Before you write just about any document, you have to think of your audience. Who are you writing for? If I send a text to a friend, it’ll be different from a text I send to my parents. Even for a daily, unimportant task like this one, we automatically consider our audience.
The same goes for your church website.
Who do you want to reach with your website? In other words, what is the purpose of your website?
For some churches, they want their website to keep current members informed. According to a study conducted by Grey Matter Research, 57% of people who regularly attend church have visited their church’s website in the last year. The Sunday bulletin is no longer enough to keep these church members in the know.
That same study found 16% of people who do not regularly attend a church have visited some church website in the last year. With this in mind, many churches see a great opportunity to invite these website visitors to church. The website becomes the first place where potential visitors go to decide if this church is right for them.
Other churches see this same statistic and decide to focus on sharing the Gospel message with those who do not know Jesus, even if those people choose to never come to their building. Their website's purpose shifts from focusing on a local level to a global level.
In order to successfully achieve one of these focuses, the entire website should support that goal.
To some extent, every excellent site should try to accomplish each one of these things, but deciding your church’s primary objective will shape all the decisions related to copy and design, so it is an essential first step in the process.
To make this decision, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the mission goal of our church apart from our website?
- Is our church primarily focused on nurturing the faith of our current members or attracting new members?
- Is our church more concerned about sharing the Gospel locally and/or globally?
No matter what you do, your website should revolve around this goal and be representative of your church. Staying true to your ministry goals on your website will attract people to your church who are passionate about those same things.
This blog post is an excerpt from our ebook “Crafting Excellent Church Websites.” To download this free ebook, which outlines even more ways to perfect your website, click below!