10 Signs the Barn Needs Paint
In case you didn't notice, the title of this post is a punchline to the old joke about women wearing makeup in church. That joke has pretty much run its course when it comes to makeup. But, it can lead to other questions about the local church. When was the last time that you put on a fresh coat of paint?
Let's be clear, I am not talking about brushes and buckets, but the overall message that your current name, logo, bulletin, monthly newsletter, ink pens, website and other identity materials give about your church. Whether we like it or not the look and feel of everything in the church speaks to the visitor and the unsaved about who we are and what we are saying. So how do you know if it is time for a fresh coat? Below are some signs that you need to do some thinking about what your image is in your community.
- Your logo was designed by Methuselah. In all seriousness if you are still using imaging designed in the last century you may want a new look or update.
- If your church name is Bethlehem Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas (real church) or if you can't fit it on an ink pen or if your church name can be misconstrued like the Flippin Church of God (real church). Its a bad sign if people are laughing at you and not with you.
- If asked "What are the colors in your churches design pallet?" and you say, "I didn't know a church was supposed to have colors in a design pallet."
- You are still using a mimeograph machine or a two color Riso for most of your printing.
- The church website was designed over 5 years ago, by a church member.
- The church bulletin hasn't changed since the old secretary retired (10 years ago).
- The church sign contains the church name and a place for a cheesy sermon title or is on wheels.
- Your church newsletter features "Family Circus" cartoons or mostly regurgitated material.
- Every time you take a job to a printer you get a new logo.
- Nothing in the church matches. The website, bulletin, newsletter, signs, offering envelopes and identity materials all look different and without looking at the name, each could be from a different church.
In all seriousness we need to understand everything that affects the senses has an impact on how a community or individuals feel about the church. We live in a different time. I grew up with no air-conditioning, no children's program and hardwood pews in church, but you would be hard pressed to find even the most devoted in a church without those amenities. The current generation makes judgements about eternal questions based on the superficial, yet we need to reach this generation. If we are to be smart in the way we deal with those outside the church we probably need a fresh coat of paint.