10 Key Elements Your Church Website Can’t Afford to Ignore
in Websites / 28 Nov 2016
Churches across the world are fast realising the importance of being present online. Creating a website is the first logical step in this direction. However, simply having a website up and running will neither attract new people to your church nor engage your congregation.
How can you ensure that your church website does not end up being a waste of precious resources? By including the right church website elements! Continue reading to identify what these website elements are.
We’ve done the homework for you and compiled a list of 10 elements that you need to include on your church website:
1. WHERE AND WHEN
The key information that any visitor looks for on a church website includes location and service timings. Therefore, it is important to highlight these details clearly on your website instead of displaying them in an obscure spot.
In addition, do try and be as clear as possible with directions, landmarks and parking details. Perhaps you could embed a Google map with your exact location as the New City Mumbai website does. Is your website communicating this essential information clearly?
2. MEET THE PASTOR
Keep in mind that your website needs to primarily cater for new visitors. That’s why it’s crucial for your website to include a ‘Meet the Pastor’ section. Including a short bio about your church leader on the website will help visitors familiarise themselves with your pastor.
This will allow visitors to feel better connected with your church leadership even before they step into the building! Given that people prefer visuals to text, don’t forget to include a picture of your pastor as well. Can visitors ‘meet the pastor’ on your church website?
3. ABOUT US
Most visitors to your church website would like to know more about your church. Therefore, use this space to share interesting information about your church, be it its history or testimonials. Introducing your key leaders and staff on your website is also a great idea. After all, it is comforting for first-time visitors to spot familiar faces in a crowd.
Online visitors would also want to know what your church believes in and what it stands for. So, don’t forget to highlight your church’s statement of faith. New Life Fellowship Association. for example, has a page dedicated to its history, team profiles, vision and mission statement.
However, don’t go overboard by including all your theology on the website – crisp content is the order of the day! Does your church website give visitors a clear idea about who you are?
4. WHAT TO EXPECT
One of the biggest ways a church community grows is by welcoming believers looking for a home church. A ‘What to Expect’ section, with a short welcome note by the pastor followed by an introduction to the service, can give newcomers a clear idea of what to expect from your weekend services.
In addition, a short video of church members introducing themselves and inviting visitors to grab coffee after service would be great. You can also add a contact form for anyone who might have questions about your ministry, Jesus or the church in general. This way you can welcome both people seeking God or a church.
This section is a great way to keep both visitors and congregants updated about the various ways in which your church serves the community. Tell your visitors about your ministries even before they step into your church! This will help them get familiar with the different programmes and ministries in your church, making it easier for them to fit in.
New Life Assembly of God in Chennai, for example, invites people to be a part of a ‘total church experience’ by providing details of all their ministries.
A calendar of events is not only beneficial for your congregation, but also for new visitors. Mention church events – including any conferences, youth camps and workshops – that are scheduled for the year. These details will give people enough time to plan their participation in advance.
Many churches generally use newsletters to communicate such information. However, including these details on your website will help you extend the invitation to your local community.
Uploading your sermons online will allow you to take your message beyond the walls of your church. In fact, your sermon might just be the timely encouragement that someone needs. Moreover, church members can revisit your sermons online to soak them in later on in the week or year.
There are various ways to list your sermons online. Pearl City Church in Hyderabad uses a simple layout to list its sermons. Bengaluru’s All People’s Church, on the other hand, gives visitors the options to listen to, watch or download the sermons.
8. BLOGS AND RESOURCES
Blogs allow you to present the Gospel from a more personal perspective. You can share your encounters with Christ, expound on the weekly sermons or write about lessons that you’ve learnt in ministry.
A pastoral blog will really enable you to connect with your congregation and community on a deeper level. You can also check out these seven healthy blogging habits for pastors.
Providing resources is a great way to help other pastors, leaders and congregants in their Christian walk. DBF Central, for example, offers helpful material for pastors and home groups.
9. CONTACT DETAILS
Make it easy for visitors to get in touch with your church. Make sure that you provide both a phone number and an e-mail address on the website. It is also a good idea to include your contact information on the footer of the website so that it is always visible as visitors navigate your website.
In fact, a contact form will allow people to contact you immediately. You can check out this form on Pearl City Church’s website for ideas. Can visitors contact you easily from your website?
10. SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Lastly, don’t forget to link your website to the church’s social media pages. One of the quickest ways to direct people to your church website is through social networking sites.
Today, churches need to be on social media in order to stay relevant to the current generations. If your church is not on social media yet, here are five good reasons as to why it needs to become “social” online.
Does your church website have all these 10 essential elements? If not, we hope that you will consider adding them soon. What other elements do you think should be on a church website?
If you liked this blog, you will also enjoy our e-book – 50 Common Mistakes on Church Websites. Get this FREE e-book below to ensure that your church website avoids these 50 online transgressions!
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