We often have deep connections to our churches and our faith. If you are changing either of them, comfort is key. When you show up at a church for the first time, you want to feel comfortable and welcome. The easiest way is to walk in already knowing a few people. Unless you have a church staff listing, this may prove to be nearly impossible. This article explores what to include and tips to make them more effective.
Why include them?
As I alluded to earlier, you need to feel like you can trust a new church. Knowing more about the people that work there will help build that trust. Also, many churches lack personality on their website. You can reveal the personalities of your staff through interesting facts and quotes. You do not need to reveal your life story. But
What do I include?
I suggest that your staff listing include a basic professional resume. Include work and school histories to show the experience and support a new member can expect. Also, include a short paragraph that tells part of their story. The text should be on an agreed-upon topic that does not reveal too much personal information. Something like a random fact, such as their favorite flavor of ice cream, is fun but typically harmless information to post.
Keep it consistent
LIke many sections of your website, a good experience is a consistent one. Staff should follow similar formats for their information. Paragraph, fonts, lists, and alignment styles all need to match from page to page. Give extra attention if you include an image. Photograph your staff in front of a common pose and background, with a similar pose. You do not have to go so far as matching outfits. But colors that compliment your brand may help.
Currency is key
The moment you post information on your website, it has the potential to be old. Unfortunately you cannot rely on your staff to inform you of the latest updates. They may complete a masters degree without your knowing. A worse situation is when a prominent member leaves your staff and you fail to remove them from the website. Most obvious would be if your pastor moves to another church. You should obviously try to catch these as they happen. Yet I would build these into a website maintenance calendar.
In case you did not pick up it, I think church staff listings are important. They add a lot of personality to your website. Construct them with a consistent look and feel. Then strive to keep them current. Lastly, integrate these pages with your content strategy. Use internal links to direct people between ministries and the people that serve in them. The worship director should have links to the worship section of your website. Conversely, the worship page should have links to all associated staff. This keeps users clicking and prevents dead ends in click paths.
This article was inspired by Intuitive Website podcast episode "How to Write About the Team and the People Running the Company"
Image courtesy of Laura Leavell