Perhaps you may wonder why our church makes all of our online resources available free of charge – everything from our audio sermons and podcasts to booklets, study guides, sermon notes and devotionals. This great article on John Piper’s www.desiringgod.org website, details their philosophy on that, and it resonates well with my soul!
Make It Free
Improving Online Effectiveness by Removing All Barriers to Accessing and Sharing Content
By Matt Perman
If you are a Christian media ministry, I commend the following vision for maximizing your effectiveness online: Post all of your content online, for free, without requiring registration, in a maximally usable interface.
This basis for doing this follows from the purpose of ministry and the purpose of a ministry website. The purpose of any ministry is, at root, to spread the message of the good news of God’s grace. And the purpose of a ministry website is thus to serve as an avenue for spreading that message.
From this it follows that your site will be most effective if you maximize ease of access to your content. It’s simple: If your content is hard to access, or not accessible at all, then it can’t spread. People won’t find it on your site, and they won’t tell others. But if you remove all barriers to access, people will use it and tell others (assuming that it is good). Thus your message will spread and be of far more benefit to everyone in the world.
In other words, anything that hinders the ease with which your users can access and share your content imposes a “cost” on them. You maximize ease of access to your content (and thus the effectiveness of your site) by making it “free” in the fullest sense of the word–by offering it without financial charge and removing all barriers to accessing the content.
There are four things that create obstacles for accessing and sharing content:
- Not having very much content online
- Charging for content that is online
- Requiring registration to access content that you don’t charge for
- Having a hard-to-use website
Therefore, there are four things you need to do in order to maximize access to your content online and truly “make it free”:
- Post all of your content online
- Don’t charge for your online content
- Don’t make people register to access any of your content
- Make your site very easy to use
In other words: post everything online, for free, without requiring registration, in a maximally usable interface. In what follows, I will attempt to show that if your ministry does this, you will demonstrate God’s grace in a wonderful way, serve people more effectively, and build a larger audience. Further, if it feels dangerous to post everything online for free, I will discuss how this is actually not too different from what you already do if you have a traditional radio broadcast. I will then close by observing what a great testimony to God’s grace and service to the church and world that it would be if every ministry did this…
To read the rest of this article from Desiring God online, click HERE:
To download any of our free audio sermons, click HERE.
To download any of our church’s other free resources, click HERE.