church technology Church Website Wednesday Outreach Web

Open Your Doors to the Web World

Church Website Wednesday

[quote align=”center”]85% of first time visitors are looking for your website BEFORE they step foot in your doors.[/quote]

I use that statistic a lot, but only because it is one of the most valuable stats I have found to reveal the importance of a quality, well-designed church website.

If 85% of first time visitors are coming to your website, you can also assume that they are developing a perception of your church. They want to know more. They are used to going to websites and finding every answer they are looking for, without having to leave the comfort of their home.

Does your website explain who you are?

church technology Church Website Wednesday Outreach Web

Your Church Website as a Ministry Tool.

Church Website Wednesdays

After looking at hundreds of church websites, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I am going to attempt in a weekly series to provide tips, ideas and examples to help you better utilize your website as a ministry tool.

I’ve already written several posts about the necessity for a church to have a website. Some of those can be viewed at the links below.
Church Web Presence Checklist

Top 10 Reasons to Redesign your Church’s Website

What does your website say about your church?

Today, I am going to focus on what content should you put on the website. This is a huge topic and will take several posts, but I will start with an big picture overview.

Your website is one of the most valuable outreach tools available to you outside of the people in your church. Visitors who visit your website should be able to come away with a good idea of who you are, what they can expect from the church and know whether or not your church would be a good fit.

I’ll concede, we all want the people to visit our building before they make up their mind. Unfortunately, in our digital age, the perception is already decided BEFORE they step foot in your door.

[quote align=”center”]So what kind of content should you have on your website?[/quote]

Church Management Daily Thought Leadership Outreach

Prefers Traditional Music…

I was perusing through a list of churches seeking pastors and saw a job description with those three words, “Prefers Traditional Music”.

I know the debate over traditional vs. contemporary worship will continue to divide this side of heaven. However, what does it say about the openness of your church by making that statement?

Assimilation church technology Outreach Social Media Technology Tuesday

Facebook for your Ministry

I get asked all the time by pastors and church leaders about Facebook. Most are at the point that they are seeing the need, but are having trouble taking the first step to get started. I repeatedly assure pastors that Facebook is one of the most effective means of communication available for ministry. Why? Because its based on “Permission Based Marketing”. When you ‘friend’ someone on Facebook, or ‘like’ an organizations page, you are giving them permission to market to you.

I’ll conceded that face-to-face is the best way to communicate, but what Facebook provides is a way to communicate in a non-invasive manner. This is what I’ll explain here.

Assimilation Growing Your Giving Base Outreach Visitors

Nothing Better Than a Personal Invitation

I spent sometime this morning listening to the Rick & Bubba Show on my way into town. They brought up something that I wasn’t aware of going on this Sunday. Sunday, September 18, 2011 is National Back to Church Sunday. Some interesting facts were shared.

“Only two percent of church members invite an un-churched person to church. Ninety-eight percent of churchgoers never extend an invitation in a given year.” –LifeWay Research

Church Management Daily Thought Leadership Outreach

Pursuing Excellence

Yesterday a Godly leader shared a message at Bethel Baptist Church. Norris Price share a message on pursuing excellence and how God deserves nothing less than our pursuit of excellence.

He shared about how are nature is to accept good enough and settle for mediocrity because many times, excellence is hard.

He defined excellence as in 4 parts:

Caring more than people think is wise;

Risking more than people think is safe;

Dreaming more than people think is practical;

Expecting more than people think is possible;

For a church, he asked us to think about what we experienced today that bring us back to visit again. Not that we are trying to put on a production, but what about the church provided an experience that was worth coming back for. He then challenged us to give our best to make that happen. Many times, organizations are blamed when in reality it is a lack of excellence in the people. If you go to a business, and are not treated well, then that business is bad. In reality, however, that business may be great, but that person was bad.

The same thing happens in church. We visit, have a poor experience with a person or individual, and suddenly, that church is bad. Are you giving your best so that people experience excellence when they visit your church?

I’m interested in hearing what your church or organization is doing to pursue excellence.

Church Management Leadership Outreach

Success Analysis for Churches

I had the chance to talk on a local radio show this afternoon.  We went into the show expecting to talk about independence but the topic quickly moved to churches and effectively managing change.  It was interesting that we were able to cover several topics in relation which were all things I had been processing in the past week or so.

success analysis for churchOne caller mentioned she felt that all church growth books and blogs are trying to push everyone into a Mega-Church mentality.  I could tell where she was going and was able to provide her with some information I had recently read on Ed Stetzer’s Blog.  His latest post “Small is the Kingdom Big” is a great explanation on how we should rethink how we perceive churches.  Many times, we equate the size of the church with the success of the church.  While I’ll admit that there are conclusions that can be drawn, and that the question could be asked about why a small church continues to remain small, we cannot generalize the statement that small churches are not being Kingdom Effective.  Stetzer also states that often time we suffer from a perception that is not based on reality.  Much like a teenage girl gets discouraged because she doesn’t look like the girls in magazines, we can also get discouraged when our church doesn’t have all the glitz and glamour of a mega church budget.

How then should we measure the success of churches?

A case could be made that small churches remain small because they are not reaching their community.  However, there are far too many factors to draw that conclusion.  What if they are in a community of 50 people, what if they just planted a new church, etc.?

I am challenging myself to re-evaluate what matrix we use to measure churches.  With the current downward trend of SBC churches, I wonder what the stats would show for the church as a whole.

Let me know what you might do to measure success or maintain a quantifiable analysis of your church activities.

Daily Thought Leadership Outreach

End of the World Predictions

People claiming to predict the end of the world is nothing new.  The list if vast of people claiming to be able to decipher the book of Revelation or have special insight into doomsday prophecies.  What can we take from these guesses?

As evangelicals, they out to be a wake cup call reminder of our mission to share the Gospel.  Regardless of the time or date, we are all called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our lost world.  When we hear of these outlandish prophecies it out to evoke 2 emotions:

1. We are to be thankful that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that through our relationship with Him we will be on the first bus out!

2. We ought to be reminded of the dire need in our world for people to know Christ.  The Bible is clear that no one knows the time or day, but the urgency is still there.  Imagine if you stood before Jesus today, how could you account for your life and who would you plead for?  Remember, when we stand at the judgement seat, it is too late to go back and share with your friends, co-workers, and …. Family.

Ed Stetzer has written what he calls the Missional Manifesto. Our call to reach a lost world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our mission is never more clear or evident than when we are pressed with the urgency, whether real or manufactured.

What will you do today to share the Gospel of Jesus?

Daily Thought Leadership Outreach Visitors

What are you doing for your community?

I was reminded late last week about a major connection we have with those around us, our Community.

This connection takes on many forms and can simultaneously be a blessing and a curse.  Strong communities are the life-blood of social interactions and allow us to enjoy the social, political, and economic aspects of being bonded together.  Unfortunately, at times, there are disagreements, divisions, mis-understandings within this connection.  (Sound like your church?)  I had this happen to me this week with an individual.  His decision for community involvement is to write on the community online forum he created that amounts to nothing more than political propaganda.

This being said, I was able to spend the weekend deciding how I would respond.  My decision is to not respond at all.

However, I did start thinking about how these types of connections affect our churches.  Our churches are a group of people from the community bonded together for a common purpose.  We come together as a body of believers for worship and to exalt our Savior.  We enjoy the fellowship of like minded individuals and the camaraderie that comes from our interactions.  At times, we’ll even express our desire to have others join our group.  For some, this is a true, unrelenting passion; while for others it amounts to nothing more than lip service as a response to what we perceive is a requirement.

How can our churches get beyond our walls and reach our communities?

I have often asked the question of pastors when we are talking about community involvement as follows.  “If your church were forced to close it’s doors tomorrow, would the community know your were gone, and more importantly, would they feel an impact?”

It’s a tough question to ask and we’ll introduce some ideas to help.  I’ll give you a sneak peak though, they involve being a part of the community without your hand out.

In the next few days and weeks, I’ll detail some ideas on how to make your church a light in your community.