Church visitors can turn into new members, and new members are a great source for your church to grow and be better able to serve its mission. You may be familiar with many available tools to initially attract visitors to your location, such as social media, your website, mailers, community outreach, special events and broadcast ads. But once they get there, what’s their first impression? Do they know where to go? Before they reach greeters who will welcome them in, they’ll see your church signage.
Whatever the size and location of your church, the exterior signage communicates a lot about the inside. Just like a business, your church signage should be in line with the scale and priorities of the organization. Large churches in cities with hundreds of members may need more signs than a small town parish, and they may have a bigger budget for more elaborate signs. What’s most important with church signage, however, is that it communicates that your church is engaging, welcoming and embraces the spirit of those who worship there.
Take a moment to look at your church’s signage. For visitors knowing nothing about the people within, do you think that your signs accurately represent the church? If not, it might be time to think about updating or replacing your signs. Consider these ways your church signage can help you attract more visitors.
- Create a sense of belonging with strong branding. You’re not the only church in your area who would like to draw new members, so you must be distinct. Your church has a unique personality, spirit and mission. Those factors added together make up your church’s brand. To ensure that your church signage closely represents your brand and creates a sense of belonging in your audience , you may want to enlist the expertise of a sign creator with experience in branding.
- Help them find their way. Once your exterior signage has attracted visitors to your parking lot, do you have wayfinding signs to draw them in? Most church buildings have multiple doors. Is your main entrance clearly marked? Once they’re in the vestibule, is it clear to them where the sanctuary is? The kids’ area? The bathrooms? Wayfinding signage is key to make first-time visitors feel welcome and comfortable in your space. And, of course, that wayfinding signage should be branded to match the exterior signage so your visitors have a consistent experience inside and out.
- Keep them informed. If your church has lots going on, do you have engaging and flexible ways to share the details of all your special events? (That bulletin board by the door is not attracting as much attention as you’d like to think it is… ) Consider creating movable and changeable banners and portable signage that will allow you to keep regular churchgoers and visitors up-to-date on the latest news and ways they can get more involved.
- Let your light shine. Keep in mind that for both interior and exterior signage to be effective, people must be able to see it at all times. Make sure you’re lighting the way for your visitors literally and figuratively by illuminating your signage, doorways and halls.
- Take a leap of faith. Don’t be afraid to get creative with church signage. Use your church signage to paint a picture of what your church family is all about and create a strong sense of place. Use abstract elements to represent themes. For example, arcs and circles may be used to communicate inclusivity.
For expert creative advice, schedule a consultation with a quality sign builder with experience in wayfinding, site assessment and experiential graphic design. They can make recommendations to help you transform your church’s signage to reflect the wonderful and welcoming place it is.