Let’s say you and your team have decided that it makes sense to have a website for your church. You want newcomers to know what to expect when they visit, and you want your members to know who to call if they have questions.
You could put any number of features and pages on your website, but do you really need to? For many rural churches, a lot of that is just unnecessary. There might be better uses for your time and your resources.
I’ve found that there are a few really crucial parts of a church website. You can have these elements on a simple website and accomplish your goals of reaching members and visitors without having some big, expensive site.
Here are the things I’ve found are most important for rural churches to have on their website.
Now, this seems obvious, but it’s one of those things that can be so obvious it’s overlooked! Include your street address as well as driving directions if your church is a little difficult to find from the road.
Chances are, visitors aren’t going to be comfortable coming to your church if they don’t know when to show up! If you have more than one service, be sure to put both times and indicate if there’s any difference between them (like traditional or contemporary music).
You can approach this a few ways. If you have a single phone number or email address that you want members and visitors to use to get in touch with the church, list that on your website.
If you’d rather have some kind of directory where people can know who to call about childcare, donations, community needs, or other specific concerns, list each phone number or email address with a description.
Things that seem intuitive to you about your church may not be intuitive to visitors. If you have childcare, note that on your website. If your denomination isn’t obvious from your church name, you might want to indicate that on your site. Have a certain parking area to welcome visitors? That would be great information for a visitor to find when they’re checking you out on your website!
These four elements are crucial for church websites, no matter the size or community. Having just a little information can help members and visitors feel connected and comfortable.