I commented on the new URC website and was pretty critical. I’ve emailed my concerns to the team. What I didn’t do was show a positive alternative. In this post I’ll take a quick overview of other denominational websites to show the type of things I’d like to see on the URC site.
The Church of Scotland
The first link in the “Main links” box on the left is Faith and worship which leads to a comprehensive section on the faith of the denomination. The first story in the centre of the page is called Worship on the Web, a link to resources for worship.
The Church of England
There are two prominent words on the front page: Faith and Worship. The Faith pages include sections on what it means to be a Christian. Our dissenting forebears left this church because they were compromising the Word of God. Today they’re just as split on major issues as the URC. And yet, their website shows that the most important things for a church to declare to the world are its Faith and Worship.
The Methodist Church
A Bible verse! The first link on the page leads to pages about God, Christianity and worship!
The Baptist Union
This one surprised me as the Baptist Union are thought of as being the more evangelical of the British mainline denominations. Perhaps their congregational polity forces them to skirt around issues of doctrine (which perhaps explains the URC position, too) It does have a link to What’s a Baptist and Prayer and Worship.
Again not as good but there’s enough on there to let you know this is a church group.
That’s the mainline churches. All of the above are as theologically broad as the the URC. All of the above are suffering from a loss of influence and struggling to find their place in the world. All of the above have managed to place articles about their faith, worship and history in prominent places on their websites.
A final couple of examples from our more conservative brothers and sisters:
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales
No messing about here. Everything you need to know is right on the front page.
Presbyterian Church in America
One click to the Gospel. If you can find it on their poorly designed site.
There you have it. Is it too much to ask for the URC to have some indication on its website that it is a church of Jesus Christ, engaged in worship and proclamation?
Postscript: Matt Stone has taken on the fight on the URC Forum. Apparently content on what we believe will be added as more people contribute. That’s pretty enigmatic – let’s see what pans out.