If you’ve ever driven by a church with a clever saying on its marquee, you know how important a sign can be.
- “Call 911: This Church is On Fire!”
- “Exercise Daily: Walk with the Lord.”
- “Exposure to the Son May Prevent Burning.”
All of these signs say different things about their church:
- “We’re charismatic.”
- “We’re devoted.”
- “We believe in hell.”
Or “We like cheesy slogans!” (for more on this rich vein, check out Temptation Bangs Forever: The Worst Church Signs You’ve Ever Seen).
Of course, that’s not nearly everything there is to know, but for the passersby, it’s a good start. And it might be all they need to know before deciding whether or not they’re going to pull into the parking lot some day.
Besides the building itself, a church’s primary sign is its first impression. It’s our first chance to tell the community who we are, what we value, and what we do. It’s also one of our best shots at inviting people to join us. Here are some things to keep in mind when you think about your church’s primary sign:
- Make it big, but not too big. Consider your sign’s size. You want your sign to be in proportion to your building, fit the surrounding community and be readable from a distance; you want people to see it but not be overwhelmed by it.
- Place it in your most visible location. Where do the majority of people pass your church either in cars or on foot? Place your sign there for maximum impact.
- Make sure it fits with the overall look of your church. If your church building is red brick, don’t make your primary sign out of white Austin stone. Ideally, the overall aesthetic look of your church would make sense and be appealing to the eye.
- Make it durable. Whether your sign is made of brick, stone, marble, or some other sturdy material, you want it to be able to resist the majority of weather conditions. You also want your sign to endure multiple seasons of your church. Either post static information (same service times every week) or make your sign content easily changeable (the sermon title and pastor preaching this Sunday posted on one of those marquees.).
- Make it clear. Use attractive, easy-to-read fonts on your sign. Don’t overcrowd it with verbiage. Consider lighting it at night.
- Give information. Take some time to think about what you want passersby to know about your church. What time you worship? A piece of your theology? A word of welcome? Something for more info like a phone number of website? Highlight who your church is and why you think people should come to it. Cover all that but also be brief—people driving by won’t have time to read much (yes, it’s a difficult balance). Also remember that information changes but your sign is likely going to be around for a while. Can you change those worship times if you need to?
- Marquee or not? You should also decide if you want to the space for those changeable slogans that generate so much attention. While they get the majority of the attention, it’s not always good attention.
Sometimes you only have one chance to advertise. When people go by your church, what are you saying to them?
- Learn more about how to welcome church visitors with this massive collection of resources and blog posts.
- Walking into a church for the first time can be scary. Check out Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors by Jonathan Malm for practical ideas and perspective on first-time guests.