Is your church missing out on making a good digital impression online? Every church has a front door often with well-planned greeters stationed near it to welcome guests and members. They give a friendly smile, say hello, or hold the door to help someone in a wheelchair get in easily. All these things make a good first impression and show that your church community cares. These same people are usually aware of clues that someone is a guest. They will visit with them while guiding them to a classroom, sanctuary, or even the restroom. Unfortunately, in 2022 your front door is not just physical, a large part is digital. It makes an impression before they ever reach the physical door. Your digital front door is your website and social media platforms—all these channels are reaching people you have never met. What Your Church Communicates This digital front door concept comes from Phil Bowdle’s book Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church. In this book, Phil shares the story of a family that eventually started coming to his church. Their journey started by Googling the word ‘God.’ That journey led them to discover his church in the Google rankings of local churches. “They watched online services through the church website for over six months before stepping foot in the church doors. They eventually got the church address from the website and drove around our campus to see what was going on. As they drove around, they noticed it was a big church and decided to just go in and hide in the back row thinking that nobody would notice them. That is where God started to change their lives and hearts. They accepted Christ and got plugged into a group and are serving on our teams” (Page 42). Phil’s story is a reminder that if the church website was not working, services were not online, or events were 6 months old, then the church is creating barriers for people that are just trying to take their next step with Jesus. Does your church need to update their digital front door? Is the church address easily found? What time are weekly services? Are services offered online for streaming or on-demand? Is there an I’m New section that points to clear next steps for involvement and membership? Are upcoming events current and available for registration? Can your church be found in a Google search and is the contact information correct? Do church social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) represent the mission of your church well? Who is updating them and how often? Shelby offers both Clover Sites and ShelbyNext Website solutions. If your church is looking for a new website that integrates with your ShelbyNext platform, needs an additional premium layout, or wants to start fresh with a new site theme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Dan Star, Client Consultant Web/Mobile, Shelby Systems Dan came to Shelby Systems in the fall of 2021 after working for a church for 13 years. He was the Communications and Media Coordinator. He is a pastor’s kid and understands the joys and frustrations of life in the church. After graduating with his graphic design degree, he worked with retail store websites providing technical and graphic solutions to reach their goals before working for his church.