In a recent post Thom Rainer, who is the CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, gave the results of a Twitter poll he conducted in which he asked people “why they chose not to return to a particular church.” Then he listed the “Top Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Guests.”
Among the standard complaints (people were perceived as unfriendly, there was no adequate children’s area and so on) was this: “Bad Church Website”
“Most of the church guests went to the church website before they attended a worship service. Even if they attended the service after visiting a bad website, they attended with a prejudicial perspective. The two indispensable items guests want on a website are address and times of service. It’s just that basic.”
Given the percentage of churches with either poor websites (80%) or no websites at all (40%), I’m left with the impression that church leadership teams just isn’t getting how important a church website is to their mission. This is 2014 and having a relevant website with all the essentials that is also easy on the eyes is critical.
In Justin Wise’s book Digital Church, his team conducted a study that found 47% of potential visitors said a church’s website is a key factor in their decision of whether or not to attend a church. And as Thom said, someone might still visit a church after first visiting its poor website, but when they do they’ll be entering your front door with a prejudicial perspective.
Your church website is your church’s digital front door.
It really is that simple.
QOTD: What role, if any, does a church’s website play into your decision of whether or not to visit for the first time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.