Why Church Websites Are The Worst

Why Church Websites Are The Worst

This is a huge pet peeve of mine.  I look at a lot of church websites, and for the most part, they are terrible.  Some are fantastic, and for that I say, “Well done!”  For the majority, however, it’s pretty clear that the church culture is usually a good 5-10 years behind secular culture in being “contemporary” in most best practice areas, but when it comes to websites it’s more like 10-20:

“Hey, look at our website!  We have cool clip art and are registered with Netscape AND the Google!  Our website plays hymns when you open it!”

Come on, bro.

But this isn’t even the part that bothers me.  I get it that often times people just don’t have the skill, resources, or exposure to create a really good website for the church. That doesn’t bother me.

This is the part that bothers me:

If you list your pastors and staff on your website, yet fail to provide direct email addresses so there is an easy way for people to directly connect with your leadership, you are neither welcoming nor accessible.

“But we have an online form they can fill out!”  Great.  So do I.  But I also list my direct email address above the form if they would just rather use that.  (By the way, my email address is jamie@silverleafministryconsulting.com)  Either way it goes directly to me.

“Why is this such a big deal?” you may ask.

Look, if you list your staff with a nice picture and bio yet fail to provide an easy, direct way for them to contact you, you’re essentially saying this: “Welcome! But don’t email us directly because we want our secretary to screen it and then if they deem it worthy, they will forward it to the right person and then if it merits any follow up the appropriate staff member will get in contact with you.  But really, welcome!”

Come on, bro.

I understand the desire not to be inundated with garbage, but that’s what a SPAM filter is for.

Jesus said  of the little children that wanted to see him, that they should not be HINDERED in their pursuit (Matthew 19:14).  If someone is trying to email the church to get info about ANYTHING, we should make it as easy as possible.

Don’t stand at the digital door of the church and casually wave people in.  Put your email addresses on your website.  Be accessible.  Be available.  It’s one small way we can show authentic care and engagement into a hurting world.

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