Categories
church technology Communication Web

What does your website say about your church?

The question is very simple.  When someone visits your church website, what impression are they getting of your church?

We visit church websites from around the country trying to get a pulse on what people are doing.  We see some great, some good, and many terrible!  In a day where the Internet is so prevalent, churches must keep up with the times and have a website that accurately reflects who they are as a congregation of believers.

Are you using a free, or cheap stock template?
For many churches, this is an unfortunate reality.  What a cheap template says to your visitors is that you don’t care about reaching new people and you really just want to have something online because a guy like me posted something in a blog.  Hogwash!  Take into account that 85% of new visitors are looking for churches on the web BEFORE they step foot in the door or will look in the phone book.  What image is your website giving potential visitors about your church?

Relevant Content?
One thing that will kill a church website faster than anything is a lack of content.  People want your site to be a resource.  Think of your website as a secretary/receptionist that works 24/7, doesn’t take breaks or ask for days off. Train your congregation to utilize the website as a source of truth for answers.  Keep the content on the fresh and current.  Put links to articles or other sites you find online that you think may be of interest to your church members.  Oh yeah, GET YOUR CHURCH ON FACEBOOK!

FACEBOOK
While some may say that Facebook is just for kids, I’d beg to differ.  Did you know the average age of facebook users is 38 years old and 61% of facebook users are over 30?  Also, where else can you have direct access to share your message with people who have given you permission to tell them, any time, for free?  Get our free article on ways to use facebook for your church.

A Web Ministry
We meet with pastors everyday, and I repeatedly tell them that the website has to be used as a ministry of your church.  You can think of it on the same level as your student or adult ministry.  It is, after all, a major communication tool for your church.  In many ways, if used correctly, your website can be a major ministry tool for your church.

Let me suggest this.
We have years of experience getting churches online, and utilizing the web as a ministry tool.  Take a minute to contact us and tell us a bit about your church here and one I will call you personally to discuss how to increase your web ministry presence.

Categories
Communication Leadership

Effective Church Communications

I recently happened upon a blog post in Outreach Magazine entitled “The Next Thing in Church Conferences“.  After reading through the post, it was less about new church conferences and more about effective communication principles.  The article talks about how most conferences have a basic programmatic structure that doesn’t lend much room for interaction other than lunch or moving in between sessions.

The article did however mention some snippets of answers they received to a question they posted asking “What are some church communications best practices.”  Some that I found most relevant and useful were:

“Effective communications has less to do with sending the right message, and everything to do with releasing the right response. To release the right response with anyone, you’ve got to take time to figure out what makes your message worth their time; figure out how it relates to their world.” –Kem Meyer, Granger Community Church (@KemMeyer)

“For every piece of communication, before you do anything else, determine the goal. Do whatever you need to do to gain clarity about the desired outcome and keep it in front of you during the entire creation process” –Lori Bailey, LifeChurch.tv (@LoriBailey)

“If your goal in church communication –whether you’re designing a bulletin or launching a social media campaign–is something other than serving people, stop and start over.” –Scott McClellan, Echo Conference (@ScottMcClellan)

“Resist broadcast mode! Megaphoning (a.k.a. “sermonizing”) prevents listening. Ask as often as you answer.” –Cynthia Ware, Pepperdine University (@CynthiaWare)

Church communications is about the audience.  You can put out and preach anything you want, but if no on is there to listen, you are wasting your breath.  Take a few minutes to think about your audience.  How can you more effectively communicate your message to reach your audience?

Categories
Church Management Facility General

Are Your Guests Willing to Come Back?

Lifeway put out a good article last week about your church and it’s openness to guests.  Of course we all say we’re friendly, we all say our doors are open and inviting, and we all SAY that guests are important to us.  But is that portrayed in how we’ve aligned our priorities of our worship services?

Did you know that your guests have made up their mind whether or not they will return to your church in the first 10 minutes of their visit?  What does that tell you about the extensive time and money you put into worship, drama, powerful sermon illustrations, etc.?  Don’t get me wrong, those are all great, but what are you doing to capture your guests in the first 10 minutes of their visit to help assimilate them into the church family?

Here are some ideas:

Categories
Web

Does Your Church have a Web Presence?

According to “Your Church Magazine”

Currently, 80 to 85 percent of people are finding their church based on websites

If you read further in this article you will also find that

85 percent of church websites are poorly designed, 10 percent are merely adequate, and only five percent can be considered really good

So what does this mean for you ?
– People are “shopping for churches”
– Just like everything else, people looking for churches are going online first and basing their decisions on their first impression
– Investing in a quality website is just like investing in your building, you would not allow your building be in shambles why would you allow your website to be ?
– You might need to take a hard look at what kind of impression your website is making based on these key factors: visual design, functionality, navigation, interactivity and content.

Taken from information from http://mediaoutreach.com/2009/05/85-percent-of-people-are-finding-their-church-based-on-their-website/

Based on these statistics, how would you rate your church’s web presence?  Do you have a website out there that hasn’t been updated in 3 months, did you let one of the youth design the site because he had a ‘class’ in it?  Do you have any idea how many people visit your site on a daily/weekly basis?