As a church, you want to be a source of peace, hope, and stability in uncertain times. As preachers, teachers, and gospel-believing church leaders, we know the power of words. Now more than ever, people in our congregations and communities need a word of encouragement and clarity, without downplaying or dismissing the seriousness and complexity of the situation.
We simply aren’t experts when it comes to handling a health crisis… no matter how many podcasts, articles, posts, or tweets we’ve been exposed to.
We are, however, called by God and empowered by His Spirit to lead our churches in love for the glory of Jesus’ name.
Be sure that words and tone of church communication relay a message of unwavering hope and unselfish love. You love your community and the church wants to take necessary precautions to promote the wellbeing of everyone in your zipcode and beyond.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Your home page is the front door to your church.
Today’s best practices emphasize the power of first impression and ease of finding relevant information on your website. If that’s right under normal circumstances, the importance of that fact just grew exponentially in size. Right now, just about any site you visit has COVID-19 information front and center.
This should especially be the case for churches—a place for gathering and for seeking help and hope in tough times. Provide a clear message and plan for how you will communicate and meet, along with how people can get in touch with you too.
Update your landing page to share the most important and urgent information. This is an opportunity to be informative and connective.
Review your analytics to see what people are looking for by noticing what pages they’re visiting. Most likely they are searching for service information and resources.
Kem Meyer recently shared a great strategy for how to handle your landing page:
- Create an interim landing page.
None of the “usual” stuff matters right now. Get rid of unnecessary events and content.
- Answer two questions:
- What is your simple response to COVID?
- How are you retooling your people and your resources to help others?
Also consider making one of your main CTA’s prayers. Add it to the copy of your page, or as a menu item. Tools like YouVersion’s new Prayer app can help your church pray together, even if you can’t meet together.
Examples of Website Messaging
Check out the insanely practical ways that churches are using their websites.
Look at how The Action Church has positioned themselves as a source of information:
- Include a list of COVID-19 community action resources
- Add service information on the landing page. Whether it’s a “watch live” button, or a link to another page detailing service information, you need to make the information that people are looking for insanely easy to find.
Check out Elevations Call To Action: https://elevationchurch.org/
You can expect that you’ll have a lot of new visitors on your website. A church in Virginia noted that of their recent website visitors, 93% of them were brand new. Make sure that you’re prepared to capture their attention and information so you can connect with them.
Just remember: Keep it simple, keep it brief, keep it real, keep it helpful.