Your Website's Impact on Potential Visitors

  • 19 July 2016
  • Keith Reed

I’ve listened to sports talk radio since before I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of callers identify themselves with a simple introduction: first-time caller, long-time listener (or the popular short-hand: “first-time, long-time”). Some listeners wait a decade before they decide to call. But when they finally reach for their phone, they already know what to do. They can recite the station’s phone number by heart because it’s been burned into their memory after hearing it countless times before. Long-time listeners become first-time callers because they feel called to take action. And taking action is really easy to do. 

Have you ever considered what people need to become first-time visitors in your church?

Without a doubt, they need a reason to participate (is it any wonder that the vast majority of visitors choose to attend because someone invited them?). But even a person who is highly motivated to visit still needs basic information in order to meet your congregation.

Like the location of where your church meets.

The Google era has diminished the importance of phone number jingles, but the importance of basic information has not changed. Various reports suggest that 90% of potential visitors will browse your church’s website before they decide to attend your worship service. Thom Rainer calls a church’s website their most overlooked outreach tool! If a person can’t find the time and location of your service within a few seconds of browsing your website, you can almost guarantee that you’ve lost a first-time visitor.

Church websites have been an easy target for criticism for as long as the Internet has been alive (and for good reason). The good news is that it doesn’t take much work on your website to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Here are a few suggestions on what to make prominent:

Developing a Strategic Pathway for Discipleship in Your Church

  • 27 June 2016
  • Randy Wollf

In my experience as a pastor and in my interactions with other church leaders, I know that churches sometimes struggle with how to make disciples most effectively. Approaches that worked well in the past may not be as effective today. 

In this blog, we will look at a holistic process for making disciples that involves churches growing in 11 key areas. This strategic pathway of discipleship attempts to integrate a biblical understanding of discipleship with an understanding of contemporary culture. Obviously, some elements may be more important in a particular context while other elements not included in this list may need to be considered.

1. Prayer Saturation 

Prayer permeates disciple-making churches. How can we grow a culture of prayer—a culture in which God delights to work deeply in peoples' lives? Here are nine suggestions I have for how churches can grow in prayer

2. Loving Christ-Centred Community 

Discipleship occurs best in deep communities where people lovingly practice life-on-life discipleship. What can leaders do to develop this kind of intimacy? I believe leaders need to create opportunities for people to develop and grow disciple-making relationships and then model how this is done. Here are 8 characteristics the flow from a Christ-centred community.  

3. Growth Orientation 

When everything in the church is geared toward helping people take next steps, growth becomes normative and expected. Discipleship can flourish in this kind of growth-oriented environment.  

How To Create Surveys That People Actually Want To Take

  • 30 May 2016
  • Randy Wollf

Taking surveys is a chore. This is what most people will think when you ask them to take your survey. And yet, the results from a well-designed survey can help you determine the next steps to take in order to accomplish your ministry goals.  

The key is designing a survey that people will want to take. Here are several tips on how to design excellent surveys that will provide you with excellent data. 

  1. Establish a clear purpose

If you can’t state the purpose of your survey in one sentence, don’t go any further. You’ll be wasting your time and the time of those who do it. 

Once you identify your purpose, make sure to communicate this effectively. When people understand purpose, they feel empowered. Instead of feeling like a chore that has to get done, the survey can function as a tool that will serve their leaders well.  

  2. Create incentives

Simple incentives like a drawing for a gift card can often motivate people to complete a survey. Plus, a unique giveaway can also serve as a reminder that the survey is happening. 

In addition to physical incentives, help your audience understand that their feedback is an important part of your decision-making process. While it is true that people want to be heard, people will be even more motivated to share their thoughts if they feel assured that their opinions will make a difference. 

  3. Craft every question to serve the overall purpose of the survey

Ask yourself what you’ll do with the responses you receive. If you don’t know why the question is important (or what changes you’d be willing to make based on the responses), the question should be removed.