What’s your Sign?

Woody Murray, an independent church communications specialist who helps churches more effectively reach their communities, has started contributing to Baptist Press News. On the 17th, he wrote an article called Is your church sending mixed messages?. Yesterday (the 25th), he wrote an article called Church signs are key to outreach.

Both of these articles concern the importance of putting your best face forward when advertising for your church programs, meetings, etc. To be perfectly honest, if you are running a business, then Murray has some very sound advice that you should probably follow. The problem is, the church is not a business. I am not going to get into the whole church vs. Church thing right now, you all know where I stand. Instead, I want to discuss some of the things these article asks us to focus on. Here are a few quotes you should consider:

If you don’t present one clear and inviting message for your church through every touch-point, then a single weak communication can counter all of the strong church promotion you are working so hard to build. (1st article)

Because you don’t know how –- or when –- someone will want information on your church, you can’t afford to let any one message touch-point miss the mark and hinder the ministries of your church. (1st article)

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. (2nd article)

Each church needs someone — or maybe even a few people — who will take on the sign as their ministry for the congregation. If you have a publicity committee or communications committee in your church, your sign should be an integral part of their work. If not, pray about your need and seek a person who will want to make this his or her primary ministry for the church. (2nd article)

I think these few quotes will give you the gist – if not, read them for yourself. What do you all think of what Murray is talking about? Are our ministries really that dependent on advertisements? Is the “church sign” really as important as he makes it sound?

I think Murray is trying his best to help the church, as he understands it. But it should be much more simple than worrying about signs and advertising. I say, sell your buildings, sell your signs, sell your space in the yellow pages, and make disciples, be the Church.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    “it should be much more simple than worrying about signs and advertising. I say, sell your buildings, sell your signs, sell your space in the yellow pages, and make disciples, be the Church.”

    AMEN!! Love it!

  2. Thanks anonymous.

    Have a good weekend.

  3. Alan Knox says

    Lew,

    I’m glad that you wrote this post. There are many things that are put before us as “necessary” or “key” today, but we can’t find those in Scripture. Sometimes, I think these modern day “necessities” do more to hinder and distract us from what Scripture actually reveals (i.e. making disciples, loving one another, building one another up).

    -Alan

  4. Lew,

    I second Anonymous’ comment!

    Signs and advertising miss the mark, though, as you said, I think Murray is trying to help. I think churches fall into the trap of wanting people to like them and choose them over others – the signs and advertising are like what you would do to get someone to notice you. Look at me! I’m better than the rest! See how clever and cool I am? Pick me, pick me!

    “If you don’t present one clear and inviting message for your church through every touch-point, then a single weak communication can counter all of the strong church promotion you are working so hard to build.”

    I disagree with this statement from the article. I think hypocrisy, judgment, and heavy-handed leadership styles do much more damage than weak communication has ever done. Clever signs cannot undo that kind of damage.

  5. Alan

    Thanks, you’re right. A lot of what we do becomes a distraction to what we should be doing.

    Mary

    You’re right – a lot of it is the church wanting others to like them. I am sure there are a lot of think they need large numbers to be in God’s Will, so they do everything they can do to accomplish that. There are others that are just trying to practice “good business” too… more people – more money – better institution – etc.

    Thanks for the comments.

    God’s Glory,
    Lew

  6. Aussie John says

    Lew,

    All I can say is “Good on ya mate!!”

    Interpretation: I couldn’t agree more!! Amen and Amen!

    Aussie John

  7. Aussie John,

    Thanks for the new phrase and the comment!

    Lew

  8. Mean Dean says

    I personally thing Murray is a bit dated in his thinking. I blog about it – basically asserting that such signage should be used to help individuals surfing for a church discover where they learn about the individual church’s personality and purpose.

    Then it becomes less of a popularity contest, and more about meeting needs.