Church Websites Are Boring And Useless

We typically tell the spy only the name of the church and the city, and we ask him/her to learn about the church first from the website. More than one spy has called us to say he cannot find the service times, isn’t convinced the map is correct (if there is one), called a phone number no longer in order, cannot determine the church’s basic beliefs, or thinks the church will be old and boring based on their Internet presence. Read more»

Chuck Lawless | “Eight Confessions of Church Spies”


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  1. On the other hand, some church websites provide audio links to the sermons preached and it allows people like me to listen to sermons from other ministers.

    • I’ll bet most cases are due to simple neglect. Good web design and maintenance is either out of reach, financially or is too labor-intensive. Elders probably don’t major in webology during the course of their studies.
      Not that I think this is an excuse. If a church has a www presence, which I believe is important, the requisite work to make the site valuable as an introduction to the church should be a high priority.

  2. A good church website is not that difficult to pull off and really is not that expensive. Our website took me a day and half to put together and fill in the proper information and it only costs our church ~$120/year. We have gained six members who found us via this site. I am not exactly the most technically advanced man on earth (still use an old cell phone that I can barely text with) and when I did hit a couple snags a quick visit to the help desk at WordPress fixed it for me.

    Our church website is here:

  3. Hi Dr. Clark — There are many, many bad websites full of technology and lacking any statement of doctrine. But I love that I can access sermons by Dr. Trueman, Dr. Horton — yes, and even you — with the click of a button. For many of us living in the evangelical wasteland, where reformed churches are not as prevalent, it is a godsend to us. In addition, when I am sick at church, I use our own church website to catch up on the sermon I missed. All of this is to say — church websites are necessary and valuable when the focus is properly tuned away from the hype.

    • To be clear, I thought this was an interesting quote. I have often found church websites to be dull and unclear. Often, when I travel, I cannot find, on a given church website, when the services are held and where they are held. That is frustrating.

      I am glad that churches have websites. I think they should have websites. I think they should be clean, functional, and attractive. I think it is a good thing for them to post audio of services and even perhaps video of services. I posted this quote because I thought it was interesting that someone else had the same experience I had.

    • Bob,

      I’m sympathetic. It’s not easy to set up a good website but I do think that even the simplest website can be clear. It can tell the reader quickly and clearly when and where the services are held. One of the easiest things to do is to set up a WordPress (or some other) site. If a congregation doesn’t want to self-host they can do it on or some other site. The ads might be a problem on a site.

      My biggest concern is that churches try to get too clever. I’ve seen some elaborate sites, some that are quite amazing visually, that still fail to perform basic functions.

      I understand that church webmasters, when it isn’t the minister, are often done by volunteers. I appreciate your service.

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