#UKChurchChat Blog

Discussing faith on the internet - Social Media and Website advice for Churches. Faith stories, discussion and advice. Watch out for #ukchurchchat hour on Twitter - coming soon.

On My Knees: Rebuilding our Confidence in Prayer (Monarch, Lion Hudson)

On My Knees: Rebuilding our Confidence in Prayer (Monarch, Lion Hudson)

A while ago I was diagnosed with ‘clergyman’s knee’. This condition, also known as ‘housemaid’s knee’, is common amongst those whose work involves lots of kneeling. My doctor, knowing that I’m a Baptist Minister, was understandably sheepish when she asked whether I spent much time on my knees. And I had to admit that I didn’t. But, scared she might jump to the wrong conclusion, I quickly added, ‘I do pray, by the way, but I tend to pace around the room a lot.’ She replied: ‘Well it doesn’t really matter which position you pray from does it?’

Tags:
Continue reading
13 Hits
0 Comments

4 things to remember about the audience of your church website.

One aspect of your church website that needs to be considered is audience. Who is your site for? Well research shows a vast number of people will look at your website before they visit your church. It's your new front door! What about your existing church goers? Well they are a bit more forgiving. Let's look at this in a little more detail.

Regulars

Your regular churchgoes are most likely to know how to use your site, and will probably dive in to the menu system or click a link. Make sure the information they might be looking for is readily available. Oh yes, and if they feed back to you that something is missing or not up to date? It's ok to ask them to help edit your site!

New visitors

This group of people will get their first impression of your church from your site. The landing page (also called Home Page or Front Page) will be really important to these folks. Think about what images, words or messages you want to get across to them. Make sure the landing page is simple to read and attractive. Ask a few outsiders to check this page and ask them what the key informaton is that they might be looking for. Spend time on this. You will be amazed what vital (and annoying) information might be missing. Avoid jargon that is specific to church members - see below.

Christianese. Avoid this!

There is a whole set of words that we only use un church. Avoid adding content here that assumes people are already part of your church, especially on the landing page. You'd be amazed how many words you use that are technical, theological or just church specific. Even words like redeemed can be totally alien. If there are some really important words that mean something to your church, then there is an argument for exploring these more throoughly on your blog. You can always hyperlink words through to that part of your site. Another type of language to avoid is that which assumes people are already in the club. For example "Ask James for more information." Who is James? Unless you have a photo profile of your key staff, and you can hyperlink to that page you should avoid this kind of wording. You don't want to come across as a clique or club.

People expect accuracy.

Make sure that within the team who look after your website, someone has the job of checking for accuracy every once in a while. Times, dates, locations, frequency of events - this is all important. Check that your major events are all there and also that any changes to regular events are appearing as a newsflash or noticeboard.

One more thing - what about people who are totally brand new? Have you considered writing a page especially for them? Here is an example.

 

4 things to remember about your audience

Tags:
Continue reading
199 Hits
0 Comments

6 free places for Church Website graphics

6 free places for Church Website graphics
All of these image sites can be used for non commercial purposes such as in your church printed materials and on our church website.
 
This is a personal favourite. 660,000 images that can literally be used for any purpose.
Search terms such as Christianity or praise and worship.
When you find a contributor you like, click to see their other photos. You will see some photos from Pixabay on our demo site.
 
 
You must use the ‘Free Images’ tab at the top to search for free images, otherwise everything will cost money.
There are not so many religious and church related images in the free library, but there are plenty if you are prepared to pay. There are plenty of free images on a wide range of themes such as family, growth, light etc
Commercial images will also appear in your search results.
 
 
This site is nicely organised into categories and the search function is very easy to use. The categories are handy for you to use if you want to find other images that are similar. You will find over 100,000 free images.
Watch out because you will find image results and also search boxes that take you to paid sites. You do need to register on this site to download your free images.
Here is one I liked (just search for Blue Cross to find it as well as some other nice crosses):
Blue Cross
 
 
This site is another one worth visiting if you have a general theme in mind rather than church specific images.
Shutter stock results are also shown in adverts, and there are search boxes and adverts that lead you away from the site. To stay on this site make sure yu go back to the home page when you want to carry out a new search.
 
5) Flickr
Use the advanced search to find 
Again look for other photos by the same photographer - these can be a real goldmine.
Check whether attribution is required or not before you start sharing or adapting this photos
 
This is a ministry resource website specifically set up to help churches communicate. If you are planning a sermon series or want to communicate a specific Christian message, this could be the site for you.
 
 Get started
 
Use your Digital Superstars. Have you got some tech-savy teenagers in your church? Why not give them some themes to use for image searching and set them going.
 
Churches Alive Online are offer FREE interactive workshops to help you get started with your church website. Our next event is detailed here. You could always sign up to our newsletter and hook up with us on Facebook or Twitter to find out what's coming up.
 
Tags:
Continue reading
745 Hits
0 Comments