First impressions happen nearly instantaneously.
This is why the real estate at the top of church websites – the first area of content that a visitor sees as your website loads – is wildly important.
It only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to form an opinion about your website
Knowing this, it is incumbent upon your church to write a great headline for the top of your website (and never use a church website slider). The main headline on your website is the very first line of copy a new visitor will read.
How do you write great main headlines for your church websites?
Church websites: 1 simple way to write a great headline
Contained below are 19 different church websites – all with great main headlines at the top of the page. I want these examples to inspire you and help reveal what truly makes a great headline.
Want to know the most important part?
Each of these 19 headline examples has one simple – yet very important – element in common.
Can you guess what it is?
Great copywriting always focuses on the consumer, not the company
The 19 church websites represented below don’t use their main headline to talk about themselves – instead, they talk about their audience. The people they are serving.
Great copywriting always focuses on the customer, not the company.
What does this mean for you? Well, when writing the main headlines for church websites, don’t focus on introducing your church or explaining your mission. Instead, focus the words in your headline on the problems you’re helping people solve.
The single-sentence exercise
Let’s do an exercise together…
I want you to imagine that instead of a multi-page website, imagine that your church’s website is only one page. One page only.
5X more people will read the headline of a website than read the body copy
How would that change the design? How would that shrink the amount of information you’d be able to share?
Now, let’s take that one step further. Instead of a whole page – now all you are allowed is a single headline for your site. A new visitor lands on your site – there’s a white background and a single headline in black text – what does it say?
The reason this exercise is so important is because, on average, 5X more people will read the headline of church websites than read the body copy.2
That’s right – 5X as many people.
Remember this, every person that lands on your church’s website wants to know, “What’s in it for me? How can this church help me?”
So don’t waste the precious space in your main headline talking about you. Instead, talk about the people you’re serving and trying to reach.
The 2-part main headline writing formula
I want to make this writing process as simple as possible for you. So here’s an exact formula that you can follow.
This headline writing formula consists of two parts. The headline begins by addressing a problem that exists in your potential new visitor’s life. And the headline concludes by offering your potential new visitor a different path – a solution.
The 2-Part Headline Formula: Confront a problem + offer a solution
For your headline to impact someone, both of these elements must be present. If you have one without the other, the headline writing formula is broken.
NOTE: Each of the 19 headline examples listed below addresses one of the three problems in the headline writing formula. Follow their lead.
Now, the most difficult part of writing your headline is determining the problem you want to address. And because that’s the most difficult part, I’ve gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you (seriously, I want this to be foolproof for you).
Listed below you’ll find three of the most common problems that the average person faces in their lifetime. All of humankind will confront at least one of these three problems. Moreover, the reason I chose these problems specifically, is because our churches are uniquely positioned to help people when they’re confronting these problems.
- Problem: I’m not good enough -> Solution: Hope
- Problem: I’m all alone -> Solution: Community
- Problem: I’m wasting my life -> Solution: Purpose
Here’s a bad example (don’t do this)
Before diving into the 19 brilliant examples below, I want to show you what a bad example of a main headline looks like.
The bad example headline in question reads: “Our church is a church that believes in Jesus and lives to demonstrate his love to all people.”
Want to know what’s interesting about this particular bad example?
The design of the website is actually quite good. And yet, this is probably the most frequent mistake I see churches make with their site’s main headline.
This church is simply talking about themselves. They’re not talking about the people they serve, their headline is entirely self-serving.
Let’s step outside of the church world for a moment. Think with me about the most recent automobile advertisement you’ve seen. Did the ad place the car in an empty room with a voiceover talking about the car’s new and improved features? Or, did the ad show you a person actually inside the car and driving it around?
Again, this is marketing 101. Automobile advertisements don’t simply list off the cool features of the car. Instead, the ad wants you to imagine what your life could be like if you owned this car.
See this person driving this awesome car? What if that person could be you?
See this awesome car driving on the beach? What if that was you driving on the beach?
You need to invite your potential new visitor into the story. Don’t simply talk about yourself.
Example #1: Testimonials
- Problem: We’re doing life void of real friendships – Dave & Nicole’s story (I’m all alone)
- Solution: We found real community at Good News Church (Community)
The first headline example I want to show you is extra special.
In a section above, I shared with you my 2-part headline writing formula. Why? Because copywriting is hard and I want this process to be easy for you.
If you still find yourself stuck, one of my favorite ways of writing copy and headlines is to simply use testimonials. Why write my own words when I can just use someone else’s?
Good News Church out of Omaha (formerly known as Glad Tidings) does a brilliant job of this. When you land on their website the first thing you’ll see is a huge picture of an individual or family from their church with an accompanying testimony.
If you’re intimidated by the writing process or having trouble crafting a great headline, I highly recommend following the lead of Good News Church.
Don’t write the words yourself. Let others write them for you.
Example #2: A safe place to explore your faith
- Problem: This can’t be all there is to life – there must be something more (I’m wasting my life)
- Solution: At Hill City you’ll find a safe place to explore your faith (Purpose)
The Christian faith has a bit of a perception problem. Too many people write off following Jesus because they perceive Christians as being a highly-judgmental group.
Hill City uses their main headline to put those fears to rest. This headline is implicitly saying, “It’s okay to doubt. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. And it’s okay to be unsure of what you believe. No matter what, you belong here.”
The headline on Hill City’s website is great on its own. But it’s also paired perfectly with a high energy video showing off Hill City’s fun, friendly, and not-too-serious attitude.
Example #3: No matter what, you’re good enough
- Problem: I’m not good enough
- Solution: Yes, you are (Hope)
The feeling of insecurity and inferiority is something we’ve all felt at one time or another. Crossroads Church confronts this head-on with the main headline of their website.
Crossroads also does a great job of pairing this headline with a brilliant call-to-action – the button simply reads: “Find Out Why”
Example #4: Connect to everything God has for your life
- Problem: This can’t be all there is to life – there must be something more (I’m wasting my life)
- Solution: God has a life full of adventure waiting for you (Purpose)
When Jesus describes salvation to Nicodemus, he uses the metaphor of being reborn. When Paul meets Jesus, the Bible talks about “something like scales” falling away from his eyes. After being healed by Jesus, the blind man declares, “I was blind, but now I see!”
Finding faith in Christ means finding new life. Action Church does a brilliant job of encapsulating this core doctrine of the Christian faith in their website’s main headline.
Example #5: Bible verse
- Problem: Are my best days behind me? (I’m wasting my life)
- Solution: The best is yet to come (Purpose)
Similar to Good News Church (example #1), instead of writing their own headline, Church Of The City is using the words of someone else to craft their copy.
In this case though, instead of using social proof, Church Of The City is simply using a verse of Scripture verbatim.
I love this approach.
The power of Scripture cannot be overstated. And if you’re having trouble crafting your headline using your own words, consider following the lead of Church Of The City and find a passage of Scripture that best describes how your church is helping people.
Church Websites Example #6: No one stands alone
- Problem: I don’t belong anywhere (I’m all alone)
- Solution: No one stands alone at Enjoy Church (Community)
Enjoy Church goes all-in on community with their headline and background video pairing.
Church should be a place where anyone can find family, community, and friendship. God said it was “not good for man to be alone.” Focusing your main headline on community is one surefire way to immediately connect on an emotional level with new visitors to your website.
Example #7: We’re saving a seat for you
- Problem: Church is a country club and I won’t fit (I’m all alone)
- Solution: We always have space for you at Grace Hills Church (Community)
Grace Hills Church’s website has long been one that I’ve admired. The headline/byline/button combination at the top of the page is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Church Websites Example #8: A safe place to grow
- Problem: I don’t have everything figured out yet (I’m wasting my life)
- Solution: Chapel Pointe is a safe place where you can grow in faith – however long that may take (Purpose)
Churches have a bad reputation when it comes to beliefs. Extreme fundamentalism has long created an atmosphere where it can feel as though if you don’t check the box on every doctrinal stance and statement of belief…you simply aren’t one of us.
One of my favorite quotes describing what it means to follow Jesus goes as follows: “In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty. In all things charity.”
Chapel Pointe’s headline reminds me of this statement. It’s okay to doubt and feel uncertain. You belong here regardless. Let’s figure this thing out together.
Example #9: Real life happens everyday. Don’t face it alone.
- Problem: Life is hard (I’m all alone)
- Solution: Life is easier when you’ve got great people around you (Community)
What I like about Cornerstone Community Church’s main headline is that it acknowledges the difficulties of life. Real life happens everyday – and it doesn’t stop, it just keeps coming.
The solution? Don’t do life alone. Life is easier when great people are around you and you’ll find that at our church.
Example #10: You may come in as a stranger but you’ll leave as family
- Problem: True friendships are difficult to find (I’m all alone)
- Solution: You’re part of the family at Bridgetown (Community)
While the full headline is a little longer, the part of the headline that stood out to me most on Bridgetown’s website was the part about family.
The use of the word “stranger” is especially meaningful. It seems as though there are more strangers around us than ever before. Even our neighbors can be strangers nowadays.
Bridgetown wants you to know that despite this feeling, you’ll always be part of the family at their church.
Example #11: It’s okay to not be okay. God meets you where you are.
- Problem: I’m not okay (I’m not good enough)
- Solution: God loves you anyway and wants to be a part of your life (Hope)
I want to give a special shout-out to The Village Church here. As I was doing research for this article, I visited many church websites of big churches with well-known pastors. Sadly, I was disappointed by a ton of these church websites. The main headline on many of these sites was simply promoting the most recent message from the pastor. Instead of dialing into the people these churches were trying to reach, the headlines were very pastor-centric.
Now, with that being said, I totally understand why these churches would go that route. There’s a reason Israel demanded a king. It’s central to the human experience to look up to someone else and want to follow them.
But I want to highlight The Village Church here because while they easily could have done that, instead, they did exactly the opposite. Matt Chandler is one of the most well-respected Bible teachers in the world. And yet, you won’t find a single mention of his name or picture of his face on the homepage of The Village Church’s website.
Rather than propagate the idea of a celebrity pastor, The Village Church is actively rejecting that notion and instead focusing on the problems of the people they are trying to reach.
Church Websites Example #12: You belong here
- Problem: I don’t belong anywhere (I’m all alone)
- Solution: You belong here at Fellowship Church (Community)
All of humankind has a deep need for social interaction. We want to feel as though we’re a part of something. We crave belonging.
Fellowship Church keeps their website’s main headline brief, but nonetheless impactful as they tap into this universal human need.
Example #13: Helping the people of LA know Jesus, grow in their faith & go into the world equipped to serve
- Problem: What is the meaning of life? (I’m wasting my life)
- Solution: Finding purpose in life means knowing Jesus and serving the world (Purpose)
Risen Church’s headline is more dogmatic than most others on this list. But it’s effective nonetheless.
I particularly like the call-out to the city of Los Angeles. Risen is invested in a single city and if you’re part of LA, they want you to know they’re here for you.
Example #14: Welcome home
- Problem: There’s no place I can truly call home (I’m all alone)
- Solution: The United Methodist Church Of The Resurrection is a place you can call home (Community)
The “Welcome Home” headline is currently one of the most popular on church websites – so I wanted to make sure I included it on this list.
But while this two-word headline is certainly better than many others, I’ve never felt it be particularly strong.
In this instance, however, The United Methodist Church Of The Resurrection pairs their “Welcome Home” headline with a great byline. The byline reads: “This is a place of hope, meaning and purpose. Visit and become a part of something bigger – a movement that is changing lives.”
Bottom line: If you’re going to use the “Welcome Home” headline as the main headline on your site, try pairing it with a byline that dives a bit deeper into how your church is serving people.
Example #15: You matter to God. You matter to us.
- Problem: I don’t matter (I’m not good enough)
- Solution: You matter to God and you matter to the people of 12Stone Church (Hope)
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in most developed nations. Why? Because too many people are living with hopelessness.
We make plans for our lives. Our plans don’t work out. A loved one dies. We get a divorce. We judge ourselves as failures.
Hopelessness is an epidemic. 12Stone Church decides to tackle this feeling of hopelessness with their website’s main headline.
Church Websites Example #16: Jesus is good news for everyone
- Problem: Everywhere I look I see bad news and fake news (I’m wasting my life away)
- Solution: Jesus is good news (Purpose)
Centering your headline on Jesus is always a good idea.
I also want to make note of the byline on Remnant Church’s website as it speaks to both community and hope. It reads: “We invite you to come and meet our growing community and see what Jesus is doing right here in Richmond.”
Example #17: Find meaning and mission in following Jesus
- Problem: My life lacks meaning (I’m wasting my life away)
- Solution: Jesus is the ultimate source of meaning (Purpose)
Paired with a “Plan Your Visit” call-to-action button, Irving Bible Church makes it very clear what their church is about and the next step you can take to join them on the journey.
Example #18: Experience God. Find Community. Fulfill Your Purpose.
- Problem: God is distant; I feel far away from Him and others (I’m all alone)
- Solution: At Trinity Fellowship you can experience God in a real way while being part of a strong community (Community)
Similar to the approach of Risen Church (example #13), Trinity Fellowship’s headline exists as a structured three-pronged framework.
This type of headline lacks the emotion that other headlines in this article embody. But that isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing.
Generally, emotion is the strongest driving factor in response. But if an overly emotional headline doesn’t match your church or pastor’s personality, perhaps a more cerebral approach to a church websites main headline makes more sense.
Example #19: Church for all people
- Problem: I can’t find a church where I belong (I’m all alone)
- Solution: Piedmont Chapel is a church where everyone belongs (Community)
On his song Dirty Water, Lecrae raps: “Most segregated time of day is Sunday service.” Despite the fact that faith in Jesus should bring all Christians together, regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status, or ethnicity, too often this isn’t the case.
Piedmont Chapel makes a commitment with their website’s main headline, that no matter who you are, you belong at Piedmont Chapel.
The real estate at the top of church websites is wildly important. So much so that 5X more people will read the headline of your site than the body copy.
Use the examples of the 19 churches listed in this article to gain inspiration and dial into one of the three main problems listed in The 2-Part Main Headline Writing Formula.
Most importantly, remember to write your main headline with a potential new visitor in mind. Don’t talk about your church and why you’re awesome. Instead, talk about the problems you’re solving and how your church is serving people.