They say a picture is worth 1000 words. If that is the case, then the following screenshot from today’s subject speaks volumes:
No lie, as I was beginning to work on this post the other night for Monday morning, my wife came down to my studio to say goodnight. I asked her what she thought of the front page for the Mt. Zion General Baptist Church – Indianapolis, IN. Her immediate, split second response was “Who Died?” And she hadn’t even read the caption for the picture!
Not that this site doesn’t have other problems, such as hard-to-remember domain name, a web hosting service insists on polluting their client’s pages with banner ads and flashing animated gif. A color and font scheme reminiscent of 1997. Bulky make-it-hard-to-read background images. And of course, frames.
No, the reason I’m bringing this site to your attention is because of the 45kb image of a flower-bed with a caption that reads the names of the pastors is that even without the benefit of headstones, this unfortunate juxtaposition conveys the idea that somehow these two servants of God have been tastefully interred together in front of the church. Not exactly the first impression I might want to give to a seeker, or as Samuel Clemens might say “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
So how to fix this? Testing. Thorough testing. Thorough testing by people who are not members of your congregation and are not aquanted with your vernacular.
In other words, assuming that you are seeking to attract seekers, you need to employ a testing team that includes non-church members who are not emotionally attached. Make sure you haven’t ‘spoiled’ the test subjects with any comments or instructions – that is – avoid employing individuals who hold any preconceived notions or are familiar with your congregation’s particular brand of church-speak. I know this means actually talking to an “outsider” … and possibly even a sinner … but …