Some of you, as you happen across this website, might wonder why no one from your church has contacted Luthernet about building a new website for your congregation or school. You might wonder why Luthernet hasn't contacted your pastor. Well, the fact is that folks who work at churches are very busy, and even though Luthernet has made an attempt to contact churches and schools, we've avoided continuous "spamming" with email or walking in on people not expecting us. Therefore, we've mostly sent mail and attempted to contact the congregations most in need. This article will provide details about what we saw with the old websites and how we chose to contact each congregation. If you attend one of these churches, feel free to contact us for the church or your pastor (as a concerned church or church council member). Perhaps district or synod administrators will also be interested in the progress of member church websites.

 Most of the contacts were initiated after Pastor Peter Kelm sent out a newsletter to LCMS SWD member churches. One church contacted us immediately (Trinity Lutheran Oshkosh), but the rest waited for us to contact them. Since we had a well-respected pastor mentioning the need for Luthernet's or similar services, we figured these mailings would provide some added exposure at just the right time. In order to find churches in need of our web design services, we simply used the LCMS find a church tool for the South Wisconsin District. There were a few other churches along the way, too, but it was mostly LCMS SWD to start. If your church is not listed, it's not always a sign of website competence: some sites were too large for us to bother offering an update, some sites did not exist at all (and had small membership numbers), and some sites were just plain ugly (but were modern/mobile-friendly).  

After six months of sending contacts to many LCMS member churches, there are some common themes. We mostly found that very few churches respond to either email or mail, even if the content is obviously from a fellow Lutheran with advice: I often complimented a website that looked good, gave one piece of advice, warned about security risks, or just identified a broken link from the LCMS search page. I'd just read that people who want to succeed need to think about how many people they help rather than how much money they can make, and that's how I saw many of the contact, but it can get frustrating when the people you have offered to help never see or ignore even simple gestures that are only meant to provide free guidance. I also started to wonder how many legitimate contacts are not seen each month by pastors who get all kinds of junk mail. How many new members are missed because LCMS and most member churches publicly post email addresses for Canadian pharmacies and Nigerian inheritance lawyers to find? Mostly I feel sad that my good intentions are seen as business as usual instead of as actual good intentions, but there is so little I can do to change that. Of course, if you attend one of these churches and stumble across this article, there is something you can do to change it.

Congregation Website Assessment Contact Method Result
LCMS SWD      
Trinity Lutheran Milwaukee not mobile-friendly; old design with a lot of blank space email and mail pre-built site; waiting
Christ the Life Lutheran Waukesha not mobile-friendly; dangerously old Joomla install email and mail pre-built site; waiting
Immanuel Lutheran Mayville not mobile-friendly; huge, confusing menu email and mail pre-built site; waiting
Trinity Lutheran Oshkosh not mobile-friendly; old Joomla site barebones emailed us pre-built site; waiting
Church in Milwaukee not mobile-friendly; 2008 design email and mail pre-built site; waiting
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Mequon not mobile-friendly email  
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Waukesha not mobile-friendly email  
Benediction Lutheran Milwaukee not mobile-friendly email  
Bethany Lutheran Kohler not mobile-friendly email  
Bethlehem Lutheran Sun Prairie not mobile friendly - news takes forever to load (40 seconds) email  
Bethlehem Lutheran Sheboygan not mobile-friendly email  
Bethlehem Lutheran Wales not mobile-friendly; site too big to make an offer none sent - call me if interested  
Blessed Savior New Berlin not mobile-friendly; just needs a new WP theme none  
Brookfield Lutheran not mobile-friendly; big site (in confusing asp.net) none  
Calvary Lutheran Chapel not mobile-friendly - site looks newer than it acts; not a cms email  
Calvary Lutheran Princeton not mobile-friendly email  
Lutheran Chapel of the Cross Milwaukee not mobile-friendly email  
Christ Lutheran Church Highland not mobile-friendly; subdomain site email  
Covenant Lutheran Milwaukee not mobile-friendly; WordPress 3.5 = old email  
Divine Savior Hartford not mobile-friendly email  
Divine Savior North Fond du Lac not mobile-friendly; Microsoft Frontpage! email  
Elm Grove Lutheran not mobile-friendly none  
Emmanuel Church Adell not mobile-friendly; very old email  
 Congregation Website Assessment Contact Method Result
Faith Lutheran Germantown not mobile-friendly email  
Good Shepherd Lutheran East Troy not mobile-friendly; Joomla 1.5 = hacker bait online form (if it still works)  
Good Shepherd Lutheran Tomah weebly site, but actual domain is owned and empty no  
Good Shepherd Lutheran Two Rivers not mobile-friendly mail  
Good Shepherd Lutheran Watertown not mobile-friendly; company that built site says they make mobile-friendly sites email response that being mobile-friendly was part of package--time to inquire
Grace Lutheran Church Elkart Lake not mobile-friendly or a cms mail  awesome website is built for Grace
Grace Lutheran Church Oak Creek not mobile-friendly; asp.net and too fairly big email suggesting update  
Grace Lutheran Church Racine Google site, which is cute and cheap but not well supported not yet  
Hope Lutheran Church Fond du Lac not mobile-friendly mail  
Immanuel Lutheran Church Adams Google site mail  
Living Savior Lutheran Church Fort Atkinson not mobile-friendly; on subdomain mail  
Living Word Lutheran Jackson not mobile-friendly; still has ParishFunding link on main page (a fundraising system we created but abandoned several years ago) mail  
Luther Memorial Chapel Shorewood not mobile-friendly mail  
Lutheran Church of the Living Christ not mobile-friendly mail  
Congregation Website Assessment Contact Method Result
Messiah Lutheran Church Beloit Facebook only (not kidding) Facebook messaged, but that's not reliable nothing, just like anyone trying to connect via Facebook
Messiah Lutheran Church Kenosha  not mobile-friendly  mail  
Monona Evangelical Lutheran Church not mobile-friendly, or at least lack of style elements email  
Mount Olive Lutheran Church Madison not mobile-friendly; another outdated template company mail  
Mount Zion Lutheran Church Greenfield not mobile-friendly; subdomain site mail  
New Hope Lutheran Church Neenah not mobile-friendly, according to Google, but it looked pretty good to us sent an email just to let you know what Google saw  
Our Father Lutheran Church Greenfield not mobile-friendly mail  
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Sheboygan not mobile-friendly mail  
Our Savior Lutheran Church Burlington not mobile-friendly; another asp.net problem site mail  
Our Savior Lutheran Church Janesville not mobile-friendly mail  
Our Shepherd Lutheran Church Greendale not mobile-friendly mail  
Congregation Website Assessment Contact Method Result
Peace Lutheran Church Neenah not mobile-friendly mail  
Peace Lutheran Church Sussex not mobile-friendly, but it looks pretty good email, just to suggest small tweaks  
Pella Lutheran Church Waupun not mobile-friendly mail  
Pilgrim Lutheran Church Wauwatosa not mobile-friendly mail  
Redeemer Lutheran Manitowoc not mobile-friendly, but a big site email - suggested a contact to web provider  
St. Andrew Lutheran Church West Bend not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church Brillion not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John Lutheran Church Berlin not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John Lutheran New Fane Yolasite subdomain email  
St. John Lutheran Church Oconomowoc not mobile-friendly; Lutherans online subdomain mail  
St. John Lutheran Church Portage not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John Lutheran Church Random Lake not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John Lutheran Church Sullivan not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John's Lutheran Church Racine not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Paul Lutheran Church Janesville not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Paul's Lutheran Church Brown Deer not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Peter Lutheran Church Hilbert not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Peter Lutheran Church Reedsburg not mobile-friendly mail  
St. Peter Lutheran Church Waterford not mobile-friendly mail  
Shepherd of the Hills Pewaukee not mobile-friendly; large church with a website in obvious need mail  
Shepherd of the Hills Onalaska not mobile-friendly mail  
St. John Lutheran Church West Bend not mobile-friendly email  
St. Matthew Lutheran Church Warrens not mobile-friendly email  
St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cascade not mobile-friendly email  
St. Paul's Lutheran Church Sheboygan not mobile-friendly email  
Trinity Lutheran Church Beloit not mobile-friendly email  
Trinity Lutheran Church Potter not mobile-friendly email  
Trinity Lutheran Church Racine not mobile-friendly email  
Congregation Website Assessment Contact Method Result
North Wisconsin District      
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Athens not mobile-friendly mail  
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Fall Creek not mobile-friendly mail  
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Nekoosa not mobile-friendly mail  
Calvary Lutheran Church Waupaca not mobile-friendly mail  
Christ the King Lutheran Church  Ishpeming, MI not mobile-friendly mail  
Faith Lutheran Church Green Bay not mobile-friendly email