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LifeWay’s revamped Internet sites offer help for churches, individuals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention has revamped its two Internet sites, one designed to serve churches and their needs and the other designed for individuals and families.

LifeWay.com, LifeWay’s site for churches and ministry professionals, teachers, volunteer ministry leaders, church staff and pastors, has undergone a facelift aimed at improving usability and concentrating on helpful articles and resources. A link to the new design has been placed on the site’s home page, giving a preview of a fully functional version of the site that will replace the existing LifeWay.com site in March.

LifeWayOnline.com has evolved from a website marketing LifeWay’s Internet service to a Christian content portal focused on ministering to individuals and families.

Both of these sites, along with the newly redesigned LifeWaystores.com, are conforming to a new streamlined navigation and graphic layout designed to promote a LifeWay network of websites.

“Users will find an new emphasis on content, as opposed to products,” said Steve NeSmith of LifeWay’s e-business group.

“Populating a website with fresh content, though, can be a challenge,” NeSmith observed, “so the e-business group has turned to LifeWay’s many editorial departments for support with this task. The result is that some of LifeWay’s best content from today and yesterday is now seeing new life on the Internet.

An article about coping with widowhood, for example, which originally appeared in Christian Single magazine is now available in the “Single Life” section of LifeWayonline.com. “It is a compelling story that draws in the reader and serves as a written form of ministry to thousands of new visitors to our website,” NeSmith said.

An article by popular Christian author and lecturer in the area of children’s ministry, Dr. William Sears, meanwhile offers practical advice on dental care for younger family members whose families may have a history of dental problems.

“We believe this is being a better steward of our resources, to multiply use of this content through the Web,” NeSmith continued. “Not only is LifeWay able to use this content again and again, we are making it available to a whole new audience on the Internet.”

Churches also can take advantage of LifeWay’s focus on the World Wide Web through a new, easy-to-build website for individual churches, offered by LifeWay.

These church websites, called LifeWayLINK, are available free, and may be upgraded for a small monthly fee. Information about this service may be found at www.LifeWayLink.com.

“We’ve created a professional-looking website that a church employee with no technical skills could maintain,” NeSmith said.

NeSmith said 377.65 million people around the world now use the Internet. During the year 2000, more than 7 trillion e-mails were sent in the United States alone.

“Statistics like these have led LifeWay to place a high priority on developing an e-business model for communicating with churches and individuals,” he said.

Church leader can log into LifeWay’s online ordering system using the LifeWay account number and an assigned private PIN for their church. More than 25,000 churches have PINS to order their dated and undated resources online. Online ordering is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Information about online ordering for churches is available at http://www.lifeway.com/signup/signup.asp.

The LifeWay Christian Stores website, www.lifewaystores.com, has expanded to more than 100,000 resources. LifeWayonline, launched in May 2000, offers nationwide, dial-up access to the Internet through a proprietary filter that eliminates pornography and other offensive material.

To facilitate dialogue among ministers and laypeople about ministry issues, “LifeWay Community” has been introduced and may be accessed at http://community.lifeway.com.

“Technology enables visitors to LifeWay sites to ask questions and register their concerns. This feedback will be foundational as LifeWay sites are under continuous improvement to better meet the needs of people,” said Tim Vineyard, director of the e-business group.

“LifeWay will use the Internet and electronic publishing technologies to provide spiritually transforming solutions to churches and individuals,” Vineyard said. “We will seek to accomplish this through collaboration with our customers and by maximizing the value of LifeWay’s content and services.”

    About the Author

  • Charles Willis