Hello everyone! This is Chris. Today I am hosting a guest blog post from Kylie Scruggs. Kyle is an intern at LifeWay and has an interest working in social media. She is super sharp and this blog post is evidence of that. I hope it is helpful for you.
Today, it seems as if everyone and everything has a website…especially churches. It may seem as if the web is getting a little cluttered because the thought is: if you aren’t out there, you may get left behind.
When it comes to church websites, there are a few key things that are necessary. Ultimately, the goal is to give visitors and members alike the information they need to know to feel a part of the congregation. The basics include location, service times, statement of beliefs, and a calendar of opportunities to get involved.
If your church’s website has just these things, that’s okay and definitely better than nothing. But, if you are looking to step up your website game a little bit (even with minimal effort), here are three great ways to do so:
1. Add new photography/videos of what it really means to be a part of your church.
Adding some pictures to your homepage gives life to your church and helps visitors know a little more of what to expect before attending. Get someone on your staff or in your congregation to get real-life photos of the life inside your church family. Showcase these on your website so that they are the first thing visitors see when they come across your church.
A great next step would be to create a video compilation including a glimpse into the weekend service, small group options and meetings, volunteer opportunities, and more. In just a few seconds, first time visitors have a real-life glimpse into what it looks like to be a part of your community.
Speaking from experience, when people are “church shopping” and trying to find the right place to get plugged in, it helps a TON to put a little more life into the church website so people can see what life is like at your church.
2. Offer online giving options.
We do everything digitally: we shop, we communicate, we gather information. So, why don’t we tithe digitally, too?
With digital giving platforms, such as Generosity by LifeWay, you can embed on your website an easy way for churchgoers to easily and automatically give right from their mobile device.
Having this option will not only make it fun and simple for givers, but also easier for your financial staff at the church. Utilizing this on your church’s website gives the opportunity for members and guests alike to give at their convenience. This can mean anything from setting up an automatic recurring gift to giving on even those Sundays when they can’t physically attend service. (It is also a necessity if your church offers any type of live, online service on Sundays.)
3. Create a church blog.
Having a blog for your church is another avenue of communication for church members and visitors alike. On the blog you can host event updates, mission testimonies, as well as keep the conversation going on the current sermon series. A blog will look different for each church, depending on your community’s need, but having this mode of conversation is a great addition to your site. It’s an awesome way to give a little more life and personality to your church.
A blog can have many different kinds of content or focus on one specific thing each week. Decide how it should be structured based on what you think you congregation will benefit from most. But, be sure that if you do commit to having one, you have someone dedicated to update and run it. It isn’t a ton of work, but if you put one on your website, it needs to stay up-to-date. The only thing worse than no blog is a blog that hasn’t been touched in years.
Overall, a church website is a necessary tool for the benefit of both your church’s regular attenders and first-time visitors. But, utilizing these three additions will freshen up your website’s look and take it’s functionality to the next level to begin reaching those you didn’t know you hadn’t reached.
Chris Martin is the Co-Creator and Chief Content Officer at LifeWay Social as well as a Content Strategist at LifeWay. He and his wife Susie live outside Nashville, TN.