Join Kenny for today’s episode of Church Butler’s Lunch and Learn Podcast to see the brand new North Point Church website that was just launched and hear Kenny’s perspective on the content, the layouts, and more! If you missed out on Part I, be sure to go back and listen to Part I so that you don’t miss any of the conversation!
To see North Point Church’s new website, click here:
Hey. Kenny Jahng for another episode of the Church Butler Lunch and Learn. Thank you so much for joining us. This is the place we give you tips, trips, tutorials to help you put social media to work for your church. Today, I’m going to do, I guess, a repeat of last week and that is head to the browser and go to North Point.org. This is kind of like a part two of my exploration into North Point’s brand new website. Last week, we talked about how they StoryBranded the headline and basically using empathy and compassion communications to get at the external and internal problems that a church-goer or prospective church-goer might have and repositioning North Point from being the hero to the guide. And so that headline last week that we talked about, life is complicated, you want to get it right, we want to help, is definitely something that’s going to resonate with a lot more people. It’s going to be interesting to see over the next couple of months if they continue to keep this or evolve it to something else.
Now today, I wanted to talk about two other things hopefully that the team just put this out. There’s no perfect website. In fact, websites are supposed to be iterative experiences, right? It’s not like publishing a dictionary or encyclopedia. It’s not publishing the 2019 version of a website and then you don’t touch it again. These are organic, living documents as we call them, and so their opportunity to continue and evolve, and tweak based on data, based on feedback, based on focus groups, et cetera, I think is something that’s amazing for digital teams to be able to do in today’s world. Here’s two places that I’ll just point out from a a teachable moment point of view from my lens.
When these guys have gotten the StoryBrand messaging right, in terms of setting up the external and internal problem, the follow-through across the site, to me, is missing. If life is complicated and I am straddling the line of a divorce with my wife, and having trouble, and having fighting all the time, life is complicated and I want to get it right, and it says here that North Point wants to help, so this is a site that I would maybe plan to visit, but I want to explore a little further by what they mean. Like, they have to demonstrate their authority and build the trust before I’m actually going to dive into this, right?
Going through the site, it does continue to resonate. “Life doesn’t come with instructions”. That’s something that if I was in a position of a marriage in danger, I would definitely resonate with that. It says, “We’ve been helping people navigate the complexities of relationships.” Great. Parenting, finances, faith, okay. Over 24 years. We know you want to get it right.
Absolutely, as someone who’s hurting, the prospect, the visitor is going to continuously tell me more. We believe you can. That’s great encouragement. We want to help. So, you’re giving me hope as the website visitor here. Then they do something even better, a place to help you navigate life. Right? They’re saying, they’re trying to set up North Point as a source of assistance with getting me to take the spaghetti of life and untwist them and straighten them out so that I can navigate life in a way that is bringing me happiness and serving me in a way that lets me fulfill my purpose and my meaning, the significance of my life. I want to get it right.
Here, this is a great thing. A place to help you navigate life, and they have four different navigational options by, I guess, stage of life. Either you’re just graduated early 20s, you might be single, you might be married or you’re a parent. And so, if I was going through that pre-divorce phase, you might say, “Okay, let’s see what can you help me navigate life in the married zone?” Here it goes. “Opportunities to connect with other couples, grow spiritually, and give back.” And so, what in my mind as a prospective visitor. And it doesn’t need to be someone in deep crisis, right? It could be someone that just has a rocky road if things aren’t right and you want to make the most of it.
Exploring the marriage page, I would expect resources to really give me some examples or giving some tools to actually see what the Bible says or give me some guidance as to how to get out of the hole that I’ve dug in terms of my marriage, right? Let’s see what they have. They have pre-marital mentoring. That’s not for me if I’m married. Adult groups, connect with others in a married group from just married to empty nesters. Now if you’re having those issues, I don’t know if you want to walk into a group, a room of strangers, to do that. There’s two other places, groups that meet for eight weeks called Thrive Marriage Enrichment. It doesn’t seem like that’s a crisis-oriented curriculum. And then starting point, groups that meet for eight weeks. That’s interesting. These are groups, groups, groups, groups, groups.
Let’s go to thrive. Someone to guide you to a stronger marriage. Now, that’s interesting. Every marriage faced challenges. What if overcoming them is simpler than you think? You have to join a group. So, this is a mental-led group experience. And it’s not even open. They’re going to be opened in September. If I need help, now what do I do? That’s the question. Let’s go back.
The last one is volunteer. You want me to serve at your church? No. I’m in trouble. I’m in crisis. I’m thinking about myself right now. I don’t have the capacity, et cetera. Then there’s these, again, groups. Then Sunday services in August. This is just a promo. That might be helpful. I might put it on the schedule to actually go, but that’s Sunday sermons, so that’s a promo. That’s about it.
I go to the the bottom footer and I’m looking for anything to help me. The criticism I have here or the opportunity, I think, that this website really has is that when you have people self-select and go down further, deeper into the site and they say, “Hey, I’m married,” one of the things I think there’s an opportunity is not to force them into groups, although that is the obvious model that this church wants to have happen. You’ve got to remember, for new people to the church, these are not friends. These are strangers. They’re not visitors, they’re not guests. They are strangers. They’ve look at you as strangers. And so, I think you need to put that context lens on when you’re trying to build these types of entry points for the subgroups.
One thing I would do here is, honestly, I would try to see if we can help identify felt needs and bring them down further one more level to other sub pages that help provide the resources. Now, surely enough North Point, Andy Stanley, has tons of resources for anger, and conflict management, and the biblical basis, the meaning for marriage. There’s all this stuff, I’m sure. The North Point counseling, North Point teaching discipleship areas, all that stuff probably has. In fact, just the sermons alone, this last box you might identify different felt needs and then linked to different sermons that Andy has preached that talks specifically to each of those felt needs.
And also, even a contact form to be able to reach somebody and talk to somebody or be triage to the appropriate resource might be better. But, the first off the cuff response is, if I’m in crisis or if I’m on a rocky road and that’s exactly who you want, you want me, that type of person, right, if I’m that persona, because you’re calling it out. Life is complicated and obviously I’m not getting it right. That means you’re talking to people who are struggling with life or understand that it’s not that simple and that they can’t do it alone. The one thing that I think is missing here is felt needs. That’s a great opportunity, I think, especially if you already have the navigation in place, you have the real estate on the site. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, and if your church has done that, please let me know. I’d love to explore that type of resource and see what that that’s like.
Now, here’s the last tidbit call out here. To go along complementing the compliment that they’ve got it right on the headlines for the homepage, life is complicated. You want to get it right. We want to help. We are not the hero. You are the hero. You we are only the guide. It’s about you. It’s about the process. It’s about the people. They’ve got all these video clips in the background that are great, people are putting their faith into action.
This shot right here is the one that I think is unfortunate. It’s ironic that they included it, or actually the loop starts with it. It’s the first thing that people see. It’s ironic that they have this thrust in the actual copy, but in the visual aspects, you’re showing them the building and the parking lot. You’re showing them the institution. People have relationships with people, people don’t have relationships with institutions, and when you put the building as the center point right here showing how massive it is, how big we are, how grand we are, look at our facilities, from that point of view it’s try to set up North Point as the hero. That was the one edit. I would take out that clip and either leave it as is or replace it with a family walking into the church for the first time. It might people with multiple children, and just showing what it’s like to actually enter into the building for the first time.
So, those are my two nitpick. They’re not complaints. They’re not criticisms because I think North Point, the team here has a tremendous job. In fact, a friend of mine are joking, how long before we see this exact setup on the homepage duplicated across America where churches, just like churches just love Andy Stanley and basically like to quote, borrow, from Andy and North Points. How long before these three specific lines, even these specific words, not even spun a little bit or finagled a little bit, how long before we see the history specific lines, this thrust, copied and pasted to church websites across the country?
That’s how great of a job they’ve done of hitting the nail on the head. I just wanted to point out these two other opportunities to improve and iterate on the site as the next version. Surely, the team is going to invest and continue to make this message sharper, and more impactful, and bring more people into the church.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the site. What do you love about the site? What are some other specific pages, or turns of phrase, or copy, or how they’re using media, or even navigation? What are some of the great things? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below and let’s have a discussion, because looking at great models helps us up the game for our own work in our own big vocation.
I’m Kenny Jahng. I’ll check out here next time on the Church Butler Lunch and Learn Podcast. In the meantime, remember: be social, stay social.