Imagine visiting a new church where entry to the chapel is blocked by a welcoming committee who insists they first ‘inspire’ you with a 10 minute interpretive dance based on their church name and slogan? How fast would you turn around for some more normalized fellowship at the local IHOP ? That’s pretty much what is happening with the Ocean State Baptist Church of Smithfield, RI website … here’s why:
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”
In the same way Jesus explains the generosity of the Father to the disciples in Luke 11:11-12, web masters need to do likewise with the content on their church website with the following question in mind:
What webmaster among you, if a seeker asks for the date and time of your services, will instead give him a Flash presentation of the church name and slogan; or if he asks for directions, will give him a mission statement?
This is where users are either made to feel invited or are compelled to evade the rest of the content on your site. Meaning, if you:
- force them to spell words, phrases and concepts they already know;
- drag them into a vertigo inducing assault of churchy-sounding slogans;
- make them listen to the latest creation of your hip-cool-really-swinging-praise-band; and/or
- inflict upon them sin the above all sins – greet them with your mission statement;
then potential parishioners are going to become one-time website visitors whose bouncerate equals 100 %.
Why? because in offering such online obstacles, you show more ‘Flashination’ with cool church web-ware than giving the guest what they actually want: information about the dates, times, places, personalities and purposes whose sum presents the total of your church or charitable organization.
Anything else is merely an insulting annoyance that not only steals a visitor’s time and bandwidth, but also hides your church’s lamp under a basket.
Especially if you’ve been doing it knowingly for at least 5 years now.