General Sunday School Space Issues: Welcoming Guests

Sunday 25th March, 2007
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Sunday School's impact takes place in more than the classroom. Impressions begin the moment guests encounter a member of of the Sunday School out in the community. Then they continue the moment the guest walks or drives within sight of the church property. The next level begins when they walk or drive onto the parking lot, walk to the church door, and enter the facility.

Consider this checklist of questions that may help you examine some first impression areas. If guests receive a negative impression in one of these areas, Sunday School or worship may not get a chance to make a positive one. Circle yes or no for each question. Add comments on any question you answer negatively. List specific reasons for your answer and ways the situation can be improved.

Outside the Doors

1.        Is adequate parking available for members and guests?     Yes     No     Comments:
2.        Are some parking spaces reserved and marked for guests?     Yes     No     Comments:
3.        Is the educational space entrance easily identified by guests?     Yes     No     Comments:
4.        Do the church exterior, landscaping, signage, and parking lot create a welcoming atmosphere?     Yes     No     Comments:
5.        Are guest registration entrances clearly marked?     Yes     No     Comments:
6.        Are friendly, trained parking greeters needed?     Yes     No     Comments:
7.        Are all entrances well-lit, well-marked, attractive, and accessible?     Yes     No     Comments:

Inside the Doors

1.        Can guests easily locate classrooms for their preschoolers, children, students, and themselves?     Yes     No     Comments:
2.        Are directional signs located at strategic entrances and locations around the facilities?     Yes     No     Comments:
3.        Are all classrooms simply, visibly, and logically numbered?     Yes     No     Comments:
4.        Is there a well-marked welcome center staffed with friendly, well-trained greeters?     Yes     No     Comments:
5.        Are welcome center staff available to escort guests to their classrooms?     Yes     No     Comments:
6.        Are all corridors well-lit, attractive, odor-free, and in good repair?     Yes     No     Comments:
7.        Can guests access the sanctuary from the educational space?     Yes     No     Comments:
8.        Are restrooms marked and easily located from every classroom?     Yes     No     Comments:
9.        Is preschool space located near the sanctuary and on the first floor?     Yes     No     Comments:
10.        Are there additional classroom spaces in which to start new classes?     Yes     No     Comments:

As I said at the end of my previous blog entry, you may be able to add questions to this assessment. Schedule periodic times to walk inside and outside your facility. You may even want to invite a guest for the purpose of walking on your grounds and through your facility. A fresh set of eyes can see and smell things that you miss. When you have identified needs and problems, work with church leaders to address what you found. Be proactive in your reception of guests. Be revolutionary!

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