Adopting Drupal for the Website of Your Church, Synagog or Temple



December 05, 2007

We've now been approached by quite a few different religious communities who are looking to build an online community through Drupal. A number of us are Quakers and so we have built sites (mostly volunteer) for Friends organizations we're affiliated with. We recently launched a website for a United Church congregation looking to build its virtual community. We were happy to see that the national United Church site is using Drupal.

It is really a natural fit since the religious communities that have flourished are those that reach out to their membership and bring them a reason to come together in a journey of faith. Drupal is software built for fostering communities online. Congregations can have a space to communicate with other members outside of the church.

We've been approached by number of other religion based organizations recently:

  • Seventh-day Adventist Publication
  • Catholic advocacy organization in Spain
  • Hindu Temple in the USA
  • Unitarian congregation

We are a values based business and so we do try to work with organizations who share a similar ideological framework. There are things more important than money, even in the business world.

I thought it would be useful to highlight a couple of threads on Drupal where there is a discussion about what modules are most useful for church communities (in Drupal forums and through Drupal groups). The online scripture filter module looks interesting for those who want to have an easy way to reference the bible.

However many of the things that a church community needs are the same thing that most communities need, the ability to:

  • organize events, especially recurring events
  • coorinate volunteers
  • communicate to board members and visitors
  • to provide updates to people who might attend
  • discuss issues of importance to the community
  • upload podcasts
  • send out email notices to people who have subscribed to a list
  • have sel-organizing groups
  • and to expand based on the communities needs

Drupal does do a good job at all of these things. For more information, please contact us.

About The Author

Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.