[GUEST POST] Is a digital presence for your church just a ‘nice to have’? for @aliveandonline #ukchurchchat #chsocm

churches-alive-online-imageI’ve been promising to write a blog for Churches Alive Online, ever since they first indicated that they would be launching, and yesterday morning I’d already decided that I would write about the kind of information that those searching for new churches would be looking for – I’d sketched out a bit of it, then decided to go and check out a church … which was having a service elsewhere (so apologies to them for giving that error more airtime than might ever have been expected), and in the afternoon, after writing my Pokemon post (which has had many many hits), decided to pull the blog post together. Now live on the website, this is one of the paragraphs:

What is the purpose of a church website?

I always remember the first conversations I ever had about creating a church website, which I was doing in Dreamweaver, back in probably 2001. We discussed that the most important thing was to think about who the site was aimed at – including the seekers (of a new church and of faith), as well as the church regulars. As one of my friends just commented on Facebook, many churches are like a club for those who attend, information on a website which says stuff like “see Geoff for details” makes no sense to those who are outside the church.

For the seekers, it was key that the site gives a good idea of what to expect in this particular church, so that on walking through the door, there is no unpleasant shock! As I’m now searching for a new church, I’m very much ‘digital first’ in my approach – and I started by asking Facebook connections for recommendations! It’s much easier to follow a link, or scan the web, than it is to walk around every street in the area looking for churches – and if there’s no web presence, I assume there’s no particular desire to reach out to anyone new!

Read the full article.