What message does your website send about your church?
This post was inspired from a tweet I received earlier. I actually read the tweet wrong, but it sparked a memory and a thought. In the book “Still Taking the Land” pastor Greg Mitchell has a section on Outreach and on pg. 226 he says the following:
No one will come if they do not know about it! Our job is to let as many as possible know. If you want a successful event make the advertising look good. I have seen hand drawn flyers that look like they were printed on toilet paper. They were cheap and that was the only message they conveyed. Make sure the invitation has clear directions. Include a map, give directions, or name a local landmark (“Next to McDonald’s”). Other forms of advertising you could use would be newspapers, posters in shop windows, banners, radio, public service ads, or television. When advertising for a miracle crusade, know that a picture of the evangelist is not what draws sick people. Use pictures of miracles with captions (“Back injury healed!”) Or use names of sicknesses, injuries, or diseases that sick people will identify with. “Hey, I’ve got that! Maybe God could heal me too!”
Notice I highlighted the part that got me thinking about what message your website sends about your church. Now I know pastor Greg wasn’t talking about a website, but it’s the same principle. Remember I stated in a previous post I don’t believe we will make disciples online or win the world online, but we should view our website as a 24/7 flyer. Statistics show people are visiting churches because they visited a church’s website and found the church information quickly. Check out this article that states, “If a church can’t be googled, it doesn’t exist.”
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – Why send potential converts to dead religious churches because they have a website and you don’t? And now I’d like to add why send potential converts to dead religious churches because they have a professional website and you don’t?
Pastor Greg Mitchell points out in the section Appearance on pg. 216
The point of a sign is that it be visible. This involves size, position, color, and light. It should be lit at night. It sounds basic, but make sure you check and change the bulbs! For years our concert scene in Prescott was called the Underground because it was hard to see and hard to find. Some nights I would come to the prayer meeting before the concert and discover that either the bulbs were burnt out or the sign had not even been turned on! People are inside praying for visitors to come in from the outside to a building they do not even know is there!
Do not have a hand-drawn or hand-stenciled sign in order to save a few bucks. You are sending visitors a message: “We’re the cheesy church, but you can trust us with your life!”
Again, I know he is speaking about signs, but there is definitely a parallel. It used to be that a sign was generally the first impression people would get of your church. But now since more & more people look online first, their first impression might be your website.
So, am I writing this just so you can get your website designed by me? Yes, and no. I really do want to help, and I honestly believe my prices are super low & affordable for any size church. On the other hand, if you already have design skills or have plenty of time to learn good design then go for it! One thing I would suggest is that you either read books/articles about design or find other ways to learn about how to make a site look professional. That’s actually how I learned, so I know it can be done. Also, if you want a website and you’re a baby church or missionary church without much finances feel free to contact me & we can work something out.