Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troublemaker Series: #4 Denominations on the Internet

I was looking at the United Methodist Church website and thought it was rather busy. Of course, I'm not sure if they are intended for clergy, laity, folk interested in the church, or all of the above. Maybe that's what makes them so complicated. Or is it that denominations are in fact just complicated organizations now? If so, what's a comparable institution with a web presence for multiple users that does a great job?

How do you look at a denominational page and consider if it has focus and clarity? I wondered what other denominations do, and checked out a few. Do you know of any other groups that you would throw into the mix below? Who has the best website that matches their mission and personality and is easy to use for someone new to that page? Hey, church communication gurus I'd be glad to know what you say on this topic.

Even the link says "Our_mission_is_to_make_disciples_of_Jesus_Christ_for_the_transformation_of_the_world." Is that overkill or a good attention getter? There are a lot of tabs and links here so I'm not sure which is most important. I think Our church, Our Faith, Our People, Our World are the main tabs. While I like the Featured Stories approach how many is too many? I was going to count how many links, tabs, and stories were on the page, but even that seemed burdensome.

Check out a few other denoms in random order as I thought about them:
First words that got my attention: "God's Work, Our Hands"
Clean look with key links of: ELCA Home, Who We Are, What We Believe, Our Faith In Action, Growing In Faith

First words that got my attention: "Reaching the World"
A busy page with a lot of tabs, columns, etc.
Key tabs: Missions, Education, Stewardship, Pastors, Adults, Youth, Children

First words that got my attention: Lectionary quote & an even larger quote related to investments and buildings, I think. Odd contrast between the two.
Clean look but showed up with too much info on my page.
Key links: News & Announcements, Church Store, Events, Resources

The first attention getting words on the Google search were "Reaching the World for Christ," but the page is very busy and the main phrases that jumped out related to the annual meeting in June 2012 and the Directory of Services.
Key tabs are: My SBC, Home, Baptist Faith and Message, Cooperative Program, Faith and Facts, Church Search, SBC Search, Job Search, and Contact Us.

This page looked simple, almost stark.
First attention getting words: A Presbyterian and Reformed Church
"Professing Life Together in Christ, Committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Committed to the Bible as the Word of God."
Key links: Home, Who We Are, What We Believe, Ministries, Government, Contacts, Find A Church, Resources, Calendar, News, ARP History, To Be Saved

Initial thought: A busy page larger than my screen.
First attention getting words: "Serving as the hands and feet of Christ."
Key links: Home, Who We Are, Find A Church, Regional Ministries, General Secretary, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, International Ministries, Resources, Conferences & Travel, Give, Quick Links, Login

Assemblies of God
Sharp presentation with photos. First attention getting words: "Evangelism, Worship, Discipleship & Compassion." Main tabs: Home, About Us, Beliefs, Ministries, Missions, Evnts, Resouorces, Media, Press, Donate

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