Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Internet Search and Reputation

I read a post by Cory Miller at Church Communications Pro that piqued my interest. Cory's post, Houston, rather [Insert Your City Name Here], We Have a Problem, starts with this sentence:

Humor me and try an experiment … go to Google and type in "church" and see what site gets top billing in the coveted No. 1 spot.

This reminded me of stories of preaching in the market square where different types of people would meet and hear the gospel. Is the internet that place [market square] for people across the globe? Does it make a difference make where a particular denomination, organization or community of faith falls in the rankings of a search engine?

There are many other things that contribute to the impression of the local church held by individuals not connected to it. Internet presence and search ranking is two things, but there are many other and perhaps more important considerations, including but certainly not limited to:
  • activity in the community
  • relationships with other organizations
  • interactions between members and non-members
  • location of facility
  • appearance of facility
I think that it is important for a local church to have a good reputation in the surrounding community. This helps to remove barriers that may prevent people from hearing the gospel. How does a local church create a positive impression on the surrounding community?