Your Website is Your Church’s Welcome Mat


Increasingly, those looking for a church begin their search online. Therefore, a congregation’s website must function as a satellite of their church.

Consider every part of the website from the perspective of visitors and the unchurched.

Consider these facts: Eighty to 85 percent of people searching for a church use the internet. For church websites generally, 19 percent of “content views” relate to new visitor information. In other words, this is what one in five persons viewing your website is seeking. On average, however, visitors spend only 90 seconds on the homepage of a church site.

This means your website must be designed with potential visitors — including the unchurched — in mind.
  • First impressions count. Use strong contrasting colors and avoid “churchy” graphics. Send a message at once that you are expecting visitors.
  • Consider every part of the website from the perspective of visitors and the unchurched. The decision to welcome unchurched persons must be intentional. Avoid “Christianese” or any jargon that only church folks will understand.
  • Many websites now include a place that tells potential church visitors what to expect. But especially unchurched persons may be unfamiliar with aspects of church life that you take for granted. So rather than describing a service as “contemporary,” say the service features “guitar and drum music.”
  • Pictures of the real people in your congregation and your outreach programs will tell your story with power. Photo captions can help explain to a website visitor what is going on and why. These can be especially important for those unfamiliar with “church.”
  • Communicate generously about who you are and what you believe.

These points are adapted from Matthew’s presentation “Your Website if Your Church’s Welcome Mat” available as part of the Connect with Your Neighbors DVD/CD Resource Package.


About Author

Photo of Matthew Lyons

Matthew Lyons is marketing manager for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.

Be the Welcoming Church cover image of a smiling person warming embracing anotherLewis Center video tool kit resource
Be the Welcoming Church

Learn how your church can make visitors feel truly welcome and comfortable!

The Be the Welcoming Church Video Tool Kit will help you develop a congregation-wide ethos of hospitality and institute best practices for greeting newcomers, making them feel at home, and encouraging them to return. The resource includes engaging videos, a Study and Discussion Guide, and more. Be the Welcoming Church may be used for hospitality training or in adult classes or groups. more. Learn more and watch introductory videos now.