The revamped church website is finally up!
To start off, I want to thank everyone who has been hard at work for the website redesign. It took almost 2 years of work, from the initial conversation to its launch in April 2018. I am extremely grateful for the talents at our church and it has been a blessing to see these faithful members exercise their gifts for the good of the church.
You might be wondering why we decided on redesigning the website. Maybe you liked the old design. Maybe you didn’t find it necessary. Maybe you’re wondering why we exerted so much time and effort into the website. Certainly, the website is a small part of our church and it definitely is not a necessary part of the church. But I would argue that it is an important piece, especially in these modern times. Here are three reasons why I believe a good website greatly benefits the church.
The Unexpected Face
Everyone is plugged into the Internet these days. Millions of searches are happening every second and like it or not, our church website will be found, by both members and guests alike. Churches these days hold such a wide range of beliefs and doctrinal stances. What does it mean to be a biblical church? What does it mean to be a gospel-centered church? It’s like trying to define what good coffee is these days. Everyone has a different opinion.
Therefore, in a way, the church website becomes the face of the church to the rest of the world. It broadcasts to the world exactly what truths we stand upon and what our underlying vision is. When someone finds our church online, what will they find? Will they know what we believe in? Will they know what doctrines we hold to? I mean, will they even know our church is Christian and not some other religion?
Our church website should clearly display our vision, beliefs, and values. Anyone who visits our website should immediately know what FCBC Walnut prioritizes. Hence, that is why we decided to declare our vision statement loud and clear on the front page. Underneath our vision statement, we provide three pillars by which our church stands upon. Our church should not be ashamed of hiding our purpose here on earth.
For our members, they should be able to point to our website, knowing very clearly that they are journeying with us under the same vision and direction. For any guests, they should develop a general sense of what kind of church they are entering, simply by viewing our website.
The Unofficial Welcome Team
For visitors, the website is usually the first place where they engage with the church. In other words, the church website serves as the welcome team for any visitor interested in our church. Visitors can easily be turned off if their experience navigating through our website is unsatisfying.
Therefore, we decided to modernize our website to provide a positive user experience. One of our first decisions was simplifying the front page so that it does not blast you with information overload. The icons and full-width pictures provide a simple expression of creativity and content. All necessary information reads easily as the user scrolls through the page.
Another big decision was on simplifying the navigation so that a visitor does not become frustrated with finding information. With so many ministries and events happening at FCBC, this was probably one of the hardest things to decide on. Each page had to be revamped so that the visitor journey feels seamless as he or she jumps from page to page. Continuity is an important aspect of building a great website.
At the end of the day, our church website should not scare any visitors away. Instead, visitors should feel welcomed by our website. Our website should be inviting any guest to come visit and learn more about FCBC Walnut.
The Unintended Central Hub
Unintentionally, the church website can potentially become a central hub where people go to find information about upcoming events, ministry opportunities, and other announcements. I say unintentionally because our official announcements will always be made on Sundays, either in the bulletin or on the pulpit. However, I can imagine how the church website can help centralize those announcements and display them online for all to access. In a way, the church website can help promote church unity, as members can stay aware of happenings around the church.
For this initial release, the focus has shifted to the first two benefits. However, moving forward, we hope to continue improving the website, focusing especially in this area of church unity. The website can become a bulletin board of important announcements and service opportunities. Our social media platforms and blog are initial steps to broadcasting inside looks at our ministries and events.
The hope is that the website can develop to display our church accurately and clearly. The website should be a representation of our church. As we continue to grow as a church and learn how to engage the world with the gospel, the church website should be a tool that helps us along the way.