Perhaps one of the most neglected areas of a church building is its signage. Or should I say effective signage.

I'm not talking about the outdoor sign that identifies the building and gives the times of worship and Bible study. Many churches have made big improvements there. But the signs that direct a person to the entrance doors that are unlocked (if there is more than one possible way to enter the building and the others are locked), signs that direct a person to restrooms, Sunday School classrooms, and the church office. If there is a school, that's another set of sign challenges!

I think it would be wise to notice how other public places handle the same problem. If you have a hallway that leads past many classroom doors, why not adapt how airports notify passengers? The signs that identify each gate's number face the walker head-on. So do the restroom signs. They are large enough to read from a reasonable distance. And if there are junctions where hallways converge and the walker must make a choice of direction, there are signs posted to reassure the walker that (s)he's made the right choice, or alert the person that a wrong choice has been made. Furthermore, the type face of each sign is consistent and professional. They are not drawn on poster board with magic markers.

I can think of at least thirty of our churches off the top of my head that are sign challenged. I will go on to say that the more that each church has added to its original structure, the more critical is effective signage. And if a church has another building it uses for Bible study and Sunday School, it's really important for a visitor to know where to go for what purpose before getting to one of the buildings! And yet good signage is often resisted by the congregation. They already know the right locations! Why bother? So try this experiment – when you go on vacation this summer and visit a church, check out how well you are directed by its signs. You may learn how to improve your own, or what to avoid!