Moving forward, laying the groundwork for a website strategy. Building a Website is Congregational Work
Social Media is about people connecting with each other… Presence, accompaniment, the kind of ministry the church has been doing for thousands of years.
The first thing to consider is if our church has the capacity. This is not just an assessment of technical skills, but also of budget and decision-making structure. What gifts do you have available in your congregation?
To many, your church website is the face of your church. As you might realize by now, planning a church website -- like a lot of congregational work -- requires that you really wrestle with the question of your congregation’s identity. - Who are you? - What are your gifts? - What is your style? - What is God’s calling for your congregation? - What do you seek to be in the community in which you are located? (prioritize) There is nobody to go ask in order to get these answers about your congregation. It will take a group process to do it right. Difficult, but extremely valuable if you are to become the congregation God has called you to be. These questions are central to communicating who you are and what you have to offer. It is essential that the people running your website are “plugged in” to the core of what is happening in your church and what your communication priorities are. (i.e. Perhaps a volunteer isn’t enough?) It requires that your church’s web strategy operate in the core of your organization--not as an appendage. Church websites are not simply a one-off marketing brochure. They are the face of the congregation to many people and as such, are a place where your ministry happens.
Who Is Our Audience? You’ve also got to consider your audience - - are you trying to reach people outside the church, but your website is written for “insiders”? - are you presenting your church’s story using all the latest technological gizmos, but your primary audience basically really only uses email? - What “language” are you using on your church website? Is it geared for “insiders” or “outsiders”? - People scan on the web - so make content easy to read by breaking into short paragraphs, keeping line length short, high ratio of visuals. - What is the goal of your website? - What do people come to your website looking for? [What do the Search results say?]