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Wet T-Shirts, Web Sites, and Church Baptisms

I was asked to look at and critique a church Web site. Before I could give any useful advice or comments, I asked the person who asked me to look at the Web site,”What is your purpose in creating the site?”

Web sites can serve many purposes from outreach to disciple making. Each purpose takes time, and few churches have time to do all of them. Because of that, I didn’t want to critique the site unfairly. The person who asked me to critique the site said that they wanted primarily to attract and inform unchurched people about the church.

Don’t Miss

I clicked on the site, and on the home page was one of the large format scrolling picture boxes across the top. The images displayed were of a young woman being helped out of the water of a hot tub, a close up of her smiling with a wet t-shirt clinging tightly to her, then a shot of her as she was hugged by a couple of guys.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry before I commented on the Web site.

How images that are meaningful to us, may be confusing to others

I live in Southern California, and this was the location of the church. I know churches around here baptize folks in hot tubs. I know her attire was typical of a newly churched, California girl. I knew the guys hugging her were pastors welcoming her into the family of the church. 

But not everybody knows what I know as an insider into California church culture.