Browse
Willowdale CRC is The Juicys Communications Church of the Year (Smaller) Runner Up

Willowdale CRC is The Juicys Communications Church of the Year (Smaller) Runner Up

Posted September 11, 2012 by Jerod Clark

(The Juicys are a way to recognize and reward those churches who’ve worked to improve their church communications during the last year.  It includes giving them a grant to jump start their next project.  This week we'll be announcing the 2012 winners.)

Website redesigns are on the top of lots of churches wish lists.  Willowdale Christian Reformed Church, a 140 member congregation in Toronto, Canada, was no different. And like many small churches their size, the one-page site they had didn’t meet their needs.

“We wanted to make improvements and expansions because it is the main way of communicating with people inquiring about our church,” says Ministry Coordinator Susanne Zandberg.

But unlike some churches that become paralyzed by the thought of diving into something that can be technologically out of their comfort area, Willowdale went to work.

The church put together a team including three staff members and two other church members. Zandburg says the mix of people meant there was constructive input from various sides. But what made the redesign process work well was the early expectation that this project wasn’t going to get slowed down by inactive committees even it if meant having short meetings to discuss smaller items.

“Often updates and changes do not take a lot of time. But sometimes that brevity of time investment led to inaction,” says Zandburg. “We worked through that by establishing open communication to hold each other accountable to our commitments regardless of how little time they could require to accomplish.”

That best practice impressed one of our judges who said, “Too often websites die by committee, especially in small churches. I’m glad Willowdale avoided that. When entering a new communications project, it’s always important to set expectations and identify possible stumbling blocks. This church is proof that is a needed step.”

Hoping for something that was easier to update and simpler for visitors to use, Willowdale turned to a WordPress template.

That decision made an impression on another of our judges who wrote, “This project sticks out to me because of their use of WordPress – a free backend web solution that works great, saves money and will be easily updated in the future. Very smart.”

The new site gives Willowdale a more modern look. There are big pictures across the top where they can show their church and areas where they can more clearly organize information. But they still hope to do more. They plan on using their $1000 grant to add features like a sermon archive and videos.

“Our youth group is working on a video to walk people from the parking lot through the building and into the sanctuary to show what people might experience on a Sunday morning,” says Zandburg. “Videos will portray things we cannot capture in words.”

Filed under: Church Juice, The Juicys, Website, Design/Layout

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (1)

  • Susanne Zandberg
    9:14 AM
    Wed, Sep 12, 2012

    Fantastic! We’re delighted to be recognized in this way and honoured to be chosen as runner up.  Thanks for creating the opportunity to participate in a contest like this.  May all our efforts continue to strive to build up God’s church.

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
2

Posted July 19, 2018 by Chris Hunt

Words like marketing sometimes turnoff pastors, elders, and board members. Isn’t marketing a business term? What does marketing have to do with church? Marketing is not a bad word. Marketing is about making a straight path so that your ministry happens.
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
4

Posted July 10, 2018 by Dave Hartwell

As church communicators, our work is out in the open: we write web copy, bulletin announcements, social media posts, and mass emails. Every once in a while, we make a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable; how we deal with them isn't.
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
0

Posted July 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Hope Church in New York City is The Juicys’ 2018 winner for the website category. Here’s what makes Hope’s website great.
The Power of Facebook Events
The Power of Facebook Events
0

Posted June 25, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Facebook events are a cheap and easy way to get your church’s event in front of your entire community.
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
0

Posted June 21, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Social media is a great tool that churches can use to build and expand relationships, as well as a tool for outreach. Here are six tips to help your church utilize social media better.
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
0

Posted June 19, 2018 by Robert Carnes

There are lots of platforms your church can use to promote its message and mission. MailChimp is just one, but has many different uses. This is an overview of some of its most useful features.
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
0

Posted June 14, 2018 by Bryan Haley

We recently concluded The Juicys award season and are excited about these five church communication award winners!
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
0

Posted June 12, 2018 by Jeanette Yates

Having a communications tool for your staff is essential because collaborating without a system, process, or tool is complicated and inefficient. Before choosing a tool, ask yourself (and your team) these questions.
The Juicys Award Show
The Juicys Award Show
0

Posted June 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Join us for The Juicys Award Show!
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
0

Posted May 24, 2018 by Jason Caston

While it is a given that any organization has to have a mobile accessible presence, many churches are unaware of whether a mobile website or an app is the better choice.