We are passionate about making sure your church’s online presence reflects the persona of your congregation and communicates your message effectively. We do this by working with you to create a custom website to match the personality and communication style and systems of your church. This will help you attract new members while reinforcing to your current parishioners why your church is their home.
This article is about the experience of Grace Lutheran Church (https://gracetripoli.org/) in Tripoli, Iowa. We just completed their new website and they’ve already seen noticeable results with ease of use for staff and communication with a wide age range of congregants.
Tell us a bit about you and your ministry.
Grace Lutheran Church is a small ELCA Lutheran church in northeastern Iowa and our ministry includes primarily serving the people in our small community. We have the usual things—Sunday worship, children’s Sunday School, men’s and women’s adult Bible studies, etc.—but we also have a few unique ministries including a bell choir, and a strong youth program that has been attracting high schoolers from other churches as well as our own.
What was your website like before you hired us?
Given the way that people are increasingly communicating electronically, we felt we needed a stronger web presence, both to serve our existing members but also to serve non-members who may benefit from our church activities.
Our old website was generally obsolete and was really little more than a skelton/shell. It hadn’t been updated in quite a few years, was not used by anyone, and the person who had been responsible for it was no longer available to do so. Given the changes in technology over the years, we believed that it was wisest for us to create a new website vs. try to modernize such an old one.
How did you hear about our service?
Faith Growth was recommended to our pastor by staff in the Northeast Iowa Synod. Christopher Harris did a congregational study and evaluated and suggested things for improving our communications generally in addition to building our website.
What were your technical goals?
Our technical goals were:
- Ease of use (to users/readers as well as administrators)
- Adaptability to various platforms and available on different formats (PCs, tablets, and mobile)
- Integration with Breeze database and audio/video postings
- Attractive digital representation of our church, its ministries, and its people
What were the noticeable results in your outreach?
We have had several good results in our outreach, and plans for more:
- Snowbirds who spend winters in Florida, etc. have been able to check weekly news and listen to the Sunday sermons.
- Younger folks who disregard monthly newsletter that is mailed to them will log onto website to get the calendar.
- Early planning to bring video sermons to nursing homes. So far only have been able to get audios up.
What advice would you give other ministries about digital marketing?
Aside from the new website, we haven’t done as much in this area as we initially planned. I generally think we need to do more marketing and I will be doing more as we get a little more regularity into our schedule of things available.
Specifically, we will do more to use our Facebook Page to drive people to go to website for sermons, blogs, calendar, etc. Through this process, we have learned that youngish/middle aged congregants tend to use the church’s Facebook Page and expect to see things there, but do not use the website as much unless directed there.