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Justin Wise is the Communications Director for Monk Development, builders of Ekklesia 360. His previous work experience was serving on staff at the nation’s fastest-growing Lutheran church as the digital director. With nearly a decade of parish ministry experience, he specializes in digital ministry and social strategy. Justin is a daily blogger at JustinWise.net and co-director of the Center for Church Communication. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and two children.
Echo Conference | Session 1 | Justin Wise
3 problems with church websites
“Ghost town” pages are not updated, are irrelevant, and website is deserted. Staff page is a good indicator
“Eyesore” No brand standard is present, no cohesiveness, lack of effort
“Bottleneck” website implies ‘find at your own risk’, no order to anything, lacking function
Why do these things happen?
No time between other duties or obligations
Fearful emotions from leadership
Too busy to cultivate and pour into the resource
Disconnect between vision of the church and vision of the website
Misunderstanding of the uses of the website
What is the purpose of a website?
46% say the Internet is the most essential medium in their lives
46% say a website is important in deciding to attend
23% found a church via search engine
64% agree a website is important to facilitate community
33% say the website was the 1st place they looked for a church
TRUTH: Membership #’s are down
Money spent building religious buildings is down (US Census)
Church website is the new front door
If a church can’t be Googled, it doesn’t exist
Top features requested
- Serving opportunities
- Service info
- Forward content
- Read visitor’s information
“Not changing your strategy merely because you’re used to the one you have now is a lousy strategy.” Seth Godin
Who are the people in your church?
New visitors Regular attenders Committed attender(member) Leaders
How do you ensure ministry is happening on your website?
Quantitative (Analytics, etc.)
Qualitative (Usability, knowledge, findability, actionability)
119% HIGHER click through rate with pages that have call-to-action
Every page should have a call to action
Simple is difficult
Ministry can (and does) happen online