A church sign can be excellent use of the resources of a church: what better form of church stewardship can there be than to increase your congregation and enable your message to be seen by as many people as possible? Value for money is as important in advertising your church as it is to those advertising businesses and products,and getting ‘more bang for your buck’ is as important in religion as it is in business.
Let’s consider the ethics first,before investigating the financial aspects of advertising,and determine whether a church should or should not be engaged in the activities of the professional advertiser. What are your thoughts? Should it be involved in advertising or should a church restrict itself to the spiritual and ignore the temporal aspects of its existence? One of the major problems of taking that attitude would be to ignore the times we live in and the importance of advertising to the vast majority of current or potential parishioners.
Many people have been so inured to advertising that if it is not advertised then it cannot be good. The church across the road must better because it has a huge neon church sign in its grounds proclaiming the message it is offering. Perhaps neon turns you off,and you might then prefer the church farther down the road with its beautiful wooden church signage that gives you precise details of all its services and activities.
Both must be better than that dull structure there,with no signs saying what it is and nothing giving you a message of any kind,whether it is one of spiritual uplifting or simply asking you to come along at 11 am next Sunday. We all know the power of advertising and there is nothing in the majority of religions that says we should not advertise our religion. What is the purpose of missionaries and disciples if not to advertise and proclaim The Word.
Church stewardship involves making the best use of the church’s money,and what better way to use it (other than essential charity) than to advertise your church,and help to pass on the word of your religion. You not only pass the message on but also grow your congregation,and a strong congregation makes for a strong church.
That is not to suggest that you should sing a jingle on TV,but you should make use of where your church is situated. Any church situated on a main road,for example,will have thousands of cars,buses and other forms of transport passing by it every day. A prominent LED church sign will be bound to catch the attention of these passers-by. Even a beautifully crafted wooden sign will get the attention needed for it to stick in the mind.
After passing by the same church sign day in day out for weeks,months and even years,people will associate your church with your sign,and when ‘church’ comes to mind,it is likely to be yours. Those that rarely attend church will likely have a wedding,dedication or memorial to arrange at some time and who will they think of? Your church of course,because that’s the one with the prominent church sign that they pass every day!
You may prefer to attract people with more faith,but your church stewardship is also connected with engaging the non-believers. Who knows – once they enter your church’s doors they might decide to come more often. The young married couple might visit your church and will likely use it for their first child’s dedication,send him or her to your Sunday School,and generally become involved in the activities of your church and so become a regular attendee.
You will never know if you never try,and using a prominent,unmissable church sign in your church grounds is one of the best ways of trying. Sure,church signs cost money,but your stewardship is about spending your funds in the most productive way possible. Consider other means of advertising: TV,newspapers,magazines and the like. Do you honestly believe that would be good use of money? Of course not,because nothing has the same impact as an advert placed physically in front of your church that people pass every day. Many may see your TV advert,but how many will put themselves out of their way to visit your church rather than the one with the great sign that they pass by daily? I would guess very few,if any! In fact,likely none at all!
However,by placing a church sign in front of their eyes as they drive to work,take the kids to school or go to the shops,you are taking a positive step to persuade people to stop off and visit once in a while. Perhaps they will pop in one Sunday or weekday service and use the services that you offer for their weddings,dedication,Sunday schools and memorials. That is good church stewardship and excellent use of your church’s funds.