Your leaders are in a meeting, and all agree that the 1st Church of Smallchurchville (Don’t be offended, I pastor a small church) must enter the 21st Century. They haven’t even considered the objectives of a church website.
You go to a free website-building tool like Wix, WordPress.com, or any other free site, and then create a website that includes your church’s name, address, and times of service.
You’re all set for the flood of people visiting your church because you are on the internet.
All you can see are empty pews. Why?
- A. Your website won’t be found. This type of website is not popular with search engines such as Google and Bing.
- B. Your website doesn’t serve a purpose other than to be a replacement for a yellow pages ad. You need to think through your church website objectives.
Three Primary Objectives of a Church Website
You should consider the following primary church website goals, as well as many secondary objectives, and incorporate them into your church website.
These are the goals of Attract, Inform, and Inspire.
Goal #1 – Attract New People
Every church I’ve been a part of has stated that they want to attract new members. Most people don’t stop to think about who they want to attract.
Your website should be designed to attract the people your church will bless.
Let me explain. If you have a church that sings hymns regularly, you should try to attract people who like hymns. Don’t waste time trying to attract people who don’t like hymns or only want to sing modern songs. You can also do the opposite.
My church is not competing with larger churches that have many programs. We recognize that not everyone will be looking for a church that offers a wide range of ministries or programs to meet all their needs.
Instead, we are focused on the strengths of our small church. These are our relationships, accessibility, and our mission to the community. People will love our church if they look for something more than just a church with programs.
Your church website must be attractive to those who will love it.
How to Attract People to Your Church through Your Church Website
Your church’s website home page provides a place for people to learn about the reasons why it is such an amazing place to worship. It is also a good idea to tell them about the experience they will have when they visit your church. Do they have a dress code? Is there childcare?
Tell them why your church is worth looking at and give them all the information they need to decide if it is right for them.
You can give them samples of sermons via audio or video so they can listen to you preach. The average millennial listens to six sermons on a church website before they decide to visit one. If possible, include a welcome video.
I would not be able to attend a church where the pastor reads out their sermons word by word. These styles of sermon delivery don’t speak to me. However, I do know many people who receive God in this way.
Relax in your church’s identity and allow God to speak to you.
Give people a way to reach you via email or phone to inquire about your church.
A FAQ page could also be useful for people who frequently have questions about your church.
Objective #2 – Inform current members
Although this can take some time, if your church has a Facebook page, you can connect it to your church’s website using programs. All your activities and events can be imported directly to your church’s website. This is what we do in my church.
Your church website can be used to inform members about your giving goals and give them the chance to donate online.
#3 – Encourage Your Church Members and Others
You can make your church website a source of inspiration by including audio and video sermons, inspiring writings from the pastor or blog posts by other church leaders.
Your website will bless your church members and others in your community.
More people watch our Sunday live stream than go to church. Some people are physically disabled and cannot participate on Sundays. Others are from out-of-town families. Some are from all over the globe.
You can post your weekly devotional and notes for Sunday School or offer online courses on relevant topics to your community. Your church website can be used to inspire your congregation and community.
Final Thoughts on Developing Church Website Objectives
Your website should have a purpose. It’s not an advertisement but a tool. You can use it to attract people like an advertisement, but you have to approach it differently.
Take a moment to get together with your leaders. Now is the right time to ask questions since you have all decided to enter the 21st Century.
Whom would we like to attract?
What are we looking for in a website?
What can we do to achieve this? Are there any creative ways to achieve our goals?
This will help you create a website for your church focused on these goals. Your church website will result in a few seats being filled up by visitors.