Church Websites, revisited…

by vernsanders on October 1, 2010

In December of 2008, in a Monday Morning Email for Creator magazine, I wrote the following (edited for space):

Try this experiment…

Imagine you have next Sunday “off” from worship leading responsibilities. You want to attend a church in your area, but, for experimental purposes, assume you know nothing about what their worship will be like. In a Google search box, type the following:


where “yourtown” is the name of your town. You can also try “churches” if you’d like.

Plan for a couple of hours (remember…the internet is a search and destroy weapon when it comes to time) and see what you find. Just to make sure this works, I tried it myself, and for my town of +/- 10,000 people, Google returned 67,100 hits. You don’t have to look at all of them. See how many church websites are hard to use, don’t tell you what you want to know, or are hopelessly out of date [ here for our latest newsletter--July, 2006]. See if you can impute what worship (that’s what your visitor is looking for, right?) would be like by the look and feel of the website. See how your own church’s website stacks up.

Have things changed?

I ran the same query a few days ago for my new church and town, which is considerably smaller (+/- 2000), and got 65,100 hits (what is it about the 100?). Reflecting reality, as well as search optimization, the church I serve was in the top slot (in fact slots 1-3). On the first page, there were only three actual church websites, and, as you might expect, one was great, one was OK but a bit dated, and one was horribly out of date.

For a better comparison, I ran the same query as the original. This time there were 213, 000 hits. There were only 4 actual church websites on the first page: one was so awful as to be pathetic, one was dated but serviceable, one was cool and hip, and my old church’s link returned a 404 error message.

So have things changed from when I wrote:

You’ll probably spend some time frustrated, and come away saddened by the whole process. It is, in my opinion, a mission field that needs many, many workers…

Somewhat…because there are more websites…

But not much…because there are more bad ones than good…

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mesa Man March 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I like this writing style. It was a good read.

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