The front door of a church tells you a lot about the distinctive identity of the faith community. It’s the first impression people have of your church. For example, a carved oak door on an two hundred year church speaks to its history. But when a church’s front doors aren’t well marked or are in poor condition, what does that say to a first time guest? It’s not friendly or welcoming. It’s confusing and intimidating.
The new front door for churches that makes a first impression on potential visitors is your website’s front page.
Many potential visitors will check out your website before considering attending a worship service. Some will be looking for details like what denomination your church is a part of. Some will be seeing what mission you’re involved in. Some will be looking for a vibrant youth group. But if your front page is cluttered or difficult to navigate, you’re going to lose a lot of potential visitors.
Many churches advertise their services and events around their town. You may hang up posters in the local coffee shops before an open mike night. You may have a booth at the local spring festival. You may pay for yellow page ads in the phone book or the newspaper.
There are good reasons why you may want to re-think using your church’s budget for things like traditional print ads. To the left is a conversation between our Worship Times’ owner Michael and a millennial-aged employee. You may hear a lot about the millennial generation “killing off” things like mass-produced beers or the paper napkin industry. What do these things have in common with your local phone book? Millennials aren’t the only ones who see them as wasteful and unnecessary.
Likewise, millennials aren’t the only ones who almost exclusively use the internet to search for a new church, and check out a church’s website before they visit, regardless of where they heard about you.
“I want to see a congregation’s identity on the front page,” this employee said. “And don’t just tell me–show me!” Research shows you only have a few seconds to capture people’s attention on your website.
Make sure your church’s personality and mission can be seen within the first few seconds. High resolution photos and clear, concise writing go a long way to making your new front door seem open and inviting.
If we do not want our churches to become like phone books or paper napkins – useful, but unnecessary, we need to regularly attend to our front doors. What do you want your front doors to show the world?