Your church is being stalked. Every day people are visiting your church website and peering into the online window of your church, and some of those people may not be wearing pants.
If your website is the window into your church, what do you want people to see?
This is an important question, because what they see will determine whether they ever visit your church.
Here are the ten things I want them to see:
- Current Series – The very first thing I want people to see is the sermon series we’re in, because this has the greatest potential to draw someone to our church. For example, if someone is having some difficulties in their marriage and they visit our site and see we’re in a series called “Marriage Under Construction”, there’s a very high likelihood that they’ll be making a visit to our church. So, I want this information front and center on the homepage.
- Location and Service Times – Hopefully, once people visit your website, they’re going to be compelled to visit your church. Make sure they know when services begin and the address of your church. We provide a small map on our website for visitors to get a general idea of our location, as well as provide a link to Google Maps for them to get directions.
- Kids & Student Ministry Info – In this day and time it takes a huge amount of trust for someone to leave their kids with you for an hour or two. We want guests to know that we do everything in our power to provide a safe and fun environment for their kids to experience the love of Jesus on their level.
- Opportunities for Connection – People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Make sure you give them opportunities to get involved. We do this by listing serving opportunities as well as listing the small groups they can join.
- Opportunities to take Next Steps – One of the goals we have at our church is to help people draw closer to Jesus one step at a time. We don’t expect them to be Mother Teresa right after they give their lives to Christ, we just want them to take the next step. For us that means baptism. Then we hope to get them serving or involved in a small group. Then we hope they’ll start giving.
- Our Beliefs – Eventually, most people will want to know about your beliefs. We try to keep it simple and just give them the essentials. We believe Jesus is the Son of God. We believe He died for our sins. We believe Jesus rose from the dead. You get the idea.
- Pastor Bio – Make sure your website has some pictures of your pastor and his family, and a short bio. A lot of websites list their entire staff, and while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. You may want to list your Student Pastor or Kids Pastor so parents can put a face with a name, but I wouldn’t worry too much beyond that.
- Media Archive – Does anyone remember tape ministry? We still have a large collection of sermons on tape in a storage closet at my church. Lucky for us, the Internet has made it easier than ever to share past messages. Now we can record video or audio of our messages and upload it to the Internet for all the world to see. There’s a good chance someone who’s thinking about visiting your church will watch or listen to a past message to help them make that decision.
- Upcoming Events – People want to know what’s going on at your church. Are you involved in the community? Can they get connected outside of just Sunday mornings? Sharing upcoming events helps answer these questions.
- Opportunities to Give – At last but certainly not least, every church website should have an opportunity for people to give towards the ministry. If your website doesn’t have this, you’re making a huge mistake. The majority of people today aren’t carrying a checkbook or cash into church. Everything is paid by debit or credit card these days. Give them that same option through your website. If you do this, I guarantee you will see giving increase, and more giving means more ministry.
What did I miss? Is their something I left off that you think should be there? If so, leave a comment below and let me know.