Parking spaces in your church parking lot are a lot like the chairs in your auditorium. There is a fine line between having too many empty ones and having none available (or viewable).
As you prepare your church to receive Christmas visitors, your parking situation needs to be a key consideration. You need to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to park and get into church in time for services. If visitors feel that finding a parking space is too hard, they will turn around and leave.
Creating the Best Church Parking Lot
1.Set up a special parking area just for visitors. Make it viewable from the driveway, or be sure to add banners and signs that guide drivers from the driveway to the visitor parking. Plastic sandwich-style Street Signs and Flag Banners are easy, affordable ways to direct your visitors – plus they are portable so you can move them around or take them down during the week days.
2. Set up a Drop Off Zone. Families with small children, the elderly or those with physical limitations will appreciate having an area in front of your church where passengers can get out of the car and move into the building quickly. Station greeters in the area and equip them with umbrellas on rainy and snowy days. Encourage them to open car doors and escort people into the building for a “hand off” to another greeter or first impression team member.
3. Start a parking lot ministry. Ask volunteers to greet and direct traffic during high volume times. Purchase safety vests or bright colored volunteer t-shirts to be sure your team is visible. (Get custom t-shirts with your church name or logo.) The added benefit of a parking team is that visitors pulling into your church will now be greeted by smiling, helpful faces that can break the ice and improve your visitors first impression.
4. Have regular attenders park in another area. Ask staff, ministry team members, worship team members and regular attenders to park in less convenient spaces leaving the “prime” spots for visitors, the elderly, expectant mothers or families with young children.
Ask neighboring businesses who may not be open during your service times if you can use their parking lot. Use the portable Sandwich-style Street Signs to direct people to this off-site area. Promote this policy in your announcements and bulletins in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Finally, once visitors are parked and headed into your building, make sure you have greeters at every possible point of entry. Equip your team with friendly Hand Held signs, name badges and T-shirts so visitors know who to turn to with questions.
These easy steps can be the difference in seeing more visitors in your church this season – as you make it simple for visitors to find a place to park—you take one barrier out of the way of new people coming to your church!
Share your parking signs and team members – post pictures on our Facebook page.