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If Walls Could Talk

If walls could talk, what would they say?  Would you be listening? 

It may surprise you that church walls do talk; and walls have much to say, especially to guests who often pay much more attention to such things than regular attenders. 

And walls aren’t the only facility related items that are talking; so do Parking Lots. And Building Exteriors.  Signage.  Paint colors.  Carpet.  Restrooms.  Landscaping.  Pews.  Info Booths. Bulletin Boards.  Décor.  Furnishings.  Worship platforms.

Of course, I don’t mean these things communicate with spoken words but, nonetheless, they sound off with messages to guests as clear as spoken words and leave impressions that communicate as clearly as the best English language teacher. 

I used to play a little game in which I would look at a church’s building design and architecture and then, without reading the church sign, try to guess what denominational affiliation the church was. More often than not, I was correct. The facility itself was talking.

Consider this:  just like greeters and preachers and musicians communicating with verbal messages, other factors are communicating powerfully and vividly with your guests, without a word spoken.

WARNING:  what they are saying may be contrary to the intended message for the guest!

Here’s a few examples I have experienced:

Parking Lot: “Careful.  The surface is choppy.  Don’t twist an ankle getting in the building.”

Building Exterior: “The people here are kind of tired and stuck in the past.”

Worship Platform: “Things are not well organized, not even worship; don’t expect much.”

Furnishings: “This church uses unwanted discards from homes to furnish the building; can you tell?”

Restrooms: “Nope, not kidding.  No paper towels.”

Welcome Center: “Seems silly, doesn’t it, to hide our hosts behind these walls?”

Carpets: “Clean, please.”

Signage: “One sign in the whole building.  No, it is not enough; you may have to wander around a bit to find your way.”

There can also be equally positive communications from the facility as well: “this church is expecting guests,” “this is going to be fun,” “upbeat and on the ball,” “we are looking out for you,” “glad you came.”

What is your church building saying to the people you are trying to reach?  It is talking both inside and out, delivering an inaudible message to your guests regarding the suitability, readiness, receptivity of the church for a return visit.

It’s a good idea to audit (hear) your walls occasionally.  Make sure the non-verbal message of the facility itself is not contradicting the verbal message. In the process, make the walls say something your guests want to hear.

Share your stories of "wall talk" below. Thanks for reading!

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