Guidelines: Think First

Overall Goals

Our vision for the website is to lead people to “life-changing discipleship“. Links on the “Think First” sidebar lead visitors to see how correct thinking leads to wise living.

Specific Goals

The first page is a brief introduction from the Diaconate chair and the Pastor. We want to convey the concept that being a Christian is a thoughtful, intentional, wise choice. And a “choice” it is, following Christ is not something that we slide into.

Our goal is that FBC be seen as a place to ask questions, to get and give answers, to hear and to be heard, to flourish in the company of Christ’s people. And that people consider First Baptist “first” when searching for thoughtful faith.

We encourage and equip Christians through our Sunday School, Children’s church and Learning for Life sessions. Our website provides clarity as to our FBC vision, history, and doctrines. We provide links to resources for Bible study and personal growth, current resources, critiques of modern culture, Christian basics, making the gospel clear, answers to hard questions, stewardship of talents and finances, and other areas. We even link to books written by FBC authors. We encourage regular contributions and updates to this section.

And finally, we invite readers to “think” when asking the big questions about life and faith. Consider the claims of Jesus and the consequences of following him.

How to Write for the Web

People read web pages differently than book pages. They skim, for only seconds. They scan for clues — “do I want to read more or move on?” The sequence is visual: a) photo, b) block-quote, c) main & sub-headings, d) key words, e) chunks of content. Help readers get to the point fast and make it easy for them to pick out key information.

  • Shorter is better. Use compact concise sentences, maximum 8-12 words. Choose words that have maximum impact. Think sports cars — small size, big thrill.
  • Use visual cues on pages — photos, block-quotes, headings, sub-headings, bulletted or numbered lists, colour
  • Highlight words that are important. Use visual cues in text — bold, italic, quotation marks, dashes.
  • Total article should be 1½ – 3 screens in length.
  • Use familiar language, not technical or cultural-specific lingo.
  • Use active voice over passive voice. Visitors will abandon sluggish content in a snap.
  • Use the inverted pyramid writing style. Present the most important messages first — including your conclusion — and put the rest of the information below.
  • Provide opportunities to dig deeper. Link to relevant information, don’t make your readers search. For examples, see Merv’s article in “Make a Difference > Karen Church” or the front page Sunday Lesson.
  • For further guidelines see: How Users Read on the Web, Nieilsen/ Writing for the Web , Yahoo Web-writing Style Guide,
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