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What Are You Trying To Say?
In a post on Church Marketing Sucks, Brad Abare posted a series on producing church web sites that don't suck. Let's face it - it is just as easy to produce a web site that sucks as it is to create one that doesn't suck. Follow these tips so your site is good for more than just serving as a bad example.
Lessons In Not Sucking: Common Communication Mistakes
  1. Lessons In Not Sucking: Common Communication Mistakes
  2. Method is the Last Step

Lessons In Not Sucking: Common Communication Mistakes

I like the way Brad states this -

Here are some choice mistakes I believe get in the way of our well meaning communication and marketing.

1. We confuse the three M's (message, method, movement).
Step #1: Know your message (your call to action, your point, your purpose).
Step #2: Define what you want to happen (the movement) as a result of your message being heard/seen/experienced (attendance, action, feeling, etc.)
Step #3: Determine the best method to connect the message with the movement.

The method is the bridge. Do not get these out of order. If the method comes first (as if often does), what we get is a really cool web site that doesn't do anything except look cool. If the movement comes first, we end up with a bunch of people but no purpose for their assembly.

Every time you sit down to work on your church web site - pause.

Get clear in your mind and your heart your purpose and God's plan for you. Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you have some awesome talents you are longing to use, but don't let that get in the way of having a web site that connects with people and brings them into communion with God.

Method is the Last Step

Your church or ministry may have many different programs, each with a different focus, but your message (mission, purpose) is to connect with people, share the gospel with them and bring them into fellowship with Jesus Christ. Don't lose sight of that and don't let anyone else divert you from that. You, on the other hand, will need to let go of some of the widgets and special effects you would like to add so you can say "Look what I can do!"

Everything that gets added to your church web site needs to have a clear relationship to your overall message, if it doesn't, take it down. Also be sure to promote the web as an avenue for delivering your message. Many times, people are not in the habit of including the web team in their communications about important topics and opportunities get missed. One group of people you need to be sure to connect with is the ministry leaders and staff of your congregation. They provide the message and the movement and you provide the method. But everyone needs to be in synch with the purpose of your ministry.

It is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the method - you have a skill for executing the method, others, who do not have that skill, tend to look at the web differently and forget about the message and focus on the medium. If you only had 30 seconds to say something to someone, what would it be? Could you get their attention and turn that 30 seconds into 5 minutes? Or, a lifetime?

What do you say?

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