Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The purpose of your church website

I'm on a mission to make my local congregation known to the world through the use of the Web and the Internet. Church websites are generally electronic advertising -- an attractive sign put out in the hopes that somebody cruising by on the Information Superhighway will see the ad and maybe drop in for a visit. Some of the signs are professionally designed billboards. Several are the equivalent of a humble, hand-lettered signboard. Too many are tacky, gaudy flashy signs that are reminiscent of something you'd find on the Strip in Vegas. And almost all of them are completely ineffective.

I've been talking with some people about effective use of the Web and Internet to promote their church. They create (or pay somebody to create) a very attractive website. And, hey, if you search for "[Denomination] [Yourtown]" and come up in the first page of search results, it's all good! Frankly, I'm not that interested in the people who are searching for "Pentecostal Church in Longmont Colorado" -- they already know where to find us. I want to reach the newcomer who just bought a house out in the suburbs who's looking for a good church for his family. I want to reach the single mother who is unraveling from life's stresses who's looking for some help. I want to reach the engineer who is up to his neck in debt and needs to find satisfaction in life from something other than new toys and activities. These people are not going to be looking for a particular denomination or "brand," especially in Colorado where denominal loyalty is very weak.


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