The process of church planting in Pittsburgh will take some time. Until we are able to launch public services for River City Church in Swissvale, we will be visiting churches on Sunday morning. Earlier I wrote about the reasons for our church hopping and what I hope to learn from this experience. The first step for us every week is to decide where we want to go. Next, we look online to find where our church-of-the-week meets and what time the services are.
This sounds like a simple process, but it’s surprising how difficult it can be every week. Church leaders must realize that if their church doesn’t have a website then they are probably missing out on visitors. You might be surprised at how many people are new to your area or who randomly decide to go to church on a Sunday morning. I would encourage all churches to have some kind of online presence.
There are many reasons to have a church website. It’s very helpful for your church members for podcasts, pictures, and announcements. A recent poll shows that “69% of those who attend worship services once a month or more use the Internet for spiritual purposes.” However, your website is also a place that visitors will go first. According to this same research, 43% of people who go to a church website are looking for service times and 28% are looking for directions or a map.
The first lesson from strategic church hopping is to have a useful church website that is visitor-friendly. Service times and an address/map should be easy to find on the front page.