How many people walk past your church each day? What do they discover about your church? How are they inspired to visit your church, or check out your church’s activities, or even investigate Christianity as a result of wandering by?
Many people walk past my church each day – it’s close to the station, and on the restaurant/café strip. We wanted to make use of our position to communicate to people as they walk past the church.
We purchased an a-frame (see below – essentially two signs, connected at the top with a hinge, that expands to stand on its own) with the capacity to display interchangeable content. This is a key advance in an (albeit simple) technology. In the past, if you wanted to use an a-frame you would either need to print your message onto it (limiting its use and lifespan), or get a whiteboard frame for each side (limiting its visual appeal to the creativity of the person with the whiteboard marker). The newer-style a-frames enable interchangeable content – and almost limitless possibilities for engaging passers-by.
How does it work at my church? One of the talented graphic designers at church created some A1-size posters that promote some of the regular activities at church, and can be easily placed within the frame. Each day we put the a-frame on the footpath with different posters inside – for example, promoting a community lunch, a kids holiday club, weekend church services or our upcoming art competition.
I have been amazed (and pleasantly surprised) by how many people stop by to take a look at the posters. In fact, some people have even had their photo taken next to a poster!
This strategy was so effective that a couple of months later we purchased three single frames, and now place posters inside them and lean them up against the wall (see below). This way we can promote five different events at the same time – appealing to the different ages and interests of people who walk by.
This has proved to be a really effective and cost-efficient concept ($264 for the a-frame, and $99 for the stand-alone frames). Some people glance at the posters as they walk past, others stop to read them in detail. With this in mind, our next idea is to create some posters that discuss some common questions about Christianity – e.g. “why is Jesus the only way to God?” or provide a Biblical perspective on world events. Our prayer is that these will encourage people to stop and think, and perhaps even come inside church to ask questions and find out more about our magnificent Saviour.
Not all churches get the same amount of through-traffic, but the relatively low cost of this idea makes it worth considering even if your church has a small but steady stream of passers-by.