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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


A Church is Not a Building

So I bet you've been asking "Why don't he write?"

Simple reason. ECO took a back burner to finish grad school moving and getting a new job. But now I actually have a project. To continue making movie references I feel like the Ghostbusters when they finally get that first call and Janine yells "We Got One!"

The idea of this blog is to offer practical advice for churches, and without any church to give advice to, not much has been coming to mind. However, with this new project, I came across something I've seen many churches do that I think is a bad idea: use a picture of the church building as the focal point of the homepage.

Whenever I see this in a content guide I think back to Sunday School where we sang "The church is not a building..." The point of that song is to teach kids that the church is the group of people worshiping the Lord in that place, not the four walls and roof that shelter those people

I can understand being proud of your church building, butthink about it from the perspective of someone who has never been to your building before. Is a photo of your building the most impactful thing you can show them? Is that the image that is going to best show them the life of the church?

I think most congregations would answer that question "no." So if not the church building, then what?

Many churches who are more sermon centered use the branding of the current sermon or sermon series. This can make sense if that teaching is the primary offering of your church.

For many churches the primary offering is the community of believers, and what better way to communicate that community then to have pictures of that community on your homepage. Real, authentic, obviously not stock photography images of people worshiping.

The reality is that for your church it may be something else entirely, but unless your the Crystal Cathedral, I bet it's not your building.

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