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What Is Absolutely Necessary for a Church Website?

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What Is Absolutely Necessary for a Church Website?

Depending on your budget, you can include just the basics on a single page, or if you have a bigger church and a bigger budget, you can include more content on separate pages. So the first things listed are those your website absolutely cannot be without, followed by things that may be included in additional pages or further down on a single-page website.

1. An introduction from the pastor.

This could be anything from a simple friendly welcome to a statement of faith or anything in between. But Making a good first impression is essential to drawing new potential members.

2. Location and times of service

The location needs to be a map in addition to your physical address, and the times of service can simply be a drop-down from an “about us” tab on the menu bar. But however you choose to have them, they are necessary and should be close to the top where people won’t have to go far to find that information. Potential visitors need to know where to find you and when to be there.

3. General information about your church

What kind of church do you have? Do you use the King James only, or do you use the “new and improved” versions? What kind of music do you have? What kinds of ministries do you have for youth, children, etc? Do you have a bus that could pick them up? How can they schedule a bus pick-up? What would they be comfortable wearing to your church? If it’s a country church with lots of farmers in jeans, they might feel uncomfortable showing up in tuxedos.

4. A statement of faith

If this was included in the pastor’s welcome, then it’s not needed as a separate item, but it depends on the length of both the welcome note and the statement of faith, and how much information you want to provide up front. In general, it’s a good idea to have a separate but succinct statement of faith listing the main points. If they agree with the main points, it’s likely they will agree with the rest, and you can show them the full thing when they get there. If you do decide to have a lengthy statement of faith on the website, you’ll likely want to have it on its own page or on the “About Us” page, where you list the location and times of service.

5. Current/Upcoming/Recent Activities

If you visit www.therealironworks.org, you’ll see that this forms the main content of the home page. Yes, it’s that important. People want to know what’s going on, and keeping them abreast of latest events helps them to stay connected even if they aren’t there for a while. People need to know what’s going on, when it’s happening, and who to contact (if needed) for more information. An example might be “Potluck Saturday night at 6:00 pm. Contact Sally at 555-1234 for more info.”

6. Sermon Archives

What is your style of preaching? Every preacher has his own unique style, and some people prefer different styles. Putting your sermons online is a great way to reach people who may live too far away to ever come to your church, or who may live close enough that they might come. Listening to your sermons helps them to feel like they know you even though they’ve never met you, and will help them to feel comfortable attending your church. While a video is obviously best (even an unprofessional video is better than none at all), audio is still a very good medium of communication and works extremely well.

7. About the Leaders

If you have a larger church with several different ministries and ministry leaders, you would do well to include ministry leader profiles. Profiles should include a short biographical sketch of the leader or married couple, information about the ministry they lead, and a way to contact them for more information. Possible profiles would include Sunday school teachers, bus/van route leaders, and youth or children’s ministers among others.

8. Social Media links/other links

Our church has a Facebook page, and we link to the Facebook page from our website. We use the Facebook page in addition to the website to promote events, publish sermons, and remind people of our service times, in addition to other events happening at or around the church. We also publish our missionary letters online, and link those to our Facebook profile, and we have links to the individual missionary letter pages from our website. In other words, all of our digital media is linked. This way a person can find our website from our Facebook page or the missionary letter pages, or find the missionary letters from either of the other two locations. It’s all connected. The more media outlets you have, the more important it is to keep them all connected and up to date. That way people can stay apprised of what’s going on no matter which they choose to use the most. And as your church grows, it can take advantage of these other outlets to give people more access to and more ways to stay connected to your church.

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