We don’t always view church facility maintenance as part of ministry but consider how a first-time guest sees your property. Does this new Mom see grime or stained carpet in the nursery? Will a teenager see outdated graphics and technology? Can Dad see a well-kept lawn or are weeds predominant? How church facilities appear to newcomers can make an impact on whether they return.
If you’ve ever sold a home, you likely recall the realtor doing an initial walk-through of your house. Afterward, you probably had a list of touch-up painting, de-cluttering, and extremely detailed cleaning to complete. Minor smudges we’ve overlooked for years stand out to someone new walking around the property.
Our church facilities can feel the same way as our homes. We get comfortable and familiar with our surroundings. Before you know it, you can’t see the little handprints in the toddlers’ room or the chipped tiles in the foyer. Maybe there are a few more cracks in the sidewalk than last year or a couple of new potholes in the parking lot.
God doesn’t judge by our outward appearance, but unfortunately, man does. We only get one chance to make great first impressions, so it might be time for a property tune-up. Walk around your church property, inside and out, looking for those areas that could use sprucing up.
Area #1: Parking lot & walkways
- Are there any potholes in the parking lot? Are the parking lines faded?
- Do you have any cracks in the sidewalk? Pay special attention to any cracks that could trip someone.
Area #2: Main entrance
- What does your main entrance look like? Is the paint chipped or faded? Are the bricks or siding in good shape?
- Do you have good mats that don’t slip inside the front door?
Area #3: Walls
- Are there any scuff marks or areas that need to be repainted?
- Do you see any leaks or water stains on ceiling tiles?
- Are there any deep scraps or holes in the drywall?
Area #4: Floors
- Does the carpet need to be replaced or at least professionally cleaned? Do you have any chipped tiles or concrete that need repair?
- Are there any sections of ripped carpet that could be a trip hazard?
Area #5: Childcare rooms
- Are the toys, cribs, and changing tables clean and working properly?
- Does each room look fun, friendly, and safe?
- Are there handprints or scuffs on the walls?
- Do the rooms smell clean?
- Is each room baby proofed with covers on electrical outlets, no sharp corners on tables or countertops, etc.?
I could keep going with this list, but I think you get the idea. As people visit your church for the first time each week, it’s important to view your church through the eyes of someone new.
If you were attending for the first time, what first impression would the facility make on you? We tend to focus on greeting people and making them feel welcome – and rightly so. However, let’s also remember the visual impact we’re making on people. How we care for our church property is a matter of stewardship and caring for those who attend.