#1 EVERY church needs a “Google Place” listing. Click here
Why information is needed online:
It can be a little intimidating to worship at a new church for the first time. People today can basically “visit” a lot of churches in their area ONLINE and get a sense of which one looks friendly, has a nice environment, is doing things in the community, and would offer a powerful sense of God’s presence. As people look online at websites, they get First Impressions! Even a church with an outdated website and unflattering pictures would make a better impression than a church without any web presence, because at least a person would someone know what to expect.
- People need the address of your church to put in their GPS.
- People want a PICTURE (or several) of your church and some of the people/activities in it so they can get some impression of what it would be like to go there.
- People need to know the actual worship, Sunday School and Bible Study times (etc…) if you are ever expecting visitors to these things. If you change them for the summer…update them online and on outdoor signs! If you change them back in the fall…update them again please :o)
- The rest is icing on the cake…but a cake with icing is more appealing than one without icing.
- People would like to see more pictures of events. Pictures and notes about the staff / leadership. Pictures of the nursery and nursery staff and how often your toys are cleaned. What is your church doing for the community around you? Some websites allow you to upload a bulletin so people get a sense of your order of worship and whether it is traditional, contemporary, etc. Some people may not know what “Presbyterian” means…so you may have some information about that. Remember, though, that the more you try to offer in your website…the harder you must work to keep it looking clean, simple, easy-to-navigate so people can find what they are looking for with just a few clicks without getting lost.
More about WAYS to put information online:
If you want to create a website or update your website to a “whole new look,” I recommend Weebly.com. It is fast, easy and free–but offers the amazing looks and features of very expensive alternatives.
- Churches with little time and personnel for websites can make a VERY nice looking single-page or simple website that draws people to your church without needing frequent updates.
- Churches with more time and personnel can allow people to learn even more about their ministry, upcoming events and even nurture people THROUGH their website using Weebly or other website creators. These websites tend to need more updating, but can be manageable even in smaller churches, depending on people’s gifts and time available.
- Churches with someone trustworthy who loves Facebook will benefit from a Church Facebook page (perhaps without needing a separate website). Some use Facebook to invite people to church events, make announcements and even provide prayer requests and health updates (when people give permission for such information to be shared).
- Every church in our Presbytery has a beautiful picture of it listed on our Presbytery website. Visit your church page here to make sure the basic information is correct, and update it with your website or facebook information.
- A nice “minimum” web presence would be to update your information on the Presbytery page and then update your Google Place information and link to the Presbytery page with its picture and information (phone, worship times, etc…)
- Some churches only use a Facebook page, and do not use another website. This is fine! Facebook pages must be updated weekly to give a good impression, though.