God does not let people suffer right? Consider the life of Job, the persecution of Paul, and the betrayal of Jesus. Honestly, it is a difficult sales pitch to convince someone to convert to Christianity and enjoy an eternal life in heaven, at the expense of the possibility of more suffering in this life on earth. So how can we show our support on our websites?
What brings you here?
Many people start or resume their church attendance in times of suffering. Some of the highest church attendance in American history occurred in the weeks directly following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We are like a child that has fallen off their bike and needs comforting and encouragement. Luckily our Heavenly Father is always there for us in times of distress. In these situations, show your users the ministries that are available to help them. Have they been victims of abuse? Are they addicted to drugs? Have they just had a miscarriage? Whatever the tragedy, be ready to connect them as easily as possible with your church's resources and help them in their time of need.
Not getting better?
In misery we often seek the comfort of the Lord. Yet what people don’t realize is that many come to Christ and then experience more grief. Sometimes people are alienated, judged, and cast out of their social circles. Their surrounding culture, even their families, ostracize them when they become a Christian. Their new life in Christ brought them more misery. Do you have community groups to help? If our biological family is causing us pain, our church family should come to their aid. Information, testimonials, and sign-up forms should be close at hand for these confused lambs.
Ready to help
Regardless of why or how a new Christian comes into your midst, your church website must provide plenty of information and avenues to help them. In fact, that information may be the reason they chose your church over another. They can already see the safety net of loving friends that is ready to catch them when they need it.
It is not if your congregation members will face trouble, but when. Put those ministries in place both in the church body, and the website. Show people that you are there not to point an accusatory finger at them, but extend a loving hand to help them back to their feet.
Special Note: Thanks again to Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church for another inspiring sermon! Although his sermon has a different aim, in not letting suffering "go to waste"; it did inspire me to write on this theme.