Free netAdventist Web Sites
Now Offered to Each Northwest Church
The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC), in conjunction with the local conferences and TAGnet, an ASI member, has voted to provide netAdventist Web sites at no cost to the more than 400 churches throughout this union, effective immediately.
“We’ve estimated that nearly 80 percent of our Northwest churches have either no active Web site or one that is seldom updated,” says Jere Patzer, NPUC president. “We need to dramatically change that statistic. The Internet is the go-to place for information and personal connections. It’s high time that we aggressively use this communication tool for God’s glory and to further the evangelistic mission of our church.”
After looking at other alternatives, the NPUC chose to sponsor the netAdventist program for several reasons. It is easy to use and includes powerful evangelism and communication tools, including online Bible studies, links to media ministries and simple processes to make sermons available online or as podcasts.
The netAdventist program is also being viewed positively by the worldwide church as a viable communication platform. Thus, it potentially will not only create a more consistent menu of news and information sharing within Northwest churches, schools and conferences, but also for the entire worldwide family of Seventh-day Adventists.
Northwest churches can certainly still choose to use other Web authoring services, yet other options will not likely provide the same level of information sharing capability that churches using the netAdventist service will experience.
While the full Web site program is included in the no-cost package, technical support is available for an fee from TAGnet.
“Most churches should probably sign up for the $10 per month e-mail and chat support package for the first year at least,” recommends Danny Houghton, TAGnet executive vice president, parent company of netAdventist. “NetAdventist will make sure your Web site is fully functional and that you have complete access to its programming features. After that, with the $10 per month support package, our experts will answer your questions by e-mail, usually within a few minutes. Or you can click on the online chat link and get an answer almost immediately.”
For just $20 a month, netAdventist also offers unlimited phone support in addition to the basic e-mail and chat.
For smaller churches that may struggle with even the basic level of paid support, local conference or NPUC communication departments will offer limited assistance for common questions.
Web site design is another question to consider. “Churches can currently choose from dozens of standard themes,” says Houghton. “But some churches will want a custom design.”
NetAdventist does design work for an hourly fee. Houghton notes that most such designs are done in two hours or less, especially if a church simply wants to modify a standard theme. Extensive designs might take several hours. Contact netAdventist for more information.
Under an older program plan, some Northwest churches are already using netAdventist programming for their Web sites. The NPUC is willing to help churches that have already paid a monthly fee for the netAdventist programming. In conjunction with the local conference, the NPUC will reimburse $15 for each month in 2007 that a church has prepaid. Those churches will continue to receive full phone, e-mail and chat support until the original expiration date and then will be asked by netAdventist if they wish to purchase continuing support under the new $10 or $20 a month plans.
These full-service netAdventist Web sites have many options, including special evangelistic event pages and interest follow-up, opinion polls and forums, and live streaming video from the Hope Channel among others. Future plans for netAdventist include a greatly increased platform of program modules written by young aspiring Adventist programmers around the world.
Due to some significant donors, free netAdventist Web sites have been available to Adventist schools for some time. Now, due to this NPUC decision, the free sites are also available to Northwest churches.
“I believe this program boils a sophisticated set of technological tools down to a simple, easy-to-use, yet highly professional and powerful channel that any of our churches can use,” says Patzer. “Some of our churches are already doing amazing things via the Internet. But for the rest of our churches, here’s an unbeatable opportunity to establish and maintain an attractive, up-to-date and functional Web site. Free sites were already available to our schools. Now there is no excuse for a church to not have a great Web site. We are praying that the Holy Spirit will work through this tool to touch many within our circle of influence.”
Churches and schools can get more information and sign up for a free netAdventist Web site online at www.netAdventist.org. Northwest members are also encouraged to catch the vision of netAdventist by visiting the online site for a quick tour.