Oh yeah, “about your church website Pastor!” We are all sweet and perfect Christians, right? We all know the answer to that.
None of us are perfect. Ministry and church life can often be very hard. It is a different kind of beast compared to anything else out there. Yet, we are all called to be Christlike even when things are tough, irritating, and not agreeable to us.
One of the things I have found being in ministry for years now is that we choose to error by faking nice, even when we do not want to be. We put on a smile and just say “amen pastor” even though we do not mean it.
As a matter of fact, we all need to work on being a little more candid, direct, and honest. Especially when we have a disagreement or issue with someone, something, poor decisions we see made, our pastor, a lay leader, and more…
Jesus, after all, was very direct. He was more direct with people than we want to acknowledge or give him credit for actually. Are we supposed to be more like Jesus? Yes.
When it comes to getting feedback about your church website, most of the time you will not receive direct, candid, and honest critique about it.
Mostly because of the above mentioned. Also because it is something that seems to be on the “outside” so to speak. It is not top of mind often in ministry.
We focus on service stuff, worship, and other ministries. We are dealing with people who are actually in front of our face daily.
You will often not get feedback about your church website due to fear that a member, lay leader, or someone on your church staff may have. A person does not wish to hurt your feelings or hurt the person’s feelings who actually designed the church website either.
Here are some things you will not hear your members or even your ministry team say about your church website that you should. How do I know these are specific things you will not hear about your church website?
I have consulted with thousands of pastors and ministry leaders over the years. I actually give this constructive feedback. A Pastor then takes it to his or her team only to finally hear that people felt the same way about the church’s website all along.
1. Our church website is out of date.
Ok, so this is a generic comment. But, people know when something is old. A sweater loses color, a car’s paint starts to chip, and your teeth start to fall out!
The same thing applies to your church website. The colors and branding get old. It has old staff photos of what you wished you still looked like as a pastor. It has ministry content that is no longer relevant.
2. Oh yeah, about your church website Pastor. It looks terrible from my phone!
Did you know that over 60% of all web browsing is happening from mobile devices now? Isn’t it crazy? It is a reality now.
I spoke to a pastor the other day who has an iPhone who has never taken the time to look at his church website! He didn’t know that it was not mobile-friendly at all.
A mobile friendly site might be the difference maker in a decision someone makes to not tithe through your website. They became too frustrated trying to make that happen from their phone.
What if a young millennial falling apart because of addiction tried to listen to a sermon you preached on the freedom Christ brings? Yet, he couldn’t get to it from his phone effectively.
What is one soul like this worth to God? I’m not trying to sound harsh but you may need to hear it.
3. I do not find our church website useful at all.
A church website should be an interactive tool still. It is not all about outreach. Yes, we have social media and apps now that can be very useful for church communication.
However, Your website is a hub for members.
Things members will rely on your church website for are: Online Giving, Sermons, Registration, and Events. Are these things up to date on your church website?
Do you want your members to get last week’s sermon they missed? How about that person who is not a member yet? They may want to hear a message from your church to help them decide if they want to come for the first time or not?
4. Our website is a poor reflection of our church.
Do you have quality services and ministry taking place at your church? I hope you are proud of your church and what God is doing there. I’m sure your members are. After all, they are staying for some reason.
Are they proud to give your website address to a friend or someone they meet to invite them? They may not be. Once again, they are afraid to tell you that your website isn’t a reflection of what they love about your church.
5. I don’t even know what our web address is!
I have pastors often tell me they do not even know what their website address is off the top of their head! This is sad. If you as a pastor do not know, do you expect your members to know it?
Do you have it on signage or other marketing material you use? You should be telling people what your website address is during announcements or when preaching a sermon about inviting.
Hard to believe? I still see so many church websites without service times and directions that are clearly visible. You would think this should be a no-brainer to have a front face now on a church website.
Some studies show this is the most sought after item on a church website. Don’t take my word for it but Thom Rainer’s too. I hope you never hear this about your church website actually.
7. Our church website sucks!
Last but not least. You should hear this if it is true. If all the above is lacking, your church website does suck.
Sometimes we need to hear the plain truth bluntly. Sometimes that is what it takes for us to actually do something about a problem.
You love your church, are proud of it, care for your members, and most importantly you care for the unchurched out there. It is time to do something about your church website. It is time to speak up about it.
Lives do actually depend on it.
Are you afraid some of these things listed are on the tip of your member’s tongues? Let’s do something about.