It was a moment I will never forget. I was so excited - I had just been hired to be the new Youth Group Director and this was my first Sunday. As I was walking into the Narthex, someone stopped me to introduce themselves and I came into the worship service as the first song was being sang. As I stepped into the sanctuary, my first thought was – “oh my goodness – do they even have any youth in this church?!” My first impression was of a very elderly congregation. Turns out that was basically true. There was only a handful of families with teens. In fact, I could fit the whole Senior High youth group into my Honda Civic. Thankfully, it was a wonderful church with marvelous kids.
First impressions matter. But what if my focus had been on the screens instead? What if I walked in and saw youth up there or people of different ages and ethnicity? I would have known instantly that this church of seniors actively sought young adults members, youth and diversity. That I was welcomed and invited into their dynamic community.
Often, the people who attend a church all basically look the same. Perhaps they have the same skin color, or they are in the same age group or – maybe – a social dynamic is just missing from the congregation.
The screens are a great tool to change this. The images on the screen instantly let all people know they are welcomed in your church. Plus it’s a twofer: communicating to new people that you are a healthy, dynamic, welcoming church and reminding your congregation of our goal to welcome all.
So as we design the screens - let’s open those doors wide. As you are choosing images for your church screens – seek out diversification – let all your visitors know they are welcomed here.