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Top 5 Ways Church Websites Miss the Target

Over the last 7 years I’ve had the privilege of helping numerous churches translate their mission into a web strategy. At MonkDev, we’ve met with the key leadership of some of the largest, fastest growing churches in North America, turnaround churches, and church planting networks through our strategic services.

Eagle Brook Church Website Project - Before and After



My experience helping churches translate their mission online has exposed common mistakes churches make when it comes to an online presence. 

If you're interested in what NOT to do when it comes to a church website, here are the 5 most common ways I’ve seen church websites fail. Don't let this happen to you. 

Top Five Ways Church Websites Fail 

1. Ministry schizophrenia – Ministry schizophrenia often strikes in larger churches with many ministries. Too many cooks are in the kitchen and they all want their ministry front-and-center. In our strategy sessions, we often uncover that as the senior leadership clarifies their vision/mission that ministries either don’t know how to connect what they do to this or have competing agendas. It’s incredibly powerful when an organization can align their ministry leaders behind key strategic initiatives of a church. 

2. Enough about you, let’s talk about ME – Would you like to join the Elevate ministry? Or how about Oasis? I’m guessing you don’t know what those are. Often churches become too organization focused, designing for internal people & ministry leaders not end users/visitors. How can a new person find what they are looking for without knowing your internal language?

3. The Blind leading the Blind – This occurs when no one has thought through the reason for a website, leading to a lack of vision and purpose. Sadly, we’ve seen several churches hand-off the website design process to people who do not have the experience to lead the vision to succeed. The end result is noise/clutter and unclear direction for the website.

4. Death by Committees – Many churches we’ve come across suffer from this bureaucratic malaise. It seems like by the time you make a decision on the web strategy what you originally planned is already out of date by the time you finish. The web changes so fast, it requires a more responsive approach. Who can lead in this agile environment? Who is going to ensure you have your Twitter handle or you have a Social Media Policy to respond to criticism?

5. Volunteer Hostage Situation – We’ve found very few success stories when volunteers lead the online communication channels of a church website. If I had a nickel for every time someone shared a story of a church member who managed the website and then moved away, or a techie who programmed something only they could use. If only one person has control to add content online, churches have a serious bottleneck and this can lead to serious communication challenges.

Website Readiness Worksheet

Curious if your church is ready to start a new website project? We've created the below worksheet to help you determine if your church is ready to build a website that achieves ministry results that matter.  

Get Your Worksheet

Are you ready to build - image