FIRST-PERSON: How do guests see your church building?
INDIANAPOLIS (BP) -- Here's a simple way to evaluate how guests see your church building. Take the "5-Spot Test." Stop at five specific places around your church site for five minutes and answer five questions.
-- Spot No. 1: church parking lot. Just before worship, park in a guest space.
1) How easy is it to find a parking space?
2) From here, how enticing is the building's appearance and landscape?
3) Is the parking lot well kept?
4) Is the church sign current and attractive?
5) Is the main entrance inviting?
-- Spot No. 2: main church entrance. Walk inside at the most obvious entry.
1) Is the front door clean, attractive, well-maintained?
2) What's your first impression? Consider décor, lighting, music.
3) Is the entry area perfectly clean?
4) Does signage direct guests to childcare, restrooms, worship center?
5) Are wall displays and printed materials attractive, positive, current?
-- Spot No. 3: back row panoramic. Sit on the third row from the rear, left side.
1) Is your view unobstructed? Can you hear well?
2) What is the overall atmosphere of the worship center?
3) Are pew envelopes, books, pens or clipboards neat and current?
4) Are seats, ceilings, walls and floors in perfect condition?
5) Does worship center reflect careful consideration of décor, upkeep, seasonal touches?
-- Spot No. 4: preschool area. Use directional signs to find the preschool hallway. Stand by the two-year-old classroom's door.
1) How simple is it to locate the children's area?
2) Is it well-lit and spotlessly clean?
3) Does it seem safe and secure?
4) Are there obvious signs that Christian teaching occurs here?
5) Is the hallway and room updated, stimulating, inviting?
-- Spot No. 5: restroom. Use directional signs to find the nearest restroom.
1) How easy is it to locate the restroom?
2) Is it perfectly clean and well-lit?
3) Is décor very attractive and up-to-date?
4) Is there a baby-changing table, seat covers, Bible shelf, purse hanger?
5) Take a deep breath. Is the smell fresh?
Haggai 1:4 reads, "Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?" (NLT). Friendly people, wonderful worship and Godly teaching will impact newcomers, but the building itself is part of that first impression. Make it count.
Print the 5-spot test chart and read more tips at www.DianaDavis.org. Diana Davis is author of "Fresh Ideas" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing). Diana Davis is an author, columnist and wife of North American Mission Board's vice president for the south region, Steve Davis. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).