You’re hungry so you enter a neighborhood restaurant. You eat out occasionally, but to be honest, you find it easier to put meals together at home. You drive by this business many times since it’s on your way to work. Before you decided to stop in, from the comfort of your living room, you picked up your iPad and tried to find an online menu so that you can anticipate the culinary experience.
What did you find? A website, yes, but it didn’t look great on your small screen, the information seemed less than current, you couldn’t find the content you needed, and ultimately, you were unsure about your decision to eat there.
You still decided to try the restaurant and now you’re standing inside the front door. Surprisingly, everyone’s friendly, the food’s quite good, and the atmosphere is remarkably comfortable. You look around and realize that very few people are eating there. You mention it to the waiter. He says he’s puzzled by it too.
Their menu, of course, is beautiful. But you’d have to walk in to see it. The online one didn’t look at all like the one handed to you.
A similar scenario is playing out in churches.
We spend lots of time and money creating print materials for people who come to our services while the one thing used primarily for external communications — your website — is left lacking.
More than 85% of your first-time guests go to your church website to “discover you” first. They’re looking for certain information and often can’t find it easily. So, sadly, many choose another solution for their spiritual needs. The long-tern results? Your church starts to decline in attendance. The ushers are puzzled by it.
But your bulletin looks good. “We can’t afford to update our Church Website”, said the Pastor.
The world has moved away from using print materials and your community (internal and external) look for up-to-date materials on an effective website. Most people look on a mobile device.
Can you afford NOT to update your church website? “I need to do it immediately”, said the Pastor of the soon to be growing church. Now’s the time to add “update our church website” to your budget. Now.
Learn more about our Church Website Update Packages in our Communication Process.
This post originally appeared in the Weekly Update for the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA). Mark MacDonald is a regular writer for this and other national publications about church communications and updating a church website.