Echo Conference Notes for Justin Wise

You can access a downloadable version here.

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 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

  1. Sermons
  2. Serving opportunities
  3. Service info
  4. Forward content
  5. 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?

Content Strategy

Content Audit

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


Strategy matters

Content matters

Simple is difficult

Ministry can (and does) happen online