With COVID-19 causing many churches to be physically closed or operating at a limited capacity, many churches are overcoming these challenges by transitioning to online church. Across the globe, COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty as to the future. Even though the entire world is experiencing this as a global crisis, it’s impacting each individual’s life in a personal way. People are facing increased hardships of loneliness from social isolation, anxiety, grief, loss of loved ones, feelings of hopelessness, job losses, and financial troubles. It’s more important than ever for your church to continue to spread the love of Jesus and be a source of solid ground for people to stand on. That’s why your church’s website is a vital tool during COVID-19.
Do Church From Anywhere
Even though going to church is an incredible experience that allows you to be surrounded by other Christians and experience the Lord’s presence, COVID-19 has shown us that you can worship God from anywhere. COVID-19 has taught us that you do not have to be in a physical church building to still have church. Every Sunday, churches all over the world are streaming their full services online through their website. Just like the bible says in Luke 17: 21, “The kingdom of God is within you”, church can take place in your home, the car, a hospital room, or anywhere you need God to meet you. If your church isn’t already offering online services through your website, now is the time to begin!
Reach the Unchurched
By having an engaging church website that’s fully optimized for search engines, you can reach new people who may be unchurched and need to encounter the love of Jesus. A search engine optimized website allows you to rank in search results for keywords on felt needs search queries. Every day, people are searching on Google for solutions to their problems and answers to tough questions. By having your church website rank for these types of searches, you’re able to reach a new audience directly when they need it most.
A great way to further optimize your website for these types of keywords is through the usage of Missional Marketing’s Sermon Video Library. Unlike typical video players, this SEO content generator tool leverages video transcription and metadata, allowing your sermon videos to be found in search results for keywords relating to your sermon topics, and thereby making it a powerful outreach tool. If a new user watches your sermon online and finds it helpful to their situation, they’re more likely to take further action like exploring your site and eventually make an in-person visit.
With everyone eager to get back to normal, one of the most common questions that your church gets is probably, “When are we going back to church?”. Your church’s website can act as a central place where your members can get important updates and notifications on everything during COVID-19. This way, everyone will be on the same page for information regarding reopenings, small groups, events, and more. We recommend adding a dedicated space on your homepage for COVID-19 updates, in addition to also having a separate page easily accessible from the main navigation where members can get more details.
Make it Easy To Invite Others
By having a great church website that’s able to offer online services and resources, it’s never been easier for your congregation to invite their friends to church. Even for bold Christians, it may feel nerve-wracking for some people to invite their friends and family to come to church with them. Being able to share the link to an online service or sermon is a great way to invite new people without feeling anxiety about their response since it takes some of the pressure off. In a similar sense, a new person might feel less intimidated to watch a service online rather than attending for the first time in person.
Allow Members to Feel Connected
Social distancing and increased isolation have caused many people to feel lonely during this season, causing their mental health to decline. When leveraged correctly, your church’s website is a vital tool during COVID-19 to prevent your congregation from feeling these painful effects of the coronavirus, acting as a virtual meeting place for your members to reconnect and recharge with one another. One online tool that your church can consider using is implementing a live chat feature during your worship services so that people watching can react, ask questions, and leave their prayer requests. This way, your members still feel like they’re together, even if they’re physically apart. You can also consider having virtual small groups or online Bible studies.
Virtual Prayer Team
Another great way to utilize your church’s website during COVID-19 is by allowing members to request prayer. With people facing difficult challenges daily throughout the pandemic, people need support and prayer desperately. Having a safe space where people can ask for prayer over their lives is a great way to support your congregation during these unprecedented times. A lot of people may feel insecure or anxious about having to ask for prayer and share their needs with others. By having a virtual prayer team, they’re able to overcome this barrier by remaining anonymous if they choose. Your congregation will take comfort in knowing that they can always reach out and ask for help if they need to.
Even though your church may be physically closed right now, it still needs its members to continue to generously give through tithing and donations to continue to thrive and meet the needs of the church and surrounding community. Since a vast majority of churches still rely on in-person giving on Sundays for tithing, if your church doesn’t have an online giving option integrated with your website, it could be seeing a great decrease in overall donations. People are more likely to give during this season if it is incredibly simple, convenient, and safe. There is a wide variety of third party options and plugins available to use on your church’s site like Tithe.ly, Pushpay, and ShareFaith to make giving as easy as possible.
Get The Most Out Of Your Church Website
Is your church website meeting the needs of your staff and members? Get a free consultation with Missional Marketing to see how your church’s website could be improved to become a vital asset for your church during COVID-19. We are excited to partner with you and watch your church thrive during this season. To speak with a member of our team, give us a call at 480-420-2007 or head over to our contact page.