Leadership driving the business goals and website needs to come from your pastor. If you are a pastor of a church, glad to have you reading this. If not, print this out, send them an E-mail, or do whatever you can to get this to your pastor. After all of the Sundays spent listening to their sermons, they can read my short one for a change!
You Are It
What comes to mind when you think of "figurehead of the local church". There are many answers, but probably the most common would be the pastor. Some churches have multiple pastors, youth pastors, etc., but there is usually an executive pastor that has the final say in most matters. They oversee many aspects; how finances are spent, when activities should happen, what direction the theological studies should take, etc. Many denominations are organized into a hierarchical grouping, but the head of the local church, the pastor, is the most influential person in each congregation.
To quote Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility". It is on your shoulders to see that everything in the church is running smoothly, including your website. You need to provide some oversight to this very important part of your advertising campaign. It is your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, always on, evangelist for your church.
Now, much like you would prepare for a sermon by doing some research, it is time to do some reading for your website. Pick up the book "Don't Make Me Think" but Steve Krug. It is a short read with lots of pictures and is considered essential reading in the web industry. Do some online research about color psychology and see what colors trigger what sort of response in people. Read articles about personas and learn how to use this to drive your site in one clear direction. Start using a social media tool such as Facebook or Twitter. You do not have to be the expert, but you do need to know a little bit about all of these things.
If you are connected with technology, the flood gates will open with how you connect to more people. Obviously since I am writing articles on the web and social media, I utilize them regularly and often. I love the fact that I am connected with several pastors online and communicate with them regularly. You can keep up with them after they move on to other churches, stay current with whatever they are researching or preaching on, and many other things that connect on both a personal and professional level.
First, I'd like to apologize to the pastors reading this. I am sorry if I made a hectic life just a bit busier; but I think your leadership and guidance will help your church's website move forward by leaps and bounds. So get educated, get connected, and get involved!
Photo courtesy of Sanja Gjenero