Several things every confessional Lutheran church website must have

I’ve been on the road and trying to find places to worship of late. In doing so, I’m noticing several things that I always need on a site. I am listing them below for all the webmasters out there, and for me personally since the website I maintain for the church in which God has placed me doesn’t always contain them.

What is your communion schedule?

I treasure the eucharist and dearly wish to commune with congregations in my synod and synods in its fellowship when on the road. However, I also don’t want to put the pastor in a position where he communes someone he doesn’t know. As such, I would like to know if I need to arrive early in order to introduce myself. Ideally, every church would offer the sacrament every Sunday. Until the blessed day where I can count on this, please list your schedule and make certain that it is updated if you switch it around for a month.

Who is your pastor?

I really could use the name of your pastor or pastors so I know who to contact. I could also use a picture of your pastor to make it easier to identify him. Going to a new congregation is an intimidating experience, so it helps.

Is the site actually up to date?

A recent site at which I was looking had a calendar from March (it is July), the most recent sermon was March 10, and the announcements section was from March 10. At this point I’m going to hope that the 9:30 a.m. worship time is still accurate and you haven’t switched to a summer schedule without telling me. If you have a summer schedule and aren’t likely to be modifying the site every week, please indicate that on the site and list both schedules and the date on which it changes.

A statement of why you exist.

I want to be able to rule out the churches that are tinkering with the liturgy. I wish that I could simply assume that every church was solidly biblical, holding fast to the faith passed down from our fathers. However, this is not the case. Having a statement of purpose will solidify my decision to attend. If I see words like “Confessional”, “Book of Concord”, “Sacrament”, “Baptism”, and “Doctrine”, I will conclude that you actually believe the doctrine to which you officially subscribe. It is remarkably easy to tell if a congregation is tinkering with historic Christian worship and doctrine from a statement of faith.

I go to worship to receive God’s gifts. I don’t go to worship to get a weekly buzz, to feel awesome about God, or even to be told 10 ways to be a better Christian. I can get all of that from a CD or radio program. I can even get the preached Word, properly dividing law and gospel on a podcast. I go to worship to receive God’s gifts which I can obtain nowhere else: holy absolution; the very body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine; and proclaim God’s work and Word in community with other believers, e.g. praise.

One Response to “Several things every confessional Lutheran church website must have”

  1. Gregg Bitter

    Thanks for your observations! It’s helpful to know what others are looking for and keeps me from simply working on the parts of the church website that interest me.


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