It takes a “village” to plant a church. And the “village” has just undergone an extreme makeover.
Although it’s been around for a decade, the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Church Planting Village web site has been streamlined, updated and more user-friendly.
“The Church Planting Village is one of the largest web sites dedicated to church planting in the nation,” said Greg Penna, church planting consultant for NAMB and site editor. “It’s a real treasure for church planters in the U.S. and even around the world.”
Penna estimates the site generates 1 million page views per year. The new site, which went live in mid-January, is optimized for information-searching using Google. Another key change: church planters no longer need to know English to enter the site. It now is readable and navigable in eight additional languages: Spanish, Korean, French, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.
German and Portuguese will be added soon. The site now is organized into three distinct areas, depending on the user:
- church planters.
- church partners — churches considering a church plant, launching a plant or sponsoring a new plant.
- field partners — directors of mission or local association employees, a church planting strategist or a state convention partner.
Penna said information on people groups “has always been at least half of the site’s content, but it was interspersed in different places. Now the information is all in one place. We added a people group library so now if you search Hispanics, there will be more detailed information, say on Argentineans. It’s now very easy to find information on all people groups.”
Regardless of the site user’s area of interest, the web site includes a resource library with 22 different church planting-related topics, such as administration, assessment, church plant models, fundamentals, communications/marketing, doctrine/theology, finances/stewardship and a list of vendors for needs like web sites, buying equipment and hiring consultants.
“The new site also allows us to include audio files such as podcasts, videos and other kinds of resources,” said Penna, who worked six months on the web site renovation with a team of six members on NAMB’s church planting resource development and delivery team. “We’re also excited about new capabilities, such as webinars.”
Penna said individuals in church planting can get a free subscription to the bimonthly electronic church planting newsletter, “Planter Update.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Noah is a writer for NAMB.)
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