Next in my series, I Googled upon what – I think – is a Baptist campus-based ministry up north. Here’s what I noticed:
No cheese, please: This visit started a little rough. I was immediately greeted with some cheesy rotating front-page pics that didn’t just include a posed photo of the group, but also some very large, very Christian clip art. The site design wasn’t ugly, but those things detracted in a big way. Remember: a site that has one of those “sliders” with a rotation of multiple pictures doesn’t have to use it. Also, I’d personally prefer candid shots of your group. But maybe that’s just me.
Churches up front: I always appreciate it when campus-based ministries (or Christian colleges) share suggested churches (and are obvious about it on their page). It’s hard to claim a campus-based ministry is “pro-church” if there aren’t practical steps for helping students find one.
Road to nowhere: Sadly, though, about a third of the front-page buttons took me to “under construction” pages, including some buttons indicating very interesting ways to get involved. That’s really too bad.
Events right now!: Unlike plenty of sites, the events calendar here actually had upcoming events, even in the summer. That’s a big win. Your calendar doesn’t have to be perfect to feel current – they did have an event from a couple of weeks ago listed, but the other two events are truly upcoming.
An embarrassment of resource riches: The high point of this site was a bank of resources for all sorts of spiritual growth topics. These short, topical articles cover a range of pertinent issues. This is great for students who know about it, plus a bevy of great links for you to use with students who ask specific questions.
But who are you?: Finally, I would definitely want to beef up the “Who We Are” section of this campus ministry web site. The blurb about the ministry gave me nothing unique (except the campuses it serves). On another page, the bios of staff were pretty solid (but likewise short). I think students – at least the kinds of students that will click around on your page – want to know you, their college minister. I’d even consider a full bio about yourself – why not? Nobody has to read it, remember.