One half of all internet activity via mobile phones is on the one website – Facebook. Without a church Facebook Group and a church website your church is invisible, particularly to the generation of under 35s who are tragically under-represented in church anyway. The vast majority of first-time visitors to our church of all ages have found us on the internet.
The home page of any church website and the Facebook Group should be aimed at not-yet-Christians. It should invite folk to visit the church and let them know what to expect when they do. Special events should be publicised. It should include the street address and postcode for SatNav users and an email address for further information. Rather than the minister or church secretary’s home phone number, the website can publicise the number of a cheap PAYG mobile phone bought to be the “public” contact point for the church for text messages and voicemail contacts. Christians will be happy to click a few times to reach a detailed statement of the church’s basis of faith, but instead the front page should explain the gospel in a brief simple and attractive way.
The website can include past sermons and other resources to help not yet Christians explore the faith. Videos and sound mp3s of sermons can be useful although these could as easily be hosted at www.youtube.com. There are however certain advantages in putting the text of sermons online. Most people can skim-read a sermon much more quickly than listen to it. They can pause and reflect on a sentence which strikes them and cut-and-paste if they so choose. And search engines will capture the content of a text document whereas they will not for a sound recording, so making the sermon available to the browsing public.