Now that the calendar has turned to 2015, The Rio Texas Conference actually exists! So, let’s continue looking at some websites that work. First, a side note. I have been looking at a lot of websites looking for sites to feature on the blog. I have also spent a lot of time looking for websites. If web searches were the only way to find churches (which is actually becoming true), it would appear that The Rio Texas Annual Conference is pretty small. Apparently a lot of churches have no presence on the web or, if they do, it is invisible to people who might be looking for it. As soon as I can, I will be working on connecting churches with really simple ways to get started on the web.
Now, let’s look at another Rio Texas Website that Works!
Today we look at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Austin. If you have been reading this series, you know that I am not taking a really in-depth look at these websites. I am not interested in doing a full, in-depth, review because I just want to draw attention to what works really, really well. There is something on this website that works really, really well. Check it out for yourself. Open another browser window and go to www.stjohnsaustin.org (or, click the link). What is the first thing your eyes are drawn to? Likely, the giant rotating image in the middle of the page. What is in the image? Pictures of the church? Graphics promoting upcoming events? No. They are pictures of people. Are they stock photos of impossibly beautiful people? No. They are regular people. People who go to this church. And why are these pictures of people there? To link to stories about these people and the impact of God changing their lives and the world. There are two different captions: “God’s love changing people” and “God’s people changing the world.” If you follow the links you get to read real stories about real people. This is great stuff.
As Christians, we are a people of stories. We recall the stories in our book, we find ourselves in those stories and we share the story of God and how are a part of that story. This website shows that thinking in the very first impression it offers. People love stories. Stories reach us at a much deeper level than data and information. A church’s website is more and more often the very first impression people will have of the church. St. John’s makes a good first impression.
Good stuff St. John’s!