Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

CWADD: Church Website Attention Deficit Disorder

I write today to bring to your attention a growing malady among those seeking to find a church home online. Today I write about CWADD: Church Website Attention Deficit Disorder – a growing disease that continues to make our crufty old church web sites even more irrelevant and ineffective then they are already. Here’s why …

Again, with the Read/Writeweb folks, this time from Alex Iskold who gives us a short but powerful post entitled “Read-WriteWeb: Continuous Partial Attention: Software & Solutions” where he leads off with:

“The ways in which we consume and pay attention to information are changing. The changes are not minor, they are big and profound. Right now, it impacts us all individually – but soon the change will be visible on a global scale. We are splitting our attention over a rapidly growing body of online information.”

Let me translate that for you: if you are still treating your church and/or charity’s website like virtual brochureware then you’re likely wasting your time and that of the few whom manage to stumble onto your site.

Yeah, I know, that’s a bit rough but if yesterday’s good example of bad church web design was any indication as to the state of the Church online, then indeed Jesus weeps!

I say weeps because it says to me that much of the great cloud of witlessness publishing a parish’s web presence gives the appearance of less concern by not adjusting the means of conveying their message to “… the amount of information and the interrupts.” and “The massive adoption of broadband [that] gave birth to new media types …

For example, a line of questions to ask yourself about your church’s website’s relevance to the information consumption habits of those whom might find you online:

  • do you regularly publish your pastor’s sermons in text format?
  • do you support the regular publishing of you pastor’s sermons with an RSS feed?
  • do you provided accompanying podcasts of your pastor’s sermons?
  • do you still force laypersons to physically show up for all meetings?
  • do you still manage committees and projects by paper and physical presence?
  • do you still use client-based applications to collaborate on schedules and documents?
  • do you provide your congregation with any form of wireless access?
  • do you still insist on using FrontPage to deliver your web sites content?

I have plenty of other questions, but today’s message is a bit “heck and sandstone” to hopefully get some of you to realize that just as some 100 year old churches had to add parking lots and telephones to accommodate new means of communications that arose in the 20th century …

… so to we must make sure our online message is equally accommodating, NOT to change the message, but too change how the message is conveyed.

Now go email this link to your pastor and/or church media staff guy. If they complain, just send them to old Deano’ … I’m make them an offer they can’t refuse … or at least point out the speck in their eye!