Holy Week, one of the busiest and most emotionally draining times of the church year has just completed and we have entered into the Easter season. Before it gets too far out of our thoughts, I would like to offer a critique of how this week was offered online.
If you have been reading any of my blog postings or attended any of my workshops, you will know that I am a firm believer that digital media (websites, social media, email ) is the way that society is moving toward communicating, especially with the under 45 demographic. Therefore, important events should be easy to find and prominent on your website and/or social media sites. While a number of churches in the diocese did have their Holy Week schedule on their website, for many of them it was not prominent or easy to find.
People who are looking for service times or information on events expect it to be a simple and easy task. Having to navigate a menu to find this, or open a document once the information is found may not seem like a big deal to existing members of a church, but these are extra steps that newcomers and visitors find distracting, frustrating and unfriendly. Since you only have a few seconds once someone comes to your site to get their attention and give them the information they are seeking, it’s imperative to make it as smooth and painless as possible.
There are some churches in the diocese that did a great job of showing their Holy Week information in an easy and inviting way. Here are some samples that can be used as ideas for next year’s Holy Week.
Good Shepherd, Vancouver has a carousel on their site which makes displaying this information easy to do.
Redeemer, Kenmore used video to help promote their Holy Week services
St. Hugh in Allyn simply put the information on the homepage. Nothing fancy, but it served the purpose of getting the information out there to visitors and seekers
Finally St. Paul in Bellingham put in a separate block underneath their welcome message for their Holy Week offerings.
These are just a few of the ideas that can be used to promote the important events in the life of your faith community. Remember it doesn’t have to be fancy or artistic, but it makes a huge difference in being a welcoming place for visitors and newcomers.