As a Christian, it's never good to be stagnant. If you have an understanding of the Bible, then you realize you should always be growing and maturing in your faith. One of the best ways to do this is by getting involved in a church - one that understands the concept of growth and increasing your faith.
Just as Christians should strive to grow, the church you attend may also want to do the same. Growth signifies a healthy, fruit-bearing church - one that is making an impact in the community. It shows the church is able to meet the realistic goals it has set while advancing its mission. This is all good, right? After all, you would hate for your church to become one of the 4,000 that closes its doors each year.
But wait. What happens when the church is growing (a good thing), but then becomes "too big?" and members begin to feel like they are just a number (a not-so-good thing)?
What's a growing church to do?
This is where technology comes in to save the day. Your church website can help your church members feel less like just another person in the crowd.
If you want your church to get that close knit feeling back again, a church website can do just that. It's true! Church websites really can help to create small communities and make your church feel more personable again. Here are some great ideas to help you in this endeavor.
Pictures of Staff/Members
It's important for churchgoers to feel like there are ways to get to know the staff. When your church has a website that contains photos of the staff, not only does it make it easier to get to know them, it can be a way for them to know who to turn to for a particular question or need they might have. For example, if they have a question about the kid's ministry and they have seen the youth pastor's photo on the website, they'll know who to track down the next time they're at church.
And if the staff is okay with it, links to their social media would be a great way to get to know them and provide another way to communicate with them. Whatever you can do to make staff more accessible and approachable, the smaller your church will seem.
Promote a “Meet the Leaders!” Event
Every Sunday, various church leaders are seen standing in front of the congregation. While some pastors and leaders may stand at the door and try to shake hands with everyone who exits the building, this can be harder to do as the church grows. To make it possible for everyone to get a chance to meet and talk with the church leaders, having a "meet the leaders" event is a great way to do it. This could be a once-a-month event that gets promoted on the church website.
Make Small Groups a Bigger Priority on Your Church Website
Having small groups are one way to make a growing church feel smaller. But one way that can make this phenomenon even truer is by making small groups a bigger priority on your church website. And this may become more important as your congregation grows large. Some ways this will help include:
- By making it easier to find people to connect
- By helping people in small groups feel more comfortable knowing that they are going to see the same faces they saw on the website
- By making your small group look and feel welcoming, which can be done with tons of pictures and a welcoming introduction.
- By offering some sort of "instruction." You can help new visitors know what to expect when they knock on a stranger's front door.
It can also be very effective to make each small groups page on your website almost like its own micro-site, and it's quite alright that it might look a little different from the rest of your church website.
Make Ministries About the Mission and the Participants
One reason your church is growing most likely has to do with an abundance of thriving ministries. Some of these ministries might include youth ministry, women's ministry, worship ministry, prayer team ministry, and a ministry for widows and widowers. While it's true that every one of these ministries are there to serve, the church also has to make it a priority for the members of these ministries to bond. The church website can help make this happen, along with making it easier for others to connect with and get involved with these ministries. Encourage your volunteer teams to support the church, but also to plan events to get to know and support each other. This is a great way to promote internal and external growth.
The Bottom Line
Simply put, your church website should be about how you are connecting people to your church and with one another. By using your website to make the next steps clear on how members and visitors can get involved, or how to connect with a small group, it will make your big church feel smaller and help folks feel like they are not just a number.