Last time, we talked about using signage to create comfort in navigation. Now, let’s talk about creating comfort in your foyer, lobby or commons areas. There are so many ways you can create a welcoming environment that are easy, affordable and simple!
The lobby is a great place to show off the personality of your church. Your lobby is, most times, the first impression of your style and personality that a first time visitor will have.
- Coffee Bar – Just like at home, good conversation happens over coffee. A Coffee Bar provides opportunities for connection. Show visitors you care about details by having the station manned or monitored to keep it clean and to ensure that you don’t run out of coffee, creamer, sugar, etc. Put small decorative touches on the coffee bar that stylize the area (remember – no easily breakable items – we’re in a portable environment!). Show visitors that you really care by serving coffee that tastes good. Noone likes a bad cup of Joe.
- Resource Table –Whether you choose to have this station manned or unmanned, make sure you have a place designated in your lobby that first timer’s can visit to get information on your church, your core values, your mission, your ministries and (this is key, especially in portable environments), volunteer opportunities. This provides an aura of helpfulness and allows a visitor the freedom to find out more about your vision for the community.
- Graphic or Original Art – The lobby is a wonderful place to show off artistry and creativity. Consider having a rotating art show on easels; utilize hanging banners with your logo to personalize the lobby; harness the raw talent in your church to provide such art and design. One church we’ve worked with has a different artist present at every service that creates a painting, drawing or sculpting that ties in with the service. At the end of the quarter, a small “art” show is held at a local coffee house. This gives the church an opportunity for outreach, the artists a chance to showcase God given talents, and provides an opportunity for sharing life-change stories in a casual environment.
- Music or Video – Consider piping in your worship service via a speaker or a Television into the lobby. This could be an “overflow” space for you – or ultra-cool seating for your youth group. Staff your “Video Cafe” with coffee and refreshments. This could be potentially very effective for the casual visitor who just wants to “see what this church thing is all about”.
Think about your favorite restaurant, place to write sermons or meeting place. What makes it your “favorite”? Is it the seating, the lighting, the customer service? Is it the artistry, the music or the warm colors? Take notice of those things and figure out how to apply them to your portable environment. What makes you comfortable will likely make your visitors feel comfortable.
Questions? Feel free to call our Environmental Consultant for more suggestions and guidance.
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