Your website is your welcome mat. So make it for and centered around real people.

It’s a common theme among generations today that we are all too attached to our technology and the convenience it offers us. It’s not uncommon that one would sit down for dinner with their grandparents or older relatives only to be met with an extensive history of how the world used to be before the invention of car phones and colored televisions. Times have changed. iPhones, tablets, social media, TV subscription services, and online churches are overwhelmingly our new reality. 

While it is easy to say that technology has made us more connected than any previous generation, you could also argue that it has made us more detached from one another as well. The click of a button can bring us to a plethora of information or a conversation with a distant friend in seconds. Yet a lack of face-to-face interaction has removed an element of intimate connection with one another. The question then becomes, how do we restore the relational and personal feel to our platforms, specifically, our church websites? 

Your church website serves as the welcome mat for most first-time guests before they even step through your doors. In addition, the growing popularity in online and hybrid churches makes your website an easy landing page for those looking to find community through their devices. However, the impersonal nature of technology calls for a renewed intentionality in building our websites to have a personal and relational feel that draws people in. 

So, how do you do it? 

Keep it Simple

Let’s go back to the basics. One of the best things you can do for your online audience is to offer clarity and simplicity through how you structure your website. Despite how technologically driven our culture appears to be, everyone appreciates a website that is clean and easy to navigate. Build relationships and trust with your online community through an easy-to-navigate design and relevant content in the most visible and accessible places. 

Use Conversational Language 

If you want your website to feel relational, swap out formal language for a more conversational feel. Communicate with your online audience in the same way that you would communicate with them in person. Be careful not to sacrifice grammar and clarity for the sake of sounding trendy or relatable. Stay true to your context and personality in the way you communicate to help your audience get a feel for who you truly are as a church. 

Keep Your Content Up to Date

Give your website regular maintenance to keep things up to date and fresh. Your website is not meant to be a dormant vessel of information, rather an active platform wanting to engage with people in what is currently happening. Your online content should feel connected to your in-person gatherings and what is happening in the world around us.

Show all the Faces 

Leverage photos on your website to show the staff, volunteers, attendees, and the spaces these people occupy. It’s easier for your audience to envision themselves as part of your community when they see people that look like them represented on your website. It also serves as a reminder that real people are wanting to connect with them, either digitally or in person. Tell the story of your church through the photos of the people you have on your website. 

Share Stories 

One of the most powerful relational tools we have is storytelling. Create a safe and personal space on your website by sharing the stories of your attendees and those that have been impacted by your church. Consider sharing testimonies, staff or volunteer biographies, and stories of life change. People want to connect with people and hear about the ways that God is moving through their lives.

So what now? It can feel like your website is a never-ending machine that always needs refreshed or redone. And that's one way of looking at it. But we like to see it as a ministry tool with unlimited potential! Want to talk more about the potential we see in your church's website? Let's do it!