Today, many people that are searching for a church immediately look to the internet to find what they are looking for. Your church’s website is the first place people will go to learn about your church‒even if they receive an invitation from someone who attends your church. Your website invites people to explore more about who you are and what you do before they relationally engage with you.
Having an effective internet presence allows you to reach a greater audience and build meaningful relationships with even more people. However, not just any thrown-together website is going to attract online traffic and increase Sunday morning attendance like you and your congregation want.
We’ve made it easy for you. Below, we’ve compiled a list of eight things your church website needs to be successful.
1. Meet the Staff
People like to know who they’re worshipping with. Having staff pictures and bios on your church website can help put potential visitors at ease. It gives them a chance to get to know you and your team before they show up on Sunday morning.
Potential visitors (and current members!) need to know what your church is involved in. Do you have a youth group? Worship team? Men/Women Bible studies? Discipleship? Great‒this is your chance to promote them! Show web users what your church can offer them.
A ministry page is also a great way for your church to keep current members in the loop. List all your ministries, a short description, and how they can get involved or volunteer!
3. What We Believe
This is arguably the most important page on a church website. People need to know what central ideas your faith is founded on. Topics to include can be your congregation’s beliefs about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, etc. as well as the Bible verses these beliefs are founded on. This is also a great place to include your church’s mission statement.
Also, make sure to present these beliefs in a clear, easy to understand format. Not everyone that views your site will be a degree-holding theologian. Simple words and clear ideas will go a long way.
Give web users a taste of your church’s Sunday morning. No one wants to attend a church where they don’t like the pastor’s preaching style. Including previous sermons on your website allows them a sneak peak of the types and styles of sermons your church has.
Sermon recordings are also great for current members who simply missed a Sunday. Whether your members accidentally slept in, are sick, or are out of town, they’ll be able to catch up.
5. Contact Information
When working in ministry, you need to be available through all forms of communication. On your website, you should include your address, phone number, email, and any other way you want to be contacted by potential visitors or current members.
Another important thing to include on your church website is contact forms. This gives online visitors a place to leave their information as well as any questions/problems they may have.
6. What to Expect
Attending a new church can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what you’re walking into. Give your potential visitors a heads up by explaining what a typical Sunday service looks at your church.
Is your church more modern or traditional? What’s the worship style? How long does a service typically last? Will there be a nursery or kids church?
Small details such as these put your visitors at ease and can encourage them to check out your church!
Not everyone carries around cash or checks, you know! An online giving platform gives your members another way to donate‒through credit or debit card.
Additionally, online giving offers your church members another opportunity to produce their tithe. Missed a service? Forgot to drop a check in the tithe box? No problem. Church members can donate at any time of the day or night.
Now, your church vision isn’t necessarily a page. It’s something that should be displayed throughout your entire website. Your site should answer one question: why does your church do what you do?
Much of this information can be placed on your church’s “About Us” page. Just make sure to include who you are, what you do, and why you do it! Your church vision allows visitors to see what’s directing and motivating your congregation as well as the work you’re doing to spread God’s kingdom.
Another great way to give website visitors a chance to see your church’s vision is to include pictures on your webpages. Include photos of your congregation, your worship team, your ministries, and any events you have.
Extra: Documents with E-Signature
Some churches, specifically those with youth groups or other kids’ ministries, may want to include documents online with the ability to apply e-signatures on their website. This is a great, easy way for parents to fill out permission slips for children going on church trips.
Online signatures can also be useful for other services including background check forms, nursery sign-up forms, and, if applicable, resigning of your church’s membership covenant.
Luckily, we’ve got examples. If you want ideas for content, style, etc. check out these other churches that we’ve created effective websites for:
Specialize Your Content
Now, these 8 features aren’t all you need, but they’re a good basis for any successful church website. To truly create an effective online presence, you need specialized content that gives web users a glimpse into what your church stands for.
Building a quality website is no easy task, especially when you don’t have the time or experience to do it yourself. That’s where we come in! From creating content to designing the site, we’ll cover all your church website needs.
Check out our church website services to see how we can help you and your congregation. Then, simply give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re here to help!