These days Jackie and I are enjoying visiting lots of different churches. Every week or two we are in a different place and ready to join some congregation in worship. Being Nazarenes our first choice is one of our own tribe although I am quick to add that we’ve enjoyed fellowship in a variety of groups.
Sometimes we’ve driven past a church nearby and have stopped to check out any church sign for information, but most of the time we head for the internet. The results are a real mixed bag. I’ve seen church websites that looked terrific and I’ve hunted for church information only to come up empty. I’ve found lots of good, current information and I’ve found some nice looking websites that are horribly out of date.
So here are a few words of advice concerning your church web site:
- If you don’t have a web site get one! Listen, whether or not you are interested in the Internet, most people are. Not having a website today is equal to not being in the phone book 10 years ago. You NEED a website.
- If you post current events keep them current. Listing last year’s Christmas party as current says bad things about your church. Compare it to not having the grass mowed at the church – it speaks of not caring, not being organized, and of neglect.
- If you aren’t going to keep the site current then DON’T post any current events. Turn the website into a billboard for the church with only static information including some of the things I’m about to list.
- Post your service times and make them easy to find.
- Post your church address and include directions. It’s amazing how many church websites never bother to name their state. Put complete directions, and make them easy to find.
- If you want to do more, a really nice thing to do is include some photos, especially of the church in worship. My wife often wonders what the ladies wear to church. She knows that we will be welcome even if we don’t quite meet the local dress code, but she wants to fit in. Photos of people in a regular worship service help a lot.
Remember, people DO look you up on the Internet. Don’t just have a Facebook page – not everyone can see it. DON’T let someone’s nephew who is a whizbang at doing fancy webpages do yours. It needs to look on purpose and grown up. Simple with relevant information is better than impressive and out of date because no one who actually cares about the church’s image has a clue as to how to update the page and the nephew is long gone. You can have a reasonable, easy to maintain, easy to Google website for very little money. Really, trust me, you NEED a website that meets at least certain minimum standards.