You just got off the plane in a new airport that you’ve never visited before. As you walk up the jetway to the gate and terminal, your mind starts to race.
Where am I going? I’ve never been here before. I don’t want to ask. Then everyone will think I don’t travel. All those fast-walkers in suits will scoff at me as they pass by.
What’s your saving grace in this situation? The signage. And the fact that airports are laid out to be fairly easy to navigate.
Imagine that slight panic you feel in the airport but around a bunch of smiley people who want to talk to you. A bunch of people who you’ve heard have weird rules they live by. People you’ve never met before but that you’ve heard call each other “brothers and sisters.”
Welcome to the life of a 20-something who’s never stepped through the propped-open doors of your church.
When 20s come to church for the first time, many of them don’t want to be singled out. They want to check it out and come to their own conclusions. They want to experience your church without you selling them your church.
How can you help 20s do that?
Make it easy for them to know what’s going on. Don’t create a labyrinth of hallways and signage with foreign words like “Fellowship Hall” and “Worship Center.” If a 20-something doesn’t know what those rooms are, how would they know where to go? Why not call it the “Auditorium” or something similar? Something everyone would have a general idea of what the room is for and what happens there.
If your church environment makes it difficult to feel like a part of the community right off the bat, why would 20s put in the effort to become a part of it? Why not make it easy for them to get from the parking lot to hearing the message of Jesus’ hope and love for their lives?
Easy makes 20s comfortable. And when it comes to 20s walking in your door for the first time, comfortable is exactly what you want them to feel.