Why Quality Design Matters
First of all – I get it. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Not all of our churches have teams of designers and an infinite amount of gold bricks just sitting in the bank. Most of the time churches have to draw a line between budget and getting the best quality. We’ve all seen that VBS flyer posted on the bulletin board in the grocery store that makes us cringe. Unfortunately for churches, in our content and social media driven world, that type of design typically does more harm than good.
The look and feel of your building, flyers and digital media speaks volumes about you and your church, and can instantly signify the quality of your entire organization. Maybe that’s not how it should be, but it is what it is. I’ve argued with countless number of church leaders about the importance of design quality. Many believe it is better to simply get your message or event out there in whatever way possible. Many believe it’s not the design that matters, but the message. Maybe that has been true in years past, but in this Snapchat and Instagram world, design can make or break your church.
When I discuss this with an average church leader, here is what I tell them…
1. Design Effects Your Reputation
In the church world today, reputation is everything. People can now use Facebook and other online tools to tell their friends, family and the world about their experiences with your church with just the click of a button. People don’t go to church because they feel pressured, they go to church because they want to experience something. If your latest mailer looks cheap and jumbled together, the person receiving it will assume that your entire organization is cheap and jumbled together. We don’t have to like this reality. We just have to know it exists.
2. First Impressions Are Huge
We all know about the importance of a first impression. It takes the average person about 7 seconds to decide if they like something or not. Our church websites and social media channels are now the first thing people see when they are looking for a church. The phone book is dead. The design quality of our website really matters. We have one chance to get it right. If you believe in the quality of a good first impression, then you believe in the quality of design.
3. Design Reinforces Your Messaging
Imagine a pastor giving the best sermon of his life. He gives a spirit-filled message full of inspiration and practical steps that captures his audience. Now imagine he did the whole thing with no pants. The message just wouldn’t have the same impact, right? The same is true for the design quality you use to get your message out there. If your designs are distracting and hard to follow, your message will get lost in the confusion. A quality design will always underscore and enhance the message you want to convey.
4. Quality Design Reflects Who God Is
I think we can all agree that God is creative. He didn’t cut corners when he designed the world from nothing. He didn’t choose to take the easy way when he designed you and me. No matter how small, our creative God took the time to make sure everything looked and operated just the way he wanted. I believe that we should behave in the same way. Sure we can cut corners and make things easier on ourselves, but that is not honoring to God. We have the most incredible story ever told, and it’s up to us to tell it in a way that makes people stop and listen. Taking a few extra hours or dollars to make sure our designs reflect the incredible message we bring is one of the best ways we can honor God and reach a world that is in desperate need of change.
Before I get out of here, let me set the record straight. I know that design is not everything. I know that the message IS the most important thing. I’m not suggesting a watering down of gospel in any form. I’m suggesting we use the tools we’ve been given to enhance that message.
Design is definitely not the only thing, but it is a big thing. There are more resources available to churches than every before. You can get graphics, videos and social media help essentially on demand. Use those resources God has given you and go out and make a difference with great design.
Josh is the Creative Pastor at LifeQuest Church in Kansas City Missouri. He is a leader, blogger and author of The Digital Toolbox for Church Creatives
. Josh is also the host of The Creative Church Show Podcast
, which offers tips, tricks and shortcuts for making church media easy for you and your team. Josh has spent the last 10 years learning and teaching about church and social media in churches and his local community.