3 Questions to Ask About Your Church’s Roadside Signage
You change the message on your roadside church signage to get people to notice it. You just likely don’t want Ed Stetzer from Christianity Today to notice it.
On his blog, Ed includes a section called “Church Signs of the Week,” in which he highlights sad, humorous, and poignant church signs from around the world. Most of the images posted there include signs with misspellings, serious grammar mistakes, hypocritical, and “holier-than-thou” content. And while these poorly executed signs garner lots of attention on sites like Buzzfeed and Cracked, they likely do little to get people in the church doors on Sunday morning.
How is your church’s roadside signage performing? You have just a few seconds to engage with passersby and send a strong message about who you are and what’s important to you. And the fact is, you’re sending those messages through more than the words you use. You’re saying it through your message and your medium.
Here are three questions to discuss as you plan your next roadside signage message, or as you consider installing new roadside signage.
1. What style of sign is best?
There are several options for outdoor signs from which to choose. First, there are remove-and-replace letter signs. (Think of the letters underneath McDonald’s golden arches.) These signs can be an inexpensive option for churches and require minimal technical expertise to manage. However, they can also be laborious to change in inclement weather and be easily vandalized—making it easy for your church to land on Ed’s blog.
Second, you can opt for scrolling message signs, allowing you to add more information to the sign with little labor needed. These signs, though, can cost more money when operating continuously and be more difficult for drivers to fully read.
Finally, LED signs with bright colors and large panels are a great new option for churches. These signs can be easily read from a distance and include full-page graphics, advertisements, and messages to the community.
2. Who is your church trying to attract?
At the recent Sentralized conference, Michael Frost—Australian minister and author of Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement—discussed customizing missions based on the neighborhoods they serve. If your church is trying to reach young parents, for example, advertising your day-care options, Sunday school classes, and young-couple small groups might be a good way to draw in that demographic.
Likewise, choosing the type of sign is an important decision, as it can impact people’s perceptions of your church. A remove-and-replace sign, for example, could convey a message of being antiquated and out of touch. Contrarily, a new LED sign may portray your church as being connected and modern. Baby Boomers, though, may better connect with a more traditional stone sign.
3. What information should go on the sign?
If your sign is literally etched in stone much of the information should be generic, such as your denomination, your symbol or logo, your website, and maybe service times. However, if your church has a remove-and-replace, scrolling letter, or LED sign, then adding information about different ministry opportunities, new small groups, the current preaching session, or even fun community events could be fantastic ways to reach out to the community. You want your content to be quickly and easily digestible.
How aligned is your message and medium of your church’s roadside signage?