If you have gone to a church, for a period of time, or been around Christians long enough you have probably heard this statement – “The Church is not a building. The church is a group of people.”
I agree and disagree.
I agree that “Church” or ministry is about people and not a building. Every church staff has to wrestle the tension of money allocations between building and people. However, what I disagree with is that denial that a great space and place can be an incubator to seeing a great vibe and feel.
Space and Places want conversations
Physical spaces and places are at an all-time low. They are being visited less and less. Companies are spending more and more to get us to show during the Holidays, because most mall owners know that spaces, like malls, are not as visited as they once were.
If you have a physical and permanent building you know how fortunate you are! You’r not planting a church or renting a space and moving your stuff every weekend.
Like you, your spaces and places want to see good conversations happening pre and post service. How does this happen?
- Hiring or asking a graphic designer/Interior Designer to walk through your space and let them take as many pics/notes.
- Ask a group of adults, under 30, to take photos of you space. Ask them to find the most engage room and least engage room and try and take the best photo to capture both spaces. Ask them why them took the photos they took.
- Church leaders used to say, “People vote with their feet.” This is implying, people won’t vocalize their opinion, the will just stop coming. People no longer “vote with their feet.” They vote with their eyes. Everything is processed through visual presentations. It’s either the blessing or curse of our Instagram culture. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to create visually inspiring spaces for conversations to take place.
Space and Places can’t wait for the plane to land.
There is a comfort in knowing when your loved one as arrived safely on the tarmac. You can’t wait to see them! There is an eager anticipation of that moment.
Your space and places can’t wait for your guests to arrive. They can’t wait for them to see all the hard work your team has done to create a fun and inspiring space. Your guests are probably not as eager to run into the building like they would with welcoming home a loved one.
- Do you know how long it takes to walk from the farthest parking lot space to your front door?
- What do you suppose 1st time guests are thinking about as they are approaching your door?
- What are you inviting them to experience from outside your building?
- How many couples/families have had conversations, in their car, that almost led them to leaving because of uncertainty of you spaces and places?
- What are you asking them to look at and consider the first 15 seconds of entering through your front doors?
- What are you having your 1st Impressions Team tell them?
- Landing the plane with your 1st time guests is the moment when they have a “deep breath” experience after walking through your front doors. They know what to do, where to go, and what’s expected of them.
Spaces and Places are memory banks
While the Christian sub-culture might know the lingo, “The Church is not a building. The church is the people,” the people who actually need to be in those spaces and places do not know that.
- Your physical spaces and places are what your friends talk about when they are describing your church to them.
- They can remember where they were greeted, how they were treated, and when they took their next steps.
- There is a bonding and a relationship everyone has with your space. While walls can’t talk they do leave a legacy. They leave a legacy every time they are painted with fresh colors, directional signs are hung, the mission and vision is communicated on a wall, etc.
- Spaces and Places are merely an outpost for the Kingdom Of God to it’s work and for it’s people to carry and live out their citizenship in their week.
- Your spaces and places don’t want to live in the past. They want to meet new people, hear new stories, and look like it makes sense to a younger generation.