Value for money: 5/5 Features: 5/5 Design: 4/5 Member quality: 5/5
- Layout facilitates easy site navigation
- Added features guarantee opportunities for interaction among members
- Half a million Christian subscribers worldwide
- Free, private, and safe
The Full Story
With the abundance of social networks and dating sites on the Internet today, the first thing I had to ask myself was, “Why should I join another one? In particular, why BigChurch?” In a moment of genuine epiphany, I recalled 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers (NIV).” Sure, there are a lot of nice women out there, but nothing compares to the joy of finding someone with the same faith and values as my own. BigChurch is aptly named with around 500,000 subscribers looking for partners to share a life in Christ with. The population of the largest single church in the country is not even a fourth of that! Becoming “fishers of men”—or in my case, women—is less likely to be a frustrating experience when you know that the fish are all going to be of a species you like the taste of.
The layout of the website is simple, which makes it easy even for a newbie to navigate. It helps that advertising is kept to a minimum and that they are placed at strategic locations on the page, so I don’t confuse the ads with BigChurch’s features. I must say that when it comes to looks, the site still has some room for improvement to encourage members to log in more often. However, for someone like me, who is serious about finding a potential partner through the dating site, the goal itself is enough to motivate me to engage in the site’s activities on a regular basis. After all, active members, such as those who upload pictures and post blog entries, show up more often on the homepage than those who simply lurk and search.
One of the things I like about BigChurch is that it provides even the most timid person more opportunities to interact. I, for one, am not very good at self-promotion, so I feel a little uncomfortable about using up to 20 photo uploads for my profile. To get into a little more action, I can create or respond to polls, write articles for the BigChurch Magazine, and ask or answer questions posted on the advice line. For more confident and social members, there is more to like about the site’s features. While most dating sites have instant messaging features, BigChurch raises the notch a little higher by enabling live voice and video chats. There are various ways of activating the IM feature, but I use the one that runs on my browser since I am not very fond of downloading software. There is also a standalone IM which comes with an HTML version, which I would recommend to those with slower-running hard drives. As soon as I log in to BigChurch, I get to see who’s online from the homepage, and when I’m using the chat service, I can filter it to show only those who match my Dove settings.
The Dove setting is a brief description of a member’s background and lifestyle derived from his or her profile. For instance, if my Dove preferences are set to women looking for a dating relationship or marriage, who live within 50 miles from where I am, my IM service will show only those that match my preferences. Unlike regular dating sites that sometimes make me feel like they’re saying, “You’re on your own, buddy,” BigChurch makes its presence felt each time I’m online. If I find a thumbnail photo of a member interesting, I can simply point the arrow at the thumbnail, and a snippet of her profile plus our compatibility score appears. Compatibility scores are based on how well you match each other’s relationship goals and other major requirements, such as education, body type, race, and denomination, among other factors. That’s not all. The profile snippet also shows the number of miles between our cities. So if you’re not one for long-distance love affairs, it’s easy to rule them out. One thing that I haven’t quite figured out yet is how the site can ensure that a member is indeed a Christian, but I think that you will be able to verify that for yourself after establishing a connection. After all, no dating site should take away the excitement one experiences out of getting to know another person.
To sum it up, I must say that it’s not BigChurch that answers your prayers, but it certainly helps speed up the process. If you’re unconvinced, check it out for yourself. With a standard membership that will not cost you a penny, you can browse profiles of equally great individuals and chat with them. Get your free membership today.