God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), but sometimes our church websites are.
Your website can have great fonts, colors, and styling, but if it is missing some essential information, it will never achieve one of its main purposes: to attract potential visitors.
We humbly suggest that the three items below should always be easy to find, correct, and up-to-date.
1. Contact Information and Service Times
Do not make it difficult for potential visitors to find your building or know when to visit!
Make sure your church name, address, and phone number are easy to find (and easy to read) on your church’s home page and consider adding that information to the header and/or footer of each page.
Websites should also include a contact form so users can ask questions. It is important to respond quickly to online submissions, so be sure that the submissions are sent to an email address that is checked regularly.
Remember, this email is from a stranger reaching out for help! If you wait two weeks to reply, the moment for a positive connection has probably passed (and actually becomes a negative experience).
When listing service times, be sure to correlate meeting times with meeting purposes. A visitor may not understand what Bible Class hour is, so that leads us to our next point.
2. Let a Potential Visitor Know What to Expect
Visiting a new church is scary. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor. Give the potential visitor an easy-to-follow script of a typical service, and avoid using any church code-words (looking at you, separate-and-apart)!
Consider adding an “I’m new” or “What to Expect” button to your homepage and website menu, and then answer the following common questions:
- What are your services like?
- How long do services usually last?
- What is your style of worship?
- What is the typical attire?
- Are there classes available for children?
In addition to these questions, you should include a short explanation of what your congregation believes and teaches on matters such as salvation, singing, giving, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and church leadership.
Your church website is NOT the place for a fourteen-page discussion of doctrinal matters; it is a place to put potentials visitor’s minds at ease as they choose a church to visit next Sunday.
3. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
People want to see what’s going on before they visit.
Provide professional headshots and short biographies of your church leaders (if you have trouble collecting these, ask their wives!) Your website should also have pictures of your auditorium, events, and Bible classes.
Ask your minister to record a short video (no more than 60 seconds) inviting visitors to services. Embed this video on your congregation’s website and feature it on your social media platforms.
As you write the content of your website, avoid using terminology that visitors may not understand. For example, many visitors may not know what a bulletin is, but they will probably understand newsletters. Your members understand PrimeTimers, but Senior Ministry may be clearer for visitors. Avoid using abbreviations and code words; don’t make getting involved with your congregation a riddle!
These ideas are the fundamental building blocks for using your website as a tool for local outreach.
Once these are in place you can then add online Bible studies, evangelistic articles, live streaming services, and more.
Struggling with these?
We can help. Click/tap here to reach out to us.