Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to have a church website. It’s a great way for people to find out where you’re located, what you believe, and to see what events you have going on. It’s a great way to have a message presented, and can even bring people in better than that phone book advertisement.
But if you’re expecting your church’s website to be a hub of activity, with a lot of website traffic and lots of users, you best realize that you’re thinking and entirely different animal.
People Live Online
You see, a majority of the people that are online have already gotten involved in one of many places. They’ve connected with friends on Facebook, they’re reading things on forums, or they have their own blog. A lot of the features that you could add to your site to get some interaction are already out there, and without a significant “value add” you aren’t going to be able to get them to create another account just so they can talk with people they’re already “friends” with on three different services.
In this online world, what you want to do is to create a presence where they are, rather than try to bring them to you. You want to create a group in Facebook, have an account on Twitter, and have a blog component to your church website to get content out. you want them to subscribe to your church through their RSS feed reader or e-mail so they can get the latest information—and you want to promote that you can get that information there.
Just Like the Great Commission
When Jesus sent His followers out to win the lost, He told them to Go.. Same thing applies in the web world today. You need to get out where the people are, and then have them want to come back. Then, when you have the people interested in your site as a source of information or edification, you can build it into a place that offers more.
Start static with a little content, and add as people find you.