Corporate HQ

Monk Development, Inc.
14488 Old Stage Road
Lenoir City, TN 37772

(877) 452-0015 Toll-Free



8:00am - 5:00pm
Mon - Fri (CST) 

Submit a Request

1 (877) 452-0015 x2

Learn more about our support services.


Help Visitors With User-Centered Church Content Strategies

Creating content is not a content strategy. This is a hard fact to face. Even more so because churches are prolific content creators. Think about it: sermons, events, videos, study guides, class outlines, graphics, flyers, blogs, devotionals etc...

What does all this content amount to without a strategy?

Without a strategy all of this “content” creates more noise and confuses the end user of your website. There is too much stuff visitors have to figure out and piece together. It’s often not clear how everything works or relates. In the end, you’re creating content for content’s sake.

Contrast this with a church who has a content strategy. They understand why a piece of content needs to be created and how it fits into the overall strategy. They also have a structured way to present the material so people will understand what’s being communicated.

The last point is uniquely a user-centered approach to content strategy. It's also one of the most misunderstood aspects of a content strategy.

While explaining this idea to a church, it seemed like they got it. Upon further discussion, it was clear they thought user-centered content was only about creating content the user wanted. Sometimes the message people need to hear isn’t what they want to hear. Their idea of user-centered content was off.

What is User-Centered Content?

User-centered content is about communicating the message of your church in the best way for visitors. tweet this

This content must be clear, simple and straightforward. It also needs to be displayed in an organized and defined way. When you get right down to it, user-centered content is just that, content a visitor can use.

So What Makes Content Usable?

User-centered content must be:

  • Short and to the point  
  • Written with the end user in mind
  • Consistent throughout
  • Simple and easy to understand

To illustrate, here is an example from my past life as a church communicator.

One of the mom’s, that I had known for years, was hustling her children to various youth ministries. It was obvious they were late and she was upset.

On the way back to her car I had a chance to talk with her. She shared that her three kids were active in six youth ministry programs. Each ministry had it’s own PDF calendar and they were located on six separate ministry pages. She was having trouble keeping it all straight.

She also explained how each month she spent a few hours adding events to her calendar. That she could only do it from her laptop, because the files weren’t easy-to-read on her mobile phone. She wasn’t alone, other parents were having similar problems.

What The Parents Needed

After talking with more parents it was clear they desired:

  • One place/calendar for all youth activities
  • A way to filter activities by ministry
  • A faster way to add them to their calendars
  • Calendars that were viewable on mobile devices  

The next step was defining the needs of the youth ministries.

What The Youth Ministries Needed

The needs of the youth ministry where clear:

  • All their events online
  • A way to link permission slips to events
  • They too wanted an easy way to see events from other youth ministries
  • A way to automatically add events to their calendars
  • Simple way for parents to contact leaders

With this information it was clear what user-centered content would look like.

What user-centered content looks like

To help both the parents and the youth ministries we created:

  • One central calendar for youth ministries
  • It was filterable by ministry
  • Everyone could access it on their mobile devices
  • A consistent format/style for events
  • A way to add an entire calendar or one event to a personal calendar

While some of the requirements are technical, the other parts required a strategy. The user-centered strategy defined:

  • How events would be formatted
  • Where links on ministry pages would be placed
  • What information needed to be included for events
  • The intended audience for event information
  • What the intended audience needed to know

In this case the user-centered content strategy was easy to define.

If your church wants to tackle more complex content strategies, we'd love to help. We’ll work with you to define the problem, clarify what success looks like and make suggestions based on best practices we’ve developed from serving over 7,500 churches.

Contact Us About Content Strategy