Church Signs

July 25, 2007

Communication consultant Woody Murray had a good column today at the Baptist Press entitled "Church signs are key to outreach." Here are a few highlights:

Often the most effective way to promote your church's ministries is a church message sign.

... If you don't have a church message sign, you need to get one. If you do have one, you need to make sure the messages are very inviting and that they stay fresh. That is where many churches make a crucial mistake -- they don't devote enough time to their messages.

... What about the content of the messages? Decide first on some key messages that should be posted frequently. These would include your worship times, your church website address, and most importantly, an invitation to join you in worship.

... People respond to invitations. We see it happen every Sunday at the close of the service. The Lord pulls at their hearts. The Lord can do the same with your church sign. Make your message an invitation as often as possible.

... I feel a little uncomfortable saying this, but be cautious in how you use Scripture on your sign. Some churches choose to use Scripture -- or messages related to certain Scriptures -- with the intention of frightening people into coming to church. While a 30-minute Sunday sermon may hit home with a person who needs to change his life, it is unlikely you will have the same results with just a few words on your sign. You run a greater risk of turning off people to your church with a "fire and brimstone" message on your sign. Use your sign to invite them to your church, and let God's message on Sunday change their hearts.

... Another important point to remember is being brief with your sign wording. The goal is not to fill every inch of the sign with words. People can't read a long message in the second or two it takes to pass the church. Put too many words on your sign, and folks won't even take a look. The rule of thumb (and it also applies to billboards, should your church have them) is to say what you need to say in seven to 10 words -- even less if possible.
He offers some other tips in the piece. Overall, it is a good reminder about the importance of deliberately thinking about the messages we are communicating.