Do you manage a church website? Whether you're a volunteer webmaster or full-time church staff member, your role is an integral part of keeping members informed and welcoming new guests. In fact, your website is oftentimes the first exposure potential visitors will have to your church. That said, it's a good idea to review your site from time to time, and ensure that members and visitors have all of the information they need. Here are a few important features you'll want to be sure to include on your church website:
Does Your Site Contain a Clearly Defined Mission Statement?
What is the core mission of your church? Are you focused on reaching the lost in your community, growing believers in your area, worship, sending missionaries abroad, offering benevolence to those in need? Most likely, your vision and mission may include several of these areas, and potential visitors will find it helpful to know what's at the heartbeat of your ministry. Furthermore, a statement of beliefs will also help potential visitors to understand if your church aligns with their theology. While some visitors may come without any theological background, others may have a faith background and would want to know your core beliefs and denominational affiliation before attending.
Do You Publish Staff Bios on Your Site?
Let visitors know a little about who you are by offering staff bios with photos. Try to include a little personal info, as well as some information about the role of each staff member. Not only does this help to build trust among site visitors, but it also lets people know who to contact regarding different topics. Direct contact information for each staff member (or a contact form that is submitted directly to each staff member) is also helpful.
Do You Post Audio and/or Video of Your Sermons Online?
If you're not posting sermons online, you're missing out on a great opportunity to reach both visitors and members alike. Offering your sermons online is an effective way to communicate your theology and preaching style to potential guests, while also allowing church members to hear what they missed when they were out of town, or at home with a sick child. While sermon videos are great, audio is also a useful way to share your sermons online.
Are You Consistently Posting Fresh Content about Ministries and Upcoming Events?
With any website, it's important to keep your content fresh and current. However, when it comes to church websites, it's critical to let both your members and visitors know what's happening. Be sure to keep site visitors up to date with what's happening in your different areas of ministry. For example, what sermon series are you working through? What's happening in your children's ministry? What type of youth events are coming up? This type of information not only communicates the when and where for classes and events, but it also communicates the fact that your church provides a safe and vibrant ministry to both children and adults alike.
Are Your Address and Service Times Clearly Displayed on all Pages of Your Website?
This one may seem a little particular, but one of the more frustrating things visitors may encounter when looking for a new church is the inability to find the address on your website. It's a good idea to keep this info in the footer of all pages, so that no matter what content a visitor is seeing, they'll know where you're located in case they decide to come visit.