My perspective on looking over a website for a potential church home has changed over the years. A big part of that change is because I am now a wife and mother. Another reason is how much technology has changed in the last 10-15 years. That is a good thing, because now church websites can be much more informative and organized, among other improvements. This helps potential visitors to learn more and decide if it could be a church where they could grow and serve. What Information to Include on Church Websites?
What Information to Include on Church Websites or what do I look for on church websites?
In my opinion, the most important aspect in finding a church home is to make sure their core beliefs line up with mine. A church should have what they believe listed very clearly. Their doctrine will determine what is taught and it will influence every ministry they offer, so it is vital to have this information easily accessible. If I do not share their beliefs, then I can easily cross that church off my list.
Information on Pastor & Staff
Opinions can differ on what kind of information to put regarding the pastor and staff of the church. Sometimes churches will just put the names and pictures of the leadership members. In my opinion, I think it is better to include a little personal information about who is leading the church. For example, I enjoy reading about where they are from and what their relationship with the Lord is like. The page could also include things such as if they are married and for how long, and if they have kids. They don’t have to put names and ages of their children and spouse if they are not comfortable doing so. Sharing a little about the leadership helps me to get to know them better and then I can look forward to meeting them.
As a parent, the next page I would look at is the Children’s Ministry Page. For me personally, it is great to have as much information as possible when it comes to where my kids will be, who they will be with, and what they will be doing. I especially want to feel confident that my kids will be safe if I choose to visit that church. I look to see what kinds of safety measures they have in place.
Do they utilize tools such as Ministry Safe? Are volunteers background checked? What is the check-in/check-out process like? These are all important issues that can help a parent make a decision. As a parent of a food-allergy child, it also helps to know that they have protective measures in place for that type of situation.
Beyond safety measures, it is also helpful to see what kind of programs the children’s ministry offers, what times they happen, and details on where they happen. It is easy to say that Sunday School takes place in the “Blue Room”, but where is the “Blue Room”? It is important for churches to remember to give extra details to help someone who has never been in the building before to feel comfortable finding their way.
My husband and I like to participate in a variety of ministries that are geared toward adults. Some years we find ourselves going to separate studies (men/women), and occasionally we are part of a co-ed group. It is important to know what is offered at this church, and who leads each group (for contact info). How often do the groups meet? Do they change up seasonally? Are retreats or other events offered? And as mentioned above, it is also good to make sure significant details are noted to help the visitor find their way to the class.
Main Focus & Other Outreach Opportunities
Churches often will have a ministry that is their main focus and what they put a lot of time and resources toward. As a potential member, it is great to know if that church has a heart for something I am passionate about. (Or if I’m not passionate, it could be a chance for me to learn more about it!) How can I get involved? Which areas do they need more volunteers in? If possible, consider listing other outreach opportunities and ways to serve in the church. It is always good to leave out certain details so that safety does not become an issue, but even a simple list of ministry opportunities can go a long way.
There are many different kinds of ways to offer information on a church website. I think keeping the target audience in mind is important. The goal is to provide enough material to help people learn about the ministries and beliefs of the church. You have to find a healthy balance of providing enough information without having information overload, which I realize can be tricky. As a church goer, I appreciate when churches make the effort to keep their website updated and help potential visitors feel welcome. You never know what kind of lasting impact you can have on someone who is considering a visit to your worship service.
Leave a comment below on what information to include on church websites in your opinion. Maybe I missed something that you think should be included on all church websites.