I was collecting information from a few church websites for Open Church and gathered many thoughts on church website about pages. There are many ideas on the Internet, and here on ChurchMag, about what you should consider for your website. I wondered if some of the thoughts I had might be unique to church or similar church website.
Could some things I noted be unique for church website about pages?
Here are a few things to consider:
The spreadsheet I was collating data on had ‘date established’ as one of the columns. Most websites I looked at didn’t have that. Before my exercise, I don’t remember going to a church’s website to find out when it was founded.
I noticed that many churches don’t do the same either. Most don’t include any history about their church. Nothing about when they started, how or why they started. The ‘About Us’ page is mostly about what kind of a church they are and such.
Should every church tell the story of how far they’ve come? That is for every church to decide, I think. For the churches who included their story I got the sense that they were not a fly-by-night gig. You know, here today, gone tomorrow. This impressed some credibility on me. I wasn’t looking for any narrative of the past but found myself engrossed where it was available.
As I’ve said, I never thought much about having history of the church on the website. One of the impressions including a history of a church left me with was that it wasn’t a gig. Many people are sceptical of new churches. If your church has been around a few years, you might want to consider including your history. It might not be critical for credibility, but could be helpful.
One of the things to consider for your church website about page is an invitation. The about page of your church website is not only about who you are. It is also a great place to be extend hospitality; invite people. Don’t just tell website visitors about how others got to belong, invite them also. As much as you’re saying who you are, you’re also about the visitors on your website.
Make sure you don’t get caught up in you, you forget about them.
One of the the questions some website visitors ask themselves is, “Can I belong here?”
“Why do you exist and do what you do? I know you’re a church, but why do you, in particular, exist?” Some churches include what they believe, but they don’t say why they exist or their mission. Some About Us only have a statement of faith.
There is nothing wrong with stating what you believe, just don’t miss a great opportunity to talk about who you are as well.
Leadership and Staff
It is great to know who the leaders of the church are. Seeing the staff compliment or the team communicates a lot. It says, “This is our structure and what we care about”. Or, “These things are important to us”. Seeing a children’s pastor, for example, would be important to a new family in town.
Remember not to confuse the church About Us page with the ministers’ and department heads’ page. I noticed some churches’ About page was more about the leaders and not the church they led. I don’t think anyone can dictate what to do, but whatever you do, make sure what you do is thought through.
Something to consider for your church website about page: How much about and leadership or team to feature on the about page.
Another thing to consider for your church’s about page is the call to action. As mentioned already it could be an invite. A call to action should be something thought through for your entire site. After visitors get to know a little more about you, what should they do? What do you want them to do? Should they sign up for the newsletter.
The about page is not the only place on your website people get to find out about you. In a greater sense all your church’s website is a huge About Us page. Highlighting church life is about you. The sermons posted are about you. The events you shed light on… you get the point. Is everything about your website saying everything about you?