Should Your Church Invest In A Website?

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Recently I wanted to check out a church that a friend suggested to me.  Using maps on my smart phone, I was unable to find the church. However, a quick google search led me to the church website. Because of my past experience on church websites, I assumed that the address under the contact tab was the church address. Forty-five minutes later (scratching my head the entire time), I found myself to be at what I believed was the pastor’s home. This was not only awkward, but a complete waste of my Sunday morning. I missed church and was in a completely different part of town.

While not everyone will make a forty-five minute drive to the wrong location, many church websites lack not only clarity of information, but also ease. We've previously discussed essentials for church websites, but we haven't explored reasons why you should invest in your church website to further the ministry God has called you and your community to. Here are 4 reasons to invest in your church website.

1. There is more fact checking now than ever. 

Sadly, like new restaurants, I do not visit a new church without doing my homework. I usually look for service times, doctrine, ministries, pastors' education, and now more than ever, location. If I am unable to find some of this information, my interest in church dwindles and I am less likely to visit. 

In order to engage your congregation and encourage the community to visit, your church's website needs to reflect your identity as a church community. In this digital age, it's crucial to provide this information to be readily available for potential visitors.  

2. A bad church website sends the wrong message.

When a church website lacks clarity, looks out of date, or is difficult to use, it sends a message (often unintentionally) that the church does not care about how it gets information out to its members and/or potential visitors. This can be frustrating for church leaders, especially when so much time and energy has been dedicated to creating a thriving church community. If this isn't communicated well, potential visitors could be missing out. 

3. Your community could miss upcoming events.

Whether it is a night of worship, annual church picnic, or the new kids program, poor advertising can greatly affect attendance. Of course, a church community is more than an attendance count, but each number represents a person that your church is committed to serve. Furthermore, your congregation most likely wants to be involved. Providing clear communication through your church website can help create a culture where your church not only knows what is going on, but how to actively attend and serve.

4. Churches are not free from social perception.

In an age where the church is at times being asked to perform like a business, it can be easy to want to resist investing in a form of marketing. But as the digital age has been taking over, it is becoming clearer that the social perception of businesses play a huge role in whether or not we use their business. Again, while many protest that the church is not a business, is does not mean that the church is free of the expectations of the digital age.

Having a church website that has clarity of information and ease helps your church meet a written rule of social expectations. We all have expectations when we visit a website, even church websites. 

Church websites are a great resource to expand your ministry. Perhaps it is one of the most overlooked, because you do not always see direct results. However, investing in a church website that brings clarity and ease will help serve your members and potential visitors by keeping them informed and up-to-date.

What are some considerations your church has made about its website?