For those who are in any doubt on the necessity of a church website to attract new members, LaRosa Johnson writes about his search for a church and the process that he went through. He used the web to evaluate churches. This shows how important it is to firstly have a web site for your church and how that site impacts on people who view it.
- He used google to search for ‘placename + church’ to find websites of churches in his area, which was written about in August on this blog. If the church is not findable by search engines, then he would not have found it. In other words it is not okay to just be in some specialist church directory which no one searches, the church website has to to reachable via common search engines.
- And then he checked to see if the site had a statement of faith. LaRosa had his own criteria for judging this, as will any Christian looking at it. It is important that it fairly reflects the theological position of the church and its vision. This was suggested by this blog in the article on features a church website should have.
- He then downloads sermons (as MP3s) to evaluate the church further. Compared to putting a mission statement on the church website, uploading sermons would be considerably more work. But clearly it meant that the church could be at least compared to other churches on LaRosa’s short-list.
LaRosa notes that not everyone will go through the same process, but for a Christian looking for a church, this is becoming a more and more common way to create a short-list of churches to visit. If you church does not have a website (or even an out of date one), then it is putting itself at a disadvantage straight away.