Spring Cleaning at Church Part 3: Digital Cleaning

Continuing our spring cleaning at church series, we’re looking today at digital cleaning.

Since we’re already giving our physical stuff and style a freshening up, it’s time to look at our digital spaces: websites, social media, and the like. It’s easy to let these places slip our minds when it comes to freshening up and spring cleaning, but they’re of critical importance!

Cleaning Up the Web

Let’s start with the website:

First, take a step back and consider whether it’s time to start thinking about a website redesign. In an ideal world, I would do some sort of redesign to our website about every two years. That keeps the style of the site from getting stale, or worse, dated. Unfortunately for us, we can’t afford to change the look of our website now and it’s been 4 years since we last redesigned it. Fortunately, it’s holding up well, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish we could give it a much-needed face-lift! If you can afford to redesign it, now might be a good time to think about what you want it to do and how you want it to feel. If you can’t, don’t fret! It doesn’t mean you’re stuck, it just means that you have to get creative! Like:

Give the site a read-through.

  • If you can’t read it through entirely in one sitting, you probably have too much stuff there. Consider what your website visitors are looking for and, perhaps more importantly, what they’re not. Things that are important to those who aren’t yet connected to your church: information about your worship services, what they can expect when they arrive, kids/youth ministry info, and contact information. Stuff that’s important to those who are already connected: calendar, small group information, and upcoming events.
  • Look for outdated information, unclear wording and old pictures to update. Even if you stay on top of your site maintenance, it’s easy for things to get stale. Update your wording, add some fresh pictures and make sure things are working properly.
  • Don’t do it alone. Find someone else with an eye for detail and ask them to give you feedback. Fresh eyes looking through the site might see things that you overlook.
While you’re cleaning up all the digital stuff, give your social networks a once-over. Your church is on Facebook, right? All churches should be on Facebook. Twitter, however, might not be right for your church. Or Pinterest. Or any of the other networking possibilities out there. Because of the sheer numbers of people on Facebook, odds are good that a fair part of your congregation is there and you should be too! If your people are big into Twitter, have a presence there as well.
If your church is on Facebook:
  • Visit the information section of your page and keep your information current. Write a new description paragraph or update email and phone numbers.
  • Add a new cover image. Pictures of your building might be pretty, but including your people will make it pop! Facebook is about people and so are you.
  • If your posting pattern has been erratic, consider coming up with a pattern or schedule. For instance, you could post a link to Sunday’s message podcast on Mondays, announce an upcoming event on Tuesday, feature a group on Wednesday, as a question on Thursday and post a link to a song the worship team is doing this week on Friday. [Confession time: this is something I have to do.]
If your church is on Twitter:
  • Decide what you’re going to post there. The key to success on Twitter is regularity and engagement. Posts have to happen regularly to keep things current. Tools like Hootsuite.com allow you to schedule posts in advance, so you don’t have to be posting all the time. You can also link up Facebook and Twitter to post between the two.
  • Be engaging. Twitter is best when you’re active on it. Share Tweets from staff or other leaders that your followers would appreciate. Share Tweets from your followers or respond to their Tweets.

Ahh… now our digital stuff is all freshened up! Next time, let’s clean up our music!

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Spring Cleaning at Church Part 4: Clean up your music

  2. That was an amazing post, cleaning a website is a practical work which needs experience But I think after this post anyone can clean a web easily. Twitter, however, might not be right for your church. Or Pinterest. Or any of the other networking possibilities out there

  3. Pingback: Spring Cleaning at Church Part 5: Equipment - beyond the noise

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