Since I started my ministry in 2004, I have created many websites for churches. Not only have I created websites for the churches that I have pastored, but I also have websites to help others.
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This, combined with the fact I am constantly “rebuilding” my church’s website, and trying out different things, has led me to learn some basics that a church website should have to be effective. I wanted to share some of my experiences with you so you can learn from them and ensure that your church website has these “must-haves.”
7 “Must-Haves” for Every Church Website
Services and Location
It is hard to count how many times I have tried to find a church website’s location or start times. They usually have one but forget to show the other.
They may give their address and phone number or say that services are available at 10:00 AM.
It is important to make it clear and easy to say where and when your services are. A map is a great idea.
Here is a map of my church. It allows you to zoom in, view directions, and save the map for later.
This makes it easy for people to find their way to your church.
It was placed on this website using the Google Maps iframe code. However, if iframes are not your preferred method, you can also use the WP Google Maps plugin. You can also get the HTML code directly from Google Maps.
Next, make sure to give at least 6 sample sermons to people to view or listen to.
Today’s youth will listen to 6 sermons and watch six videos before they visit a church. (source)
You should give them a taste of your church. You should stream your church services live. Our live stream was watched by almost twice the number of people who attended our church services on Sundays. It has helped us increase the effectiveness and reach of our ministry.
Let them know what to expect when they come to your church
People used to know what to expect when they went to church. At least a church was something they knew about. But that is no longer the case.
Today’s majority of people have never entered a church. If they’re considering coming to your church, it is important to let them know what to expect. Questions like
- Do you have a dress code?
- Is there a nursery?
- What will I have to do?
- What is the duration of the service?
These are all things they’ll want to know before they go to church.
Let them know what the experience will be like for a new visitor to the church. From the first greeting to the last dismissal. Please let them know.
Give an introduction to your pastor and the staff
People like to get to know the people they will be meeting. Include a brief introduction from your pastor, associate Pastor, worship pastor, or children’s ministry leader.
- A friendly picture
- Here is a brief bio about their education, experience, and degrees.
- They play a vital role in the church and have a vision for what God calls them to do.
- It’s something personal, like their spouse, children, or hobbies.
Including a welcome video from the pastor on your church’s website is also a great idea. Nothing is more welcoming than an invitation from your pastor to visit your church.
Children And Youth Ministry Information
People are interested in knowing if childcare is available for children under five and a children’s ministry for teens and older children. They should know whether their children need to go to the children’s church and who will be responsible for them. Also, ensure they understand the screening process you use to screen your children’s workers.
Before we dismiss our children to Children’s church, we sing together a few children’s songs in our church. Make sure to let parents know how you are caring for your children.
Let people know what type of church you are.
The attempt to be everything to everyone is one of the biggest errors I see on church websites. It’s time, to be honest. My church is not you. Your congregation has its own values and beliefs.
Instead of trying to reach everyone, focus on reaching those most interested in your type of church.
Let them know what your church believes and values. Tell them if you’re a hymn-singing congregation. Tell them if you’re conservative. Tell them if you care about social issues. They will learn anyway.
Make sure your church website has a call to action
A call to action is one of the most important things I find lacking in many church websites. Although they provide all the necessary information, they don’t ask people to make a positive change.
Ask your friends and family to sign up for your newsletter. Ask them to pray for you. Ask them to set up an appointment with the pastor. Ask them to do something that will allow you to connect with them beyond their website.
Do not leave them to decide for themselves. You can help them in this process. It doesn’t matter how straightforward you are. Ask them to establish a connection.
Church Website Must Haves
There you go. These are seven essential elements for your church website.
I hope you found this article helpful in designing a church website that is effective for your church.