First impressions are important.
They set the stage for our subsequent experiences, priming us to interpret and incorporate further information into a cognitive structure built on very limited information.
So what about first impressions of the church?
There is frequent debate amongst church leadership when it comes to first impressions and where they fit into the big picture of ministry. Some will say that it doesn’t matter what a visitor thinks of the church based on the graphics on a bulletin or the sign out in front of the building. Others will claim that everything hinges on the first impression, so it should be the top priority. Brenton Balvin has had experience dealing with this tension, and shares his perspective in the article, “First Impressions: Presentation vs. Promotion.”
“First impressions is about leaving a taste in people’s mouth that makes them more willing to ‘try it’ again. True, if your first impressions ministry is solely focused on promoting this or that in your church for the sake of self-glory or reputation, you have trouble. But if your impressions ministry is designed around presenting everything well, sermons/greeters/signage/bulletins, then you can work for the sake of God’s glory and the welcoming of people into his kingdom.”