Your congregation’s website is not the most important part of your local work, but for most congregations, it is a woefully-neglected resource.
Great church websites are powerful tools to reach people in your area, but a poorly-designed and out-of-date site can actually hurt your ability to have people visit your services.
Research shows that for nearly half (46%) of those surveyed, a website’s design is their number one criterion for determining the credibility of an organization.¹
In other words, websites that are poorly designed or hard to read on our devices cause people to mistrust the source of the website. We can teach the Truth with sincerity and love, but if the website doesn’t look good, many people will not believe it.
Your website must use responsive design to look great on smartphones, tablets, and computers to be effective. Half of your audience is viewing your site using their phone or tablet.² If your congregation’s website doesn’t load quickly and is not easy-to-use on smaller screens, you are losing over half of your audience.
In 2012, 33% of those surveyed said the Internet was the first place they looked to learn about their church.
Put yourself in the place of people who are trying to find a church to visit.
Unless they have previous experience with the church of Christ, they will probably type “church” into Google maps and look at websites for churches near them.
Let’s consider two ideas:
Does your website tell them what your congregation can provide to meet their needs?
People in your area may be searching for a church family, classes for their children or grandchildren, or an in-depth Bible study. Chances are your congregation would love to fill all of those needs, but it’s up to you to let people know that.
How does your congregation’s website compare to the websites of other churches in your area?
When was the last time you looked at the websites of neighboring religious groups in your area?
Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone seeking a new church home. Based on websites alone (which is how people make these choices), would you visit your congregation or another group?
Some ideas to help
- Make sure your website is responsive. The importance of this cannot be overstated. It is the most important aspect of web design in today’s world!
- Clearly let people know what to expect if they visit. Put potential visitor’s minds at ease by talking through a normal worship service. Anything that you can do to remove uncertainty will help improve your chances of having visitors. Check out this great example here.
- Let people know about your ministries. Your congregation offers a multitude of programs and ministries to both edify members and reach your community, so be sure to highlight these programs on your website. This lets potential visitors know that 1.) there is a place for them at your congregation and 2.) that you care about your community. Click here to see a good example.
If you would like to help with your congregation’s digital evangelism, we would love to help! Contact us to set up a free consultation.