Church signs come in a variety of styles: lighted and unlighted, brick or stone monuments, pole signs, lighted crosses or letters on the building.
No matter the design, these signs are vital to a church’s image and connecting a congregation to its community.
“[A church sign] is a ministry in itself,” said Danny Williams, president of Reliable Sign Services in McCalla, Alabama. “Many churches do not realize that, and their signs may be old and yellowed and not kept up or functionable. [Those] are a bad first impression.”
Churches that do realize the importance of a good quality sign are more successful at drawing in new worshippers, Williams said. Signs enable congregations to encourage those passing by with Scripture or advertising ministries and programs.
“Digital signs help grow the church through great communication to thousands of hurting and lost people passing by each day,” Williams said. “The best tool or sign should include a digital portion. Yes, they can be expensive but can do so many things and display what you want as often as you want in the touch of a few buttons. No ladders or dealing with the rain or wind to put up a message.”
Sharing a message
An effective sign shows the community that the church is alive and doing things, he added. By embracing technology or spending money to maintain or improve a sign, congregations communicate that they have a heart to reach out to those who don’t know Christ.
“Our churches do many great things the community should know about,” said Reliable’s office manager Stephanie Smith. “We think of the sign as another member of your ministry or outreach team. The sign can help get [interested participants] in the door.”
Sign improvements can enhance the church’s community image and attract new worshippers, Williams explained. Results can depend upon the chosen design, but churches usually notice a surge in visitors, enhanced program and worship service participation, and fewer calls asking for program information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made signs even more important and impactful, he said. Digital signs are easily and quickly changed to communicate program changes, offer encouraging Scripture, advertise Zoom meeting times or provide website and livestreaming information.
Opportunity for growth
“Those who communicate the best in all areas, including signs, will have the best opportunity to grow, show they care and draw and reach the unchurched,” Williams said.
Churches looking to add or improve a sign should consider a reputable brand, ask good questions and request references, he noted. Reliable’s team offers customers a digital demo allowing them to see sign capabilities, sizes and clarity.
Reliable has been providing sign sales consultation, permitting, design, fabrication, installation and maintenance services to churches, schools and business in Alabama and parts of Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee since 1994.
Their digital sign off Interstate 59 in McCalla displays uplifting messages to more than 75,000 travelers each day. Many call to thank Williams for the encouraging messages, Scripture and proverbs.
“Several have called us — a trucker called us a few weeks ago to thank us for saying, ‘God bless our truckers’ on the sign,” Williams recalled. “It really means a lot to me, and we often have people honk when passing by if they see something on the sign they like.”