Try Big, Bold Banners
Try a well designed extra large banner WITH a face on it and your visibility index goes way up. Large outdoor banners are not that expensive to print these days. You’ll probably have to pay for design and perhaps stock photographs if you don’t have a volunteer model. Don’t forget to use a face on your banner. Faces attract attention. Flowers, birds and the like, well … not as well as a single face prominently looking out your banner. Whatever you do, use an outside graphic designer if you can afford it (unless you have a graphic designer in house). Do-It-Yourself designs would hurt rather than help your outreach effort. That’s because design is a language and churches must learn to speak it well if we want to communicate effectively with modern society. Bad design simply says we speak another language … and worse. I will write more about design and outreach in a future article.
Below is an example of a banner in front of Custom House Baptist Church (a small church with a congregation of about 250 in the East End of London, UK). The banner was part of a community wide campaign to make the church more visible. The matching postcard shown below was delivered to about three thousand surrounding homes. It worked… like a song.
Two things you can do to make your church ‘visible’
1. Practice the presence of life
Most times the church is shut and your community hardly knows what goes on in there. Just because your church is on a major road does not mean people ‘see’ you. And if you’ve been there a long time it might be your building is so familiar, so much part of the landscape, nobody ‘sees’ it anymore. How to increase visibility? A few things that worked for us (at least we think so!)
- Try cleaning the church front on a week day, perhaps when there’s a lot of traffic – cars, pedestrians etc. Do this regularly enough and you’ll be surprised at how many people stop to have a chat with you. I’ve tried this and many people have stopped by to ask for service times, enquired about child dedications and yes, have become church members!
- Take pictures in front of the church after your worship service (especially during the summer months) You don’t need a wedding to take pictures. A crowd taking pictures in front of church will always turn heads. Bonus – you can project your pictures on the screen the following Sunday for the congregation to see (or include them in the printed programme if you have one) People love to see pictures of themselves.
- If the weather is good, serve your snacks outside. It’s sure way of letting passer by’s know you’re there and have a healthy and fun community going.
2. Lights on! this winter (and then some)
If there ever was a time to draw attention to your church its the Christmas period. Try using nativity rope lights. We’ve done this for years in our church and it gets noticed. I’ve even seen people take pictures! Google ‘Christian lights’, there are plenty online. Search by image to get some inspiration too! Outside of Christmas its a good idea to have lights on at some point when its dark – late evenings or so. Lights on for a couple of hours in the worship area (sanctuary, main hall etc.) tells people ‘hey, this is an active church, things go on here!’