Stop Selling Your Church
Church websites have two primary types of visitors. They are either members of the church looking for updates because their pastor mentioned it, or they are people looking for a church. Unfortunately, these two groups don’t have the same needs and it excludes an overlooked group, people looking for God.
Solving both of these issues is pretty easy to do for any church. For members, the easiest thing to do is setup a separate website or a sub-domain to handle all the communication you need to that group. You can make it public or private, that’s simply up to you.
This leaves you with two groups to content with, those looking for a new church and those looking for God. I believe both of these can be handled at the same time by pointing people to Christ. In this age of technology, accomplishing this isn’t hard. You want to be able to educate people about God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice as well as show how he is impacting the lives of church members and the community they interact with on a regular basis. Here are some ideas to accomplish this goal.
Video and Audio sermons. With a large percentage of people having smartphones, there is no excuse for any church in the US, Europe and most Asia-Pacific countries not to record every sermon to video. 1,000s of pictures and videos could be taken of ministry work in the communities we serve. All of this content can be uploaded to places like YouTube and Flickr for free then served through your website. The cost to churches are simply the time to organize it all into a compelling story.
Testimonials. Everyone has a story. Some stories are amazing. Many stories are very similar to one another. But those stories are compelling. They are evidence of changed lives through The power of the Cross. Capture those stories on video and pictures. Share them online. Again,expensive cameras aren’t needed. God will shine through whether you are using a cheap video phone or an expensive studio.
Ministry Impact. Record in video, pictures and words your ministries impact on the world. Show the changed lives. Show the effect on the community. Show God through the eyes of the people who serve and are being served.
Sharing. With all this awesome content, make sure you enable it all to be shared by membership. Their reach is greater than the church alone. Help them reach the world by socially enabling all of the content you have.
Get them involved in the adventure. All of this material should be compelling to anyone, especially those God is calling. Invite them not necessarily to join the church, but to join the adventure, to be part of the journey you are on to impact the world.
Christ told us to love one another and to teach people about Himself. Remember that non-Christians are generally turned off by the church. Church to them is for weak-minded whackos. There is very little about the idea of a church that is attractive to that audience. So stop trying to sell the church and simply show them who Jesus is through your words and actions. He is far more attractive than any church, which is what we should be striving for anyway.