Your church website should include content that communicates current church happenings and other information. However, a church website has two goals: communicate with current members and connect with new ones. The website is public, but there can also be a “Members Only” login. It is very important to find a perfect balance between what should be public domain and what needs to remain private for the security of church members to be ensured.
Balancing Your Website Content
As with most communities, churches are very much dependent on their members and maintaining that network. That is why any church’s website should have some kind of directory of its members, their functions and participation in the community, and should also allow them to share their own information and interact with the community, if they wish to do so.
Should private information such as addresses, contact numbers or e-mail accounts be available to the general public? Surely not, as that could endanger your church members.
This does not mean that a whole church’s website should be closed-off and accessible only to its members. In fact, that would be a mistake, because it would discourage any possible new members from attending and joining your church.
What Content Should be Public?
The question is not whether there should be a “members only” section on a church’s webpage, but rather where to draw the line between what should be private and public.
Basic church information:
Basic facts like location, organization, history and leaders, as well as some forms of contact should be available to those who may want to learn about it– otherwise new people will not be able to find and get to know your church, and that would be a shame.
It is also recommended that the church calendar, with all its events and exhibitions, is available to the public, so that those who are interested in attending can have the opportunity to, as those who are not present locally might not be able to find out about such events otherwise.
How to Make Donations:
Finally, and because a church is as dependent on donations as it is on its members, information on how to make a donation – even a link to do it online – should be available to the public, so that anyone can help, even remotely, if they can’t be present physically or want to contribute anonymously.
Keeping Everyone Informed
At the end of the day, creating the perfect church website is a balancing act that might only be perfected through trial and error. It’s also about personal preference.
Keeping your church and community members informed and safe is one of the community leaders’ duties to their members, and it should be a worthwhile effort, if it helps keeping and bringing new members into the community.
To brainstorm the best type of content for your website, speak with a digital ministry strategist.