The past two days I have been working non-stop to get the final touches done on our church website: adding a blog post here, scheduling one there, and removing old information. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking:
OMG! The website! I forgot!
Relax! There’s still time to fix your website, but you really should see someone about having the inner-voice of a twelve year-old girl.
The specifics of what your site needs is…well…specific to your site, but here are a few things I did to get ours spruced up.*
Weed Out Old Info
One of the first things I did was to weed out old event information. I didn’t remove all of our old events because I don’t want it to look like we only started doing stuff, but worse, I don’t want people to feel like they’ve only missed stuff and that we had more going on last month than we do this month. It’s a delicate balance that probably doesn’t matter a ton so long as you approach it as a balance.
Old info does include old videos and pictures. Last year was our first Easter since we changed lead pastors. Because of other transitions and changes we were making we didn’t think about our website, which proudly boasted video of our old lead pastor. Did it really matter much? No, but you couldn’t pick two men who were more visually distinct that our old and current lead pastors. So, if you came to church expecting the old pastor, you might be confused by the new one.
Lower the Bar
When outsiders look for a church, they’re more than likely a bit apprehensive about what to expect. Our website includes a page entitled just that, “What to Expect at Cornerstone,” where we answer some of those basic questions like what to wear, what music we have, what we do for kids, and whether or not we’ll take an offering. Will our answers satisfy everyone? Not even close, but it really could make the difference for some people.
Along with our Q/A page, we also post a list (complete with YouTube videos and iTunes links) of the songs we’ll be singing. Does that ruin the “show” element of Sunday worship? Maybe, but it’s not a show so that’s ok. What it does do is help to make people familiar with the songs and also gives the individual more time to mediate on the meaning of the songs, whether that’s done consciously or unconsciously.
Social Media All the Easter!
Do you have sermon artwork? Do you have a church logo? Get your service times or website slapped on it and share it whatever social media networks your people use the most. Size it properly, and folks can set it as their profile picture. Share some Bible verses or song lyrics that are “on theme” for the weekend. Did you have a cool video that you’ve used in years past for Good Friday or Easter? Share it! Don’t sit on good material.
Content, Content, Content
Whatever you can put out people on your church blog and/or social media accounts is huge! Like I just mentioned above, if you have good stuff from years past, put it out there again. But don’t be afraid to generate some new stuff, too. For example, I have two blog posts scheduled, one for Good Friday and one for the Monday after Easter, with a bunch of songs selected for the mood of that day (songs about the Cross for Friday and resurrection/rejoicing songs for Monday).** Nothing’s stopping you from doing that. “But I don’t have a blog for my church!” Then just share a song or two directly from YouTube on that day. And if you have you have no way of easily sharing your sermon the week after Easter, get your (or your pastor’s) notes down into a few digestible bites that can be easily posted on Facebook or Google+ or whatever. The point is simple: you have the inside story on the greatest event in history—start spreading the news!
I hope this post gives you some practical ways to complete some final Easter prep work. Try as hard you want; you’ll always forget to fix or update something or you’ll think of something awesome that you could have done. It’s ok. No one is perfect. The trick isn’t to be perfect, just prepared.
Is there anything here that was helpful to you?
What am I missing?
*Our church website was just recently redesigned. You
probably definitely don’t have time for that, but getting some of the info updated could go a long way.
**Why post on Monday? Because Sunday is going to have enough energy and rejoicing all its own. Monday is when people will need to be reminded that Jesus is still alive.