Using Profiles to Build Your Communication Strategy, Part 1

Every church is made up of different groups (or personas) on any given Sunday.

Collectively, you may not be able to tell the difference between them. But these groups—new visitor, regular attender, committed member, and mature disciple—all use your website in profoundly different ways.

Today, we’ll profile the first two personas and reveal what our research shows as the most important sections for each.

New Visitors

A new visitor will be paying attention to different areas of your website than someone who’s been to the church before. They’ll want to know things like:

About Us/Directions. How do they find your church? If they’re on a mobile device, are the directions in your site easy to read? Better yet, is the site mobile-ready?

What can they expect on a Sunday morning? If they show up in a three-piece suit, will they feel out of place? If they don’t show up in a three-piece suit, will that ruffle some feather? More than just attire, people showing up for the first time will want to know what to expect. Can they find this easily on the website?

Event calendar. We find consistently new people want to get connected to the community as quickly as possible. The best way to facilitate this is through the event calendar. If a new person comes to the event calendar section, are they able to find events relevant to them?

Regular Attenders

These folks are the ones who are casually involved with the church. They drift in and out of church life, but they have made an increased commitment to attending regularly. If your church has a membership program, this group isn’t likely to make that commitment without a personal invitation or increased engagement through programs and events.

Here’s what interests regular attenders most on your church’s website:

Event registration. Because regular attenders are more involved in the life of the church, they want to be able to register for events online. In addition to listing out event details, regular attenders want to be able to sign up for classes all online.

Missional or theological statement. Doctrinal or theological positioning statements are rarely important to people until they commit to attending. A regular attender is more likely to seek these out.

Social media outposts. Because a regular attender is increasing their commitment level to the church, they’ll seek other ways to stay involved throughout the week. One of the easiest ways to do this is via social media outposts. Users in this group are highly likely to engage socially with a church.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are similarities between these two groups, namely around community-based activities. In fact, every group profiled does or will include a deep desire to connect to the church community through the website. Join us next week for the profiles of both a committed member and mature disciple.

Read Part 2 here.
Read more from Justin here.
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Justin Wise

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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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