How Do You Want People to React to Your Church Online?
Your church’s online presence makes an impression on people, whether you realize it or not.
It doesn’t matter if your online presence is through a website, a podcast, a Facebook Page or some combination of these or another online channel. People that encounter your church online will form an impression based on what they see.
Their impression is a result of their own experiences interacting with your online channel, whether the result be good, bad, or indifferent.
We’d love for everyone to say good things, of course, but often they don’t.
In fact, if we don’t put in enough effort to provide on online presence that’s worthwhile to them (i.e., useful, informative, up-to-date, easy-to-use, etc.), they may say nothing at all, “I’ve never checked it out” or (probably worse) “I looked at it once, a long time ago.”
If the impression they’re left with isn’t positive, it’s time to do some organizational soul-searching and then start working toward leaving a better impression.
Let’s look at this from a different angle. What would we like people to say about our church’s online endeavors?
Stop and think about this question. How would you want people to respond?
Be specific and not at all superficial. After all, answers like “it’s nice”, “it looks sharp” or “it looks like a lot of work went into it” isn’t much more helpful than no response at all!
So imagine what you want people to say when they express how they really feel about it.
- Does it make them feel…
- Spiritually challenged?
- Better informed theologically?
- Informed about what’s going on around church?
- Equipped to discuss matters of faith with others in their daily lives?
- Equipped to present a Christian viewpoint in discussions about current events?
- They’re cared for and not alone?
- They have a better understanding or appreciation for their own faith and resulting salvation?
- Enthusiastic about living their faith?
- Enthusiastic about getting involved in the church or a service ministry?
These are only a few examples to help you do this exercise.
Sitting down and coming up with answers to “What do we want people to say about our online activities?” is a useful individual and group exercise for church leaders.
It helps you get past the common roadblock: “We’re not sure what to do with our website. We’re not even sure what all is possible.”
Once you have answers, you’ll almost inevitably start thinking about how to get to produce that answer. You’ll naturally want to start planning the steps that will get you there.
You’ll also have a better idea of what your church wants to build online, which is a common problem many churches face. They know the internet is sitting there waiting to be used. But they have no idea what to do with it.
Most importantly, the exercise will help you figure out how best to communicate with those you want to reach.
What do you want people to say about your church’s online presence?
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