I heard someone say recently: "The first time someone steps foot onto your church campus is the second time they've visited your church."
That is not a riddle meant to be confusing but a wonderful observation for church leaders to pay careful attention to. People will visit your church's Web presence to decide if they want to visit your church. It is the new "first impression." And like my parents always said, "You never get a second chance at a first impression."
Many church's Web site looks more like an electronic version of a printed bulletin and clearly expresses the strategy of "How much information can I cram into one place?" Another common strategy is to build you site around the internal customs of your church. When an "outsider" can't navigate your site, you're telling them that this isn't for "them." Nothing could be further from the truth!
East Hill Church has done an exceptional job with their Web presence and strategy. Here's what I love about it:
- It's focused on the person who isn't there yet.
- It's simple and easy to navigate.
- It's dynamic in that it is updated frequently.
- It has lots of pictures and images (instead of copy) which are coveted currency in digital media today.
- It offers connects to the "inside scoop" instead of overwhelming you with it.
What does your church's Web site say about you? Is your church Web site inviting to "outsiders" or was it designed "for internal use only"?