churchThere are countless studies and articles about why people are no longer attending church today. This article adds to the noise, however I hope you’ll find some wisdom in what it. The primary concern of this article is not why people are not attending church, but the one reason people are not attending your church.

The reason people are not attending your church has nothing to do with what people today do or do not believe. It is not about how large or small your church is. It is not about how friendly your congregation is. It is not about how active you are. It is not about how many children are in your Sunday School program.

It is entirely about what people see when they walk through your front door. Just to be clear I am not talking about the physical front door of your church building. This is not the door you need to be worried about. Though keeping it in good repair is a good idea. The door I am referring to is the one that Google points your newest visitor towards.

The new front door of the church is its presence on the Internet. I would argue that this has been true for many years at this point. The reason people are not attending your church is because what they find on your congregational website turns them away. Or it may be that what people find when they visit your congregational website is not helpful for them to determine if they should attend. Worse, they might discover some fantastic events your congregation participated in six months ago, but nothing about the upcoming weeks.

What Not To Have on your Church Website

Below are two items that if they are on the landing page of your website you need to do something about it.

Outdated Content

Outdated, currently irrelevant information. If the landing page of your website contains news & events and it hasn’t been updated in over a month it is time to either update or remove that information. If you feature sermons on your landing page and the date of the last sermon is over a month ago, either remove the sermon or remove the date the sermon was preached. If your website features outdated content, the perception is that this is how your congregation operates. It may not be true, but perception is everything and you just lost a potential worshipper.

Clutter

We often think we need to tell everything to potential visitors of our website. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you put more content and more clutter you put on your landing page you make it difficult for visitors to find the information that they are seeking. Rest assured, they will not search for the information. They will simply leave your website. Share only the most pertinent information on the initial landing page.

The One Thing Your Landing Page Needs To Say

If you have removed the outdated information and cut down on the clutter you should be left with an up-to-date website that is appealing to look at. However, there still might be one thing that your site is missing.

The single most important thing you have to tell people who are visiting your website is what time your service(s) of worship are. This information needs to be prominent and easy to find. If visitors to your website have to search for this information odds are that they will not be attending worship this coming Sunday. Not out of a lack of desire, but because they were unable to determine what time to arrive at.

You might be thinking that if someone is not willing to put the time in to search for the time of worship, then perhaps you do not want them. But what kind of thinking is that? We want people attending worship and we want to make it easy for them to worship with us.

Let’s work together to make it easy for people to come and worship God. Let’s allow our communities of faith to grow in healthy ways leveraging the tools at our disposal.

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