Study Finds Most Church Websites Ineffective

church websites ineffectiveThe Associated Baptist Press published an article concluding,  “Churches, by and large, still haven’t entered the digital age when it comes to evangelism — but those who have are reaping huge rewards, according to a new survey.”

The survey was done by Christian technology company Endis.  They polled 1,600 churches asking questions about church size, the website’s target readership, the number of Christians and non-Christians coming to events, and the influence of the website on their decision to attend.

The study revealed some important findings.

1) Most church websites were not created with the unchurched in mind. Only half offer an outline of the gospel, and only a quarter provide testimonies of people who have come to faith in Christ.

2) Good content and ease of use were far more important than a sophisticated image or a multiplicity of functions.

3) Stories are very effective. While the article doesn’t go into more detail, I think it’s safe to assume what they found is that church websites that included personals stories of transformation were more effective in drawing non-Christian people to visit their church.

You can read the full article here.

What about your church’s website?  Was it created with the unchurched in mind?  Does it have a clearly marked “New to [your church] section?”  Is it easy to use?  Does it include videos or written stories of personal transformation?

If not, it’s time to get a new site or at least improve content of your current site if you want to connect with the people in your community.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

7 Responses to “Study Finds Most Church Websites Ineffective”

  1. I think that most people don't actually believe the church website is an effective tool for evangelism in the first place. We have to ask ourselves if the goal is to get people in our doors or win them to Christ? Granted they often go hand in hand, and discipleship is a big part of evangelism, but what is the likelihood of a pre-Christian going to churches website and deciding to go visit? Wouldn't it be more likely that they would only go to the website once that person had a face to face encounter with someone first? That being the case, wouldn't the information provided be different?

    • Hey Sage, I think you're right that there is a certain segment of non-Christians who will never go looking for a church website. But I also think there are people who may have experienced God in church, perhaps as a child, who are seeking God and think going to a church is a good start.

      A church's website can also be helpful for its members who want to invite their non-Christian friends. Those friends can check out the church's site and if its designed with the unchurched in mind, it might make them more comfortable checking out a worship service.

  2. It might be effective to have local advertising such as posters and billboards to direct the unsaved to your church website. Many people are searching but might not come to your church as easily as they would your website. At the website they could be drawn to the Savior through Scripture and testimonies.

  3. Gerald Stocker Jul 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Maybe what's in their blog is al about church program and sched and news. It has to be filled with true-stories, testimonials, and maybe videos. We should pray-over the site, and its main function. The designer must be a Christian to, for him to understand and believe that what he is doing is for Christ.

  4. Christian Church Aug 9, 2010 at 12:39 am

    very important point is made in this article.. "churches haven't entered the digital age" i totally agree that we need to keep the unchurched in mind. Have been working on my site and trying to include some important factors – sermons, videos, information for the new. any suggestions would be appreciated. http// :www.crosspointechurch.tv

    Having the media friendly website not only attracts the church members but also the people who live outside the vicinity or city.

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