I visited a church recently by way of their website. I was out of town and wanted to find a church for Sunday service. A church website tells an important story.
I did what most people would do and just googled area churches. As I scrolled, I found a church’s website.
The website did a great job preparing me for an amazing church experience and telling me their story.
The church building was not fancy, it is a relatively new church and is in a temporary building, but their website got me in the door.
Once in the door the people and message took it from there.
The take away is that their website told their story and provided me with the information I needed to choose to visit them.
20 Things To Consider For Your Church Website
1. Current and Easy to Navigate
A website is a tool that provides visitors with a first impression of your church.
Website themes have changed drastically through the years.
Make sure your website has a current theme and that it is clean, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.
Also, check to be sure all menu buttons are working and that the pages provide current, helpful information.
2. Welcome Page
Everyone likes to hear the word WELCOME!
Provide a welcome page that engages visitors and makes them feel valued. Demonstrate that your church is a warm, caring, and friendly environment.
For instance, you may want to have a welcome message from a pastor to help visitors get a feel for his personality and style.
3. Church Mission
The mission is what people connect to. If you can articulate it well, your visitors may be drawn to help and support it.
Every church has a slightly different mission. Explain the mission, vision, and values of your church.
For instance, your mission explains why you exist, your vision explains what you hope to achieve, and your values demonstrate how decisions are made.
4. Statement Of Faith
Most people want to know a church’s fundamental doctrine.
Ensure you have a page that articulates your statement of faith, so would-be visitors understand that basic church doctrine.
For instance, create a page that articulates your beliefs that are supported by scripture.
5. Financial Accountability
People who donate to churches want to know that those donations are managed appropriately.
If your church has become an ECFA member, share that information to demonstrate financial accountability and integrity.
6. What To Do If You Are New
It is always difficult to navigate a new environment.
Make it easy for visitors by laying out steps to the visitor process.
Explain where to park, how to drop off kids, and any other tip that will make their visit easier.
For instance, if you offer first-time visitor parking, make it clear how to access it and its location.
Offer them a free cup of coffee just for showing up.
7. History Of The Church
I always find church history interesting.
Explain how the church began and the milestones along the way.
These historical facts help to tell a story and build a relationship with a visitor.
For instance, if your church has been around for decades, use that history to demonstrate stability even when there has been a leadership change.
8. Meet The Pastor
The pastor is the person who communicates on behalf of the church. Put the pastor front and center.
For instance, you might want to share a welcome video of the pastor – as well as sample sermons.
This will give visitors an idea of what the message will be like and a sample of how that message will be delivered.
9. Meet The Staff
I also like to see who is on staff, what they do and a little about them.
This church had staff family photos so you not only knew who the staff were but their families also.
Seeing a family unit – Dad, Mom, and kids – provides the big picture of the employee.
10. How To Prepare For Your Visit
For people who have been away from church for a while or have never been in a church, visiting a new church can be a little intimidating.
Help to prepare them by sharing what the experience will be like.
For instance, provide information about the length of services, what to wear, the atmosphere of the meeting, types of music, information about the kid’s program, etc.
The more you can do to prepare a guest for a visit the better their experience will be.
11. Service Times – Directions
Most churches have their service times listed somewhere on their website – but often difficult to find. Make it easy to find by having it front and center.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find basic information.
However, service times is one that should never be difficult to find.
Ask someone who has never been on your website to go there and ask them how long it takes them to find this basic information.
You may be surprised by their answer.
12. Getting Involved
Joining a church means getting involved. Make it easy for people to connect and get involved.
The sooner they plug into a program, team or event at the church the better their chances are of meeting people and beginning to feel part of the community.
13. Youth And Children’s Programs
Young couples with kids are interested in what programs are available for their children.
They want to know two things.
They first want to know that their kids are in a safe environment, and they secondly want to know that their kids will grow spiritually.
Share information about how your church keeps kids safe and provides applicable biblical teaching.
Volunteers are the engine of a church. Share detailed information about the process of becoming a volunteer and available volunteer opportunities.
People are often afraid to commit, so do your best to make the process easy and adaptable to volunteer needs.
15. Community Groups
Everyone wants to know someone when they walk in the door of a church.
Share how your church encourages community.
Some churches have home groups; some have life interest groups; some have weekly bible study.
The model is not as important as the communicating of its existence.
Visitors and new members need to know how to connect with other believers and how to make friends. Community groups are how that happens.
16. Streaming Services
Thanks to the Covid Pandemic, the age of streaming services is probably here to stay.
Make it easy for visitors to find access to streaming services and recent sermons.
People also like to see sermon series that offer practical help for their daily lives. Have links to podcasts or videos of weekly messages.
The beauty of the local church is in its ability to transform lives.
The Bible provides the steps and the church facilitates the delivery of the message.
There is nothing more heartwarming than hearing the testimony of a new believer who experienced a radical change.
Share these inspirational testimonies on your website not only for visitors to see but for members.
A church blog is a great way to expand on weekly teachings and to stay connected with members.
A blog also provides teaching samples for visitors.
Try to maintain a blog and keep it filled with fresh content.
For instance, find a volunteer to transcribe a weekly message and turn it into a blog post.
19. How To Read The Bible
At the end of the day learning the teachings of the Bible is why Christians meet.
Most new believers have no clue how to read the bible. It is an overwhelmingly huge book.
Offer tips on navigating the Bible and point visitors and members to resources to help them on their journey.
20. How To Give
No pastor likes to ask for money. Make giving easy by providing several giving options.
There are many new technologies that provide easy ways to give.
Explore these new technologies and provide easy access.
In addition, provide information about current church financial needs (perhaps a building project), teaching on giving, and tips on budgeting and debt reduction.
Try to remember that a church’s website is its sale page.
Create a site that is easy to navigate, with helpful information, and your website may be one of many tools that helps to bring visitors to your church.
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