This is the second of five chapters in a 25 part blog series titled: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy, published over a five week period. Everything I have posted here is the result of my own personal experiences, from serving on church staffs, volunteering as a lay leader, and being brought in as a paid consultant. It is my hope that these posts will help you and your church get better at connecting with guests, not simply to increase your attendance and membership, but ultimately to grow the body of Christ. Implementing a Connections strategy (or “Assimilation” strategy) is a long term process, and one that relies on a culture of continual improvement. This chapter has five entries, which will all be linked below the post as they are published.
2.5 Guest Services: Smart Signage
There is little difference between bad signage and ZERO signage; both create confusion. So far I have only once in my life been to a church without any interior signs (or greeters which was weird) so I’m going to assume that your church has already designed, ordered, spent money, and installed some signs.
Ask yourself these questions:
- If someone walks into your church for the first time, will your signs make any sense?
- Are your signs easy to read, impossible to miss, and communicate exactly what people need to know?
- Are you signs up to date with current ministry programming?
- Are any of your signs damaged, outdated, or represent something that no longer exists?
If your answers to those questions suggest you need to evaluate your signage, repair/replace signs, or otherwise add any new signs, Here are some best practices and suggestions for you and your church:
- Be Guest Oriented and Eliminate “Insider Language”
- Avoid putting “clever” insider language on your church signage. Your Young Adults ministry may be several hundred strong, but that presumed to be hip Greek/Latin word they use as a name doesn’t really explain much to a guest.
- Don’t be afraid of signs because you’re not sure you can afford it or because it feels too “corporate” to you.
- Name your ministries whatever you like. Just put GUEST CENTERED descriptions on your signage.
- EXAMPLE #1: Your underpaid Youth guy actually shows up before noon one day, feels creative, and re-names your student ministry “Youth XPlosion” or “Student Impact” or “El Fuego” or whatever else. He can call it whatever he wants, but don’t put that on your signs. For your signs, just use a term most parents will understand (non-insider language), like “Student Ministry.”
- EXAMPLE #2: You call your preschool ministry “River of Life Kids Inc.” (yes I know thats awful) and your elementary school ministry is “The Armor Of God Awesome Kids Group.” Your signs should read “preschool” and then “Kids K-5” or something close.
- EXAMPLE #3: The various rooms at your church have already been given names: Atrium,The Treehouse, Narthex, The Crossing, Family First Center, The West Wing, The Brick, The Multipurpose room, the Fellowship Hall, the Mezzanine, Joyland, etc. All good. All fine. Just be smart with your signs, and make sure they simply say: “gym” or “lobby” or even ministry references like “Student Ministry” and “Kids Ministry.”
Don’t let the “EXIT” sign be the only word on display that is easy for guests to understand.
Next: 3.1 The Guest Follow-up Process
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy
Element Two: Guest Services