There are three basic things a church can do in order to flourish in our digital age.
The three Deliberately Digital Basics will give your church a great foundation for being known and growing. They are the essential online activities for a church to be ‘effective in making disciples and in seeking to transform our society and God’s world’.
Below you will find help showing you why and how to achieve each of the three Deliberately Digital Basics every church needs.
Every church must be ‘find-able’ – How to edit your search engine listings
Before visiting a restaurant for the first time many people look it up online ahead of their visit?
Likewise, nearly all of your visitors will visit you online before they step foot in your building. When looking for your church online, what do visitors find? Google.com is the internet’s most popular search engine and it is likely that a visitor’s first impression of your church will be formed by what they find in your listing in their google search results. Making sure that your google listing is accurate, up to date and there is a link to your website or social media accounts is the first Deliberately Digital Basic for a church in the Diocese of Sheffield.
You can check how ‘find-able’ your church is by searching the word ‘“church” + your parish name using google i.e. “church, Tickhill”. There should be a working link to your church near the top of the google search results.
Find help suggesting edits or taking control of the business profile of your church and make more significant changes here.
Every church must be ‘know-able’ – How to update your website
Providing a warm welcome is really important to any visitor. With visitors in mind, how easy is it to come to know the key information about your church?
If someone in your local community is planning to attend one of your services for the first time, it is far more likely that they will look online than give you a call or visit your physical church noticeboard. For a warm online welcome you should make sure that service times, contact details, safeguarding information and the church location are accurate and clear. This is the second Deliberately Digital Basic for a church in the Diocese of Sheffield.
You can check how ‘know-able’ your church’s key information is by visiting your church website and imagining the information you’d need to plan a visit or report a safeguarding concern. Your website should clearly express what is most important to you as a church to those unfamiliar to you.
A Church Near You is a great way for a church to create a simple website that can be easily edited and regularly updated. Find out how here.
Every church must be ‘reach-able’ – How to utilise social media for mission
It’s great to you fill in an enquiry form online and receive a quick reply from the person or organisation that is warm and relevant.
In our digital age, online visitors want to know that their enquiries and engagement is being taken seriously. A contact form on your website or social media account create the opportunity for meaningful interactions with online visitors. A warm welcome means that notifications from messages and comments are monitored by someone and responded to promptly. This is the third Deliberately Digital Basic for a church in the Diocese of Sheffield.
Your church’s social media account is a missional opportunity to create meaningful interactions with your community; an opportunity for a warm and personal welcome. It is better to delete an account on a social media platform than to leave it unattended and not respond to message.
Creating and maintaining a church Facebook Page can be an exciting and fruitful ministry. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially if the vision and responsibility is spread amongst a small team. Find out how here.
Once the Deliberately Digital Basics are in place, it is our suggestion that someone in your church is takes responsibility for checking the online welcome at least once a month.
As a commitment to supporting them in that, we’d recommend joining the Deliberately Digital Monthly Health Check – A monthly email prompting key actions for you to maintain the Deliberately Digital Basics, including key resources and advice for digital mission.
Looking for something more advanced?
If you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for or would like support to start with an informal conversation, get in touch with Elliot today.