There are a ton of good things going on at the New Hope Oahu church’s website, and I’d love to take the time to tell you all about them. But this series of posts has a specific purpose, namely, to detail some of the features that earn a church website the designation “full-featured” from the fine folks at Faith Formation 2020. Here’s an even more condensed version of those features than the one I previously posted: we’re looking at church websites that offer audio, video, and print resources; online community and blogs; small group study, courses and webinars; and user generated content to 1.) augment the face-to-face faith development opportunities within the congregation, and 2.) allow individuals to explore spiritual growth and faith development on their own before coming to a congregation for face-to-face interactions. And it’s all part of providing “comprehensive faith formation for everyone, anytime, anywhere, 24x7x365” (as I’ve mentioned here before).
Although I’m not necessarily critiquing aesthetics in these posts, I have to say I like the lighter, dare I say, sunnier, look of New Hope’s site when compared to Ginghamsburg‘s. Perhaps we can attribute that to the difference in climate between Hawaii and Ohio. But what I really like about the New Hope site is that it has a “Devotions” section right there on top, next to “Home,” “Locations,” “Resources,” etc. Click on the link and you’re taken to a page that’s totally dedicated to the spiritual practice of journaling. It’s a perfect example of an online resource that can both augment face-to-face learning opportunities (probably Bible Study) or be a way in for a spiritual seeker to get a taste of what the church is all about. You can click on another link and find a set-by-step process for learning how to journal.
You don’t have to be a member of the church to participate in this process. What’s more, you also have access to the pastors’ journals as well as the devotions written by other people doing the process (can you say “user generated content”?). As you navigate through these pages, you find links to podcasts, online versions of the Bible verses being used for the day’s devotions, and opportunities to purchase resources like journals and books from the church’s online store. Pretty impressive if you ask me.