I was recently in a church that had several signs posted about not bringing food or drinks in the worship center. I asked a guest what he thought of the signs. His response was telling: “I think they are telling me they don’t want to clean up my mess.”
From that perspective, the sign was a negative sign for the church. At least from one person’s point of view it meant, “Don’t bother us.”
Many churches, however, have positive signs posted around the church facilities. Unless you are a curmudgeon, these signs would give you a favorable impression of the church. My comments after each sign reflect the message it would likely communicate.
- Guest parking. We welcome guests at our church. We want to treat you like a guest in our home and demonstrate our hospitality.
- Allergy alert. These are the snacks we will be serving your children. We care about them and their wellbeing. If they have allergy problems, we will gladly offer them an alternative snack.
- Expectant/young mother parking. We care about families. We especially understand the challenges young mothers have, and we hope this convenient parking helps a bit.
- Public welcome to this playground. We did not build this playground as just a perk for our members. We want all of the community to know they are welcome here.
- Guest welcome center. We always have someone at this welcome center during church activities. We have placed it at the entrance so you can walk right up and ask us any questions. We will also provide you information on our church.
- You are welcome to take a Bible. We want everyone to have a Bible. We provide these Bibles as our gift to you.
- Covered drop off. During inclement weather, we want you to have a place where you can drop off members of your family. This drop off is also available for those dropping off senior adults.
I love hearing from you readers. Let me know of some “positive signs” in your church.
Posted on February 3, 2016
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
More from Thom
I am very happy and feel blessed to have found your site. I am a minister in the UK, and look forward to reading more posts about creating a clearer impression to outsiders.
I do have a question, however, on negative signs: we have recently had a laptop stolen from our chapel, and felt it appropriate to post a sign warning that people’s possessions are left at their expense. Part of me recognises this is negative wording, but also I feel it is somewhat essential. We are a church in a city centre with a lot of people coming in-and-out, so there is a higher risk of theft. Do you have any thoughts?
It’s cool to see that church’s use their signs to promote positive things. This shows people, christian or not, that there are good people in the world that want wants best for others. Hopefully one day I can see some of these signs for myself.
For the first 300 years of Christianity, there was no building to respect, no sanctuary to worship in… and the Church grew!
For the last 70 years, there has been no (practically speaking) building to respect in China nor sanctuary to worship in… and the Church grew!
For the last 150 years in American it’s been about ‘going to church to worship’ and having a place where the young and the youth are taught (yay, even forced) to respect the building by ‘silence’, ‘reverence’, keeping their food and drink ‘out’…. and the Church, well, hasn’t been thriving and less than 2% of our youth name the Name of Jesus and….
as a percent of the population these churchgoers continue to shrink….
In Europe, the great and grand cathedrals are virtually empty and serve as museums and tourist attractions–not to the God who saves but to and for the men who designed and built them….
I Cor 6:19 “…do you not know that your body is a TEMPLE of the Holy Spirit…?”
Romans 12:1,2 “…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual WORSHIP… be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
Food for thought?
(oh, wait, one more…!)
John 4:34 “My food is to do the will of him who sent me…”
That’s why we pay for insurance.
sign said anybody caught trespassing will be shot on sight. when will people learn that its not their house its gods its all gods the church the playground the parkin lot the property everything is gods … And god will not let anything happen that he doesn’t want to happen . and although we might not see a theft or a defacing ect god does. and in his time he will take care of all things in his time and in his way
We tried to leave our playground open to the community, but our insurance company insists on it being locked. When in use it must be supervised by an official representative of the church. We do make it as accessible as possible and it is clearly marked with appropriate signage.