low-cost shared-hosting arrangement for churches wanting to get their first website (the pilot of this is already underway, involving 4 NJA churches).

Please get in touch if your church would like to participate in this iniative!

-- Paul Tukey,  Christ Church, Summit: