© 2014 Photo used with purchased copyright permission from BIGSTOCK PHOTO.
Our church defining us by our website!
Over the past four Sundays, June and I have been in four different and distinct churches for various reasons and each with differing websites relative to the information provided and quality. Just as the above picture depicts a group of architects evaluating drawings and looking towards an existing structure, allow me to provide an evaluation of the church from a website architectural/structural plan perspective.
As a consultant and minister, long-time church member and an occasional visitor/guest, here are my observations. No church names will be mentioned but at the end of this article, a website is provided for you to check out in a comparison and contrast manner against your church’s existing website. These four churches include a non-denominational, independent Baptist, SBC church, and an SBC church transitioning from an older established church to a new church plant being relaunched in the future. Are you aware that our church website conveys more information about our church and who we are as a church than what many churches today consider? Whether it is the new or long-time believer or an unchurched person that is checking our website out, we need to make a great impression.
It has been stated that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Today more than ever church websites are being evaluated by potential attendees before they ever consider setting foot in our church. They are making evaluations and yes even judgments about who we are and what we are about that will determine whether or not they will attend one of our services. With that in mind allow me to encourage to make your website the very best professional site that you can afford. Explore at the end of this article the provided website, and explore other websites if you are connected to an existing church to see how your church website compares.
Please make sure your church website provides a prospective guest with an idea of what to expect from dress styles, to service types, to childcare, children, youth and adult ministries so they can determine if your church is a possible fit for them. Make sure that you have designed your website to appeal both to the unchurched seeker, and to the long-time church member so that both will feel welcome when they arrive and help minimize their angst at attending a new church. Check to make sure all your videos and plugins are working on a weekly basis. People today expect your church to be tech-savvy and to do things with excellence as this is what they expect from marketplace organizations and websites.
Millennials and the iGeneration have a hands-on, I want to be involved passionately mentality relative to causes they believe in or can commit to so have your church mission video’s, both locally and globally, current and working on your website. If you are a more traditional church with Sunday School, please don’t refer to them as small groups when in essence they are a Sunday School class. There is a huge philosophical and leadership difference between being a church of small groups, versus a church with Sunday School classes and or with small groups. Finally, make sure your Google maps and any contact links are current and are being checked on a regular basis in case someone is expecting to hear back from you. If they don’t they may decide you don’t care and so they will never give your church a chance.
These are just a few observations from these four church churches we attended and their websites that I want to pass along to you. More observations could be made relative to actually attending the church but that is beyond the scope of this article. Please check the church website for Gulf Gate Church in Sarasota, FL at www.gulfgatechurch.com and see how your church’s website compares.