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Multisite Church Content Problems (and Solutions)

When it comes to churches we enjoy working with, Twin Cities-based Eagle Brook Church quickly floats to the top.

As a multisite community with five total locations, Eagle Brook Church serves 18,000 people on a typical weekend. Challenges abound for any church of this size, but our work with Eagle Brook revolved around their website. Put simply, we wanted to help connect the dots between the church's "5G" mission (Grace, Growth, Group, Gifts, Generosity) and their website.

This is what the site looks like currently:

Here's a sneak peek of the new site:

Eagle Brook Communications Challenges

I recently talked with Melissa Therrien, Communications Coordinator at Eagle Brook, about their process for content creation and approval, content auditing, and setting up a system to ensure website uniformity across all ministry departments.

Part of Melissa's responsibilities include keeping website content up-to-date. After joining the staff earlier this year, she described a major problem facing the church. "The website had just gotten to the point where there was so much on the site. So many people had gotten through the cracks and had approval to get [content] on the site. We lost sight of our goals." She shared a struggle many multisite communities face, "we got off track with approvals and managing what's on the site and what gets on the site, how we’re represented online."

Community members describe Eagle Brook as "alive with joy," "inspiring," and "uplifting." But the tension Melissa and the communications team faced was an incongruity between the identity of the church and the message of the website. Were the two speaking the same message, or telling two completely different stories?

Taking Control of the Website Content

The team at MonkDev works with churches from around the country to help answer this question: does our website align with our mission? We've developed a process to help churches answer this question with specificity and clarity. When working with Eagle Brook, Melissa had this to say about the process, "It helped me focus on what our values are and how to reflect that on the website. It raised awareness of what’s hurting us so we can address it moving forward."

Melissa worked with our team at Monk to complete a content audit. A content audit evaluates each and every page on a website based on a certain set of criteria. For instance, all ministries were asked to evaluate every piece of content relating to their area using the following questions as a guide:

  1. Does this content accomplish our goal to reach people for Christ? How?
  2. Does this help people who are wanting to find out about our church find what they need?
  3. Do we know who our audience is for this piece of content?
  4. Do we know what our call to action is?

Since her role is relational, Melissa worked with other team members to complete this evaluation for each ministry area. The process was long, but worthwhile.

Most churches lack a staff person or department who ultimately decides what goes on the website (and what doesn't). With Melissa's role, she's able to serve as a consultant to ministry areas rather than a gatekeeper. When evaluating web pages, she said to other leaders, "This is your area and you know it best. I want you to be honest and generous with your feedback so we can make it awesome."

The Benefits of Content Auditing with MonkDev

Thanks to this strategic content auditing process, Melissa and the rest of the staff have gained missional perspective for their website. They know what they want to accomplish as an organization and a have a solid plan to ensure their website contributes to those goals. Melissa concludes, "[content auditing] can be an overwhelming process, but it’s worth it because the website can be a great tool to reach people for Christ. It’s worth putting the time in and not pushing it under the rug."

This interview is a part of a Multisite Content Strategy white paper we'll be releasing next month. MonkDev newsletter subscribers will receive exclusive access to this publication. Join our newsletter today.

Would you like to talk with one of our team members about a content audit for your church? or call today at 619-757-2626.