It’s taken too long, but I think the majority of churches finally understand that their website is a key factor in attracting first-time guests. I’ve even heard it said that webpages are actually the front door to the church. Unfortunately, for many churches this door is quickly closing.
Don’t believe me? Why not take a moment to check the analytics for your webpage over a two-year period. There is a great chance that no one is even paying attention to the detailed pages that your team spends so much time and effort creating and updating.
I think the reason this is happening is pretty obvious. Our culture has moved beyond web to mobile, but the church is several steps behind. Churches continue to overestimate the value of the content they are providing on their websites. A site can have creative graphics and compelling writing, but it is worthless if no-one ever sees it.
Think about it. Who is really going to scroll around for 20 minutes on their phone looking at a website that is not even mobile-friendly?
The people sitting in the seats of your church have moved on. Today, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. In fact, over 60% of all internet use is now mobile, and this statistic is quickly growing. People are on their phones when they are watching TV, eating and even driving.
In The Heart of Change, John Kotter gives several behaviors that stop organizations from launching change. I think some of these behaviors can be attributed to why churches have failed to move from a web strategy to a mobile strategy:
- Complacency Thinking. Many churches have already invested a great deal of time and resources into creating their webpage. That box has been checked off. Some churches believe they have already completed their duty and they arrogantly think that if someone wants to find them online, then they can.
- Pessimistic Thinking. Other churches are pessimistic when it comes to investing in technology. They think, “Why jump to a mobile strategy when in a few years something else will just rise to the forefront?” The problem with this thinking is that it encourages procrastination to the point of stagnation. With this mindset, technology and culture keep advancing which widens the gap between relevance and outdated ministry practices.
- Immobilized Thinking. Some churches recognize that an immediate change needs to happen. They feel the urgency but are simply afraid to take action. Making technology advances requires a financial and time investment that many churches are afraid to make.
Before I share what a mobile strategy could look like in your church and how to begin this change, I wanted to challenge you to think about why your church hasn’t already made the shift. What thinking has caused you to be stuck?
I would love to hear your thoughts.