by Deborah Ike
Have you ever sold a home? Do you remember the realtor walking through your house? I’m guessing your to-do list started growing. New furniture arrangements, touch-up painting, de-cluttering, and extremely detailed cleaning. That’s what I’ve been working on lately and it’s exhausting! My home is in great shape but I’ve lived here for eight years and stopped noticing the little scuff marks on the walls ages ago. I didn’t care that the extra sofa in my living room made it look a bit small or that my kitchen island doubled as a mailroom.
I’ve had to put myself in the shoes of potential buyers and look at my home with fresh eyes. As a result, I’ve wiped down doors, touched up paint, removed some clutter, and did some spring cleaning before spring even arrived.
Our church buildings can feel the same way as our homes. We get comfortable and familiar with our surroundings. Before you know it, you can’t see the little hand prints in the toddlers’ room or the chipped tiles in the foyer. Maybe there are a few more cracks in the sidewalk than last year or a couple of new potholes in the parking lot. We don’t always view facility maintenance as part of ministry, but consider how a first-time guest sees your property. Does this new mom see grime or stained carpet in the nursery? Does this teenager see outdated graphics and technology? Does Dad see a well-kept lawn or are weeds predominant?
God doesn’t judge by our outward appearance, but unfortunately, man does. We only get one chance to make great first impressions, so it might be time for a property tune-up. Walk through your church property, inside and out, looking for those areas that could use sprucing up.
Area #1: Parking lot & walkways
- Are there any potholes in the parking lot? Are the parking lines faded?
- Do you have any cracks in the sidewalk? Pay special attention to any cracks that could trip someone.
Area #2: Main entrance
- What does your main entrance look like? Is the paint chipped or faded? Are the bricks or siding in good shape?
- Do you have good mats that don’t slip inside the front door?
Area #3: Walls
- Look at the walls throughout the building. Are there any scuff marks or areas that need to be repainted?
Area #4: Floors
- Check the flooring. Does the carpet need to be replaced or at least steam-cleaned? Do you have any chipped tiles or concrete that needs repair?
Area #5: Childcare rooms
- Look through the children’s areas. Are the toys, cribs, and changing tables clean? Do those environments look fun, friendly, and safe?
I could keep going with this list, but I think you get the idea. With people visiting your church for the first time each week, it’s important to view your church through the eyes of someone new. If you were attending for the first time, what first impression would the facility make on you? We tend to focus on greeting people and making them feel welcome – and rightly so. However, let’s also remember the visual impact we’re making on people. How we care for our church property is a matter of stewardship and caring for those who attend.
What do you do to keep up with the maintenance at your church? Share your ideas and tips in the comments.
Deborah Ike is a writer, consultant, and project manager. She provides tips and encouragement to those seeking to cultivate healthy churches at velocityministrymanagement.com. You can connect with Deborah on Facebook and Twitter(@DeborahVMM).