Good design really does matter for all churches. Here are two scenarios (of many) why some churches fail.
You've got the best welcoming car park attendants who direct your visitor to the right spot cheerfully. (But not like they just had a dose of Prozac)
The greeters at the door are engaging with people and hand your visitor the church bulletin.
The worship band is playing (in tune and your metrosexual worship leader is the real deal).
The anchor does the announcements (swiftly) and warmly welcomes first time guests.
Then your visitor opens the bulletin that you got the church secretary to knock up on Friday afternoon. [Your secretary has a particular fondness for Papyrus font at the moment. And stock illustrations of flowers. And he has written it in insider language that your visitor cannot understand.]
All that good work is undone in a single breath.
There has been a great sermon series on evangelism which includes inviting your friends to church.
It takes a lot of courage, but you finally invite your friend. To your suprise, they say yes.
They then go home and just to be sure. [Because they like you but they don't know your church] They "check" your church out online.
Again, you got the church secretary to manage it, who got their nephew and niece to put something together because they understand all that kinda stuff and they spend far too long on Facebook anyway.
And all that good work is undone. Again. In a single click.
They call and make the indefinite raincheck excuse.
Why were both scenarios a #fail?
Because EVERYTHING COMMUNICATES, But not everything CONNECTS. You may work hard and create the best front of house experience in the world, but it only takes sub-standard one touchpoint to create a barrier to entry.
When you communicate or design in sub-standard ways you still communicates something.
When you create sub-standard design people see the Christian cliché rather than the intended message.
When you create good design that connects, people may not "see" the design (and therefore the design doesn't become the barrier to entry.) But they still get the message.
They will get the point of communication. They will still choose to accept or reject the message but at least how the message is presented doesn't get in the way first.
This is just one of the reasons why good design matters.
I've decided to be part of the solution too. If you are that Church Secretary or Pastor who wants' help, I've got the blog series just for you.
Over the next month I will be blogging practical "How To's" to turn it around. The series will be on all things design/communications, I'll start with:
- How to write a creative brief
- How to commission a designer/branding consultant
- How to manage and implement a project
Leave a comment if there is any subject you want me to cover in the "How To" series in depth.